Today, I’m going to share another installment of our popular column, World’s Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters. Yes, we can learn from others’ mistakes! Featured below are real quotes from query letters (no book proposals today) submitted to us over the past few months.
DIDN’T STUDY THE MARKET, DIDN’T EDIT, AND PERIOD-CHALLENGED.
“I would like to publish various of articles through your website””
SHIFT AND PUNCTUATION KEYS BROKEN?
“please guide me about where i have to apply to get topic and guidance.”
CONTAINS ERRORS, AND CLEARLY DIDN’T STUDY THE MARKET. WE ONLY PUBLISH ARTICLES FOR WRITERS.
“I like to write about my experiences, especially with wild life , here on this island.”
THIS ONE ALSO DIDN’T STUDY THE MARKET.
“Here are a few ideas that I feel will blend in perfectly with the flavour of your website…”
(His list included 14 articles about gambling and gaming.)
AND, ANOTHER ONE THAT DIDN’T STUDY THE MARKET!
After receiving a rejection for submitting an article on a topic unrelated to our publication:
“”What do you publish?””
AS YOU CAN SEE, SOME BAD WRITERS QUERY ANYONE AND EVERYONE WITH UNRELATED PITCHES. IF YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO STUDY THE MARKET, DON’T EXPECT THE EDITOR TO BOTHER RESPONDING. THESE TYPES OF QUERIES ARE DELETED.
“Here’s stuff, if you want to publish….”
(The email had 10 attachments and nothing was writing-relating. Instead, they were about food tips for vegetarians, chanting, adapting your diet to bodily changes, bridesmaids, an evening at the beach, and more.
WE RECEIVE ONE-SENTENCE QUERIES LIKE THIS ALMOST DAILY. IF YOU HAVEN’T STUDIED THE MARKET AND GUIDELINES, DON’T APPROACH THE PUBLICATION AT ALL. IT’S A WASTE OF YOUR AND THEIR TIME.
“hello,I am interested in writing for you.”
“I had a good no of articles that i had written with me by my knowledge i got from my academics and surrounding environment .”
WHEN A QUERY LETTER IS RIDDLED WITH ERRORS, THE EDITOR WILL, OF COURSE, ASSUME THE WRITER’S ARTICLES WILL BE THAT WAY, TOO.
“My name is [removed] and i have a whole binder full of writtings that i think most of is good enough to get published I’ll send you a few of them please let me know what you think”
THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A NON-NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER. WHILE HE/SHE MAY BE VERY GOOD AT WRITING IN HIS/HER NATIVE LANGUAGE, EDITORS ARE NOT GOING TO WANT TO DO THE HEAVY EDITING REQUIRED BY THIS INDIVIDUAL’S WORK. FOREIGN WRITERS SHOULD MASTER THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THEY’RE PLANNING TO WRITE BEFORE CONTACTING AN EDITOR WHO PUBLISHES IN THAT LANGUAGE. THIS IS TRUE FOR ANY LANGUAGE, NOT JUST ENGLISH.
“Telling about myself, I’m a freelance article writer expertise in writing creative, innovative and informative contents on any given topic. I can write articles in a quick TAT with high quality and unique. ”
DON’T GIVE EDITORS INSTRUCTIONS. IT’S POMPOUS AND OFFENSIVE…ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PUNCTUATION-CHALLENGED.
“Hi I want to write my success story as a writer, It will be motivated for your visitors. Thanks. Now your turn”
USING CELL PHONE ABBREVIATIONS (AND SKIPPING PUNCTUATION) WILL PUT YOUR QUERY ON THE FAST TRACK TO REJECTION.
“Hi I have some new article for you can u just read it once”
NO, THANK YOU.
“hello. pleas publish article”
NO, THANK YOU (AGAIN).
“Hallo ,am john.And interested in writing of articles.How do i get enrolled.”
“Hello hungry writers wanting to get published. Weve had interested publishing agencies contact us so wed like to know if your interested we have already contacted a Shepherd.”
For more, see previous installments of World’s Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters HERE.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE