I have to admit, I kind of love this. An agent has begun to post snippets of the worst queries he gets from writers.
Writer: Greetings agent. I have written the most important book on earth.
Agent: Will someone, for the love of God, please kill me.
And this one:
Writer: I’d like you to consider representing my fictional novel.
Agent: Oh, whew. For a second there I thought you were going to ask me to represent your nonfictional novel. For some reason those are performing really poorly in the market today.
I actually think this adds to the body of knowledge about how to write queries so perhaps the general quality will increase over time. Or maybe I’m just an optimist.
On a personal note, one of my verbal ticks is to say “true fact.” I say it a lot, and I cringe when I say it. It started out being silly and now it’s a habit. I said it on the phone to my agent and he deadpanned, “All facts are true.”
So I said, in a snarky way, totally in control of the joke, “I wrote a fiction novel.”
Fiction novel is the absolute worst thing you can to say to anyone who writes, publishes, or represents novels. If you learn nothing else, learn this: all novels are fiction.
So my agent said, “When people send me inquiries that say they’ve written a fiction novel, I hit delete.”
I dream of a world where all queries are beautifully written, for books publishers will clamor for.
But I know it will never, ever happen.