One of the jobs of a writer is to craft and send out query and/or proposal letters. There are many wonderful resources available to help a writer do so with professional flair. Below is a list of a few ways NOT to start a query/proposal:
10: “Have I got a deal for you! And if you’ll lower your commission to below 10%, I’ll let you represent me–at least for my first book.”
9: “I was talking to my cat, Mr. Wiggles, and he told me I should let you be the first one to see this book.”
8: “I wrote me this here book, see. It ain’t not like any book what’s been wroted before.”
7: “I have to use a pen name because I’m being pursued by the FBI. For a current “author’s photo”, you can see me in just about any post office. If you’re interested, tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree. I’ll be in touch.”
6: “Hello, dear. I’m writing you because my thirty-five-year-old son–who is unemployed and lives in our basement–has written a book. He’s a decent writer when he’s sober.”
5: “Hello. My name is Suede Beefcake…” (couldn’t resist If you’ve read my posts, you know…) However, as a bonus, let me offer another number 5: “UFOs are scary. I should know. I wrote this novel when I was held captive on one.”
4: “Since I’m sure you’re going to want to be my agent, I’ve taken the liberty of signing you up for your choice of either a gift certificate for Kilts-R-Us, or a year’s subscription to the “Laxative Of The Month Club” as a token of my appreciation!
3. “You seem like a nice person. I’ve been following you for a long time. But since you lock your car doors everyday, I’ve decided to email my book to you instead of leaving a copy on your driver’s seat.”
2. “I’ve written a book in secret code. If you’re ready to represent me, I’ll send you the secret agent decoder ring.”
1: ”I’ve tried everyone else on this list, so now I’m sending this book to you. You’ll probably hate it too.”
Just keep this list handy when you’re ready to send out a query letter or a proposal. Can you suggest any other bad beginnings?