• By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 19 2010

Oh those things that makes us laugh, and luckily there are many. . . .

Like the persistent querier who wisely changed email addresses and created aliases, but labeled the query “Query47,” and that was at last count.

The query that suggested I “Kindly refrain from Self-delusion on Your part about arrogance on My Part & We’ll get along Just Famously.”

(This one really more of a sad sigh than an lol): The author who admitted she’s not very far into the story, so is “not able to give you a correct summary of the book, but I will do my best.”

The query that was really not a query at all, but a warning that the author would keep sending queries every few months and use alternate email addresses if the one currently being used was blocked.


39 responses to “LOL”

  1. Oh, good heavens. That's all I can think to say. I truly hope you don't have to wade through too many of the delusional/laughable/sad/weird queries!

    Makes you wonder… do they read the blog? Do they think the rules and guidelines are for chumps, aka 'the rest of the world'?

  2. Haha! I read the line from the second query in my head with a British accent. Fits quite nicely, I must say.

    I want to ask a question though. I've heard of queriers getting blacklisted before: agents sending other agents notices to go ahead and block or ignore certain email addresses. Is this just a rumor used to scare off extremely unprofessional queriers? How often does it actually happen, if at all?

  3. Avatar Philangelus says:

    You could combine them all and have fun!

    Dear Agent:
    For the 49th Time, please refrain from any Assumptions about my Arrogance and consider my Beautiful Story, which I shall complete sometime in June and after which I shall query you Relentlessly even if you block me, for I have nine email Addresses.

    Really, on behalf of the human race, I apologize.

  4. Avatar Watery Tart says:

    I'm glad your laughting, because some of these look to me like stalkers.

    *snorts at philangelus' letter'

  5. Avatar Lorra says:

    The querier would be much better off just buying lottery tickets. At least then she'd have a chance.

  6. Avatar Derrick C. says:

    Maybe this is the equivalent to literary telemarketing… no, nevermind, even telemarketers are taught to end the call after 3 no's.

  7. Avatar Steph Damore says:

    Too funny. Really? Query 47? Wow. I've accidentally queried the same agency twice and felt like such a goof. I don't feel so bad anymore 🙂

  8. Avatar Anonymous says:

    re: the “not able to give you a correct summary of the book, but I will do my best.”

    Yikes. Takes awhile for the realities of the business to sink in when you're a writer, yes?

    Bless her heart, as they say.

  9. Perhaps is she put as much work into her actual WIP as she did in annoying agents she might someday have a marketable product.
    Good thing you have a sense of humor.

  10. The query that was really not a query at all, but a warning that the author would keep sending queries every few months and use alternate email addresses if the one currently being used was blocked.

    Maybe instead of blocking them, mark the email as spam? That way, the email will go through but you'll never see it.

    Or, you might report them for harassment. Maybe you can get something done about that. Seriously, that's ridiculous. Why would anything think that would work?

  11. Avatar magolla says:

    Sad, sad, sad.

  12. Oh that's just too funny! You know, victims of stalkers end up dealing with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. I wonder if there's been an increase in the number of agents visiting psychologists lately. I've heard there're several stalking queriers roaming about. 😉

  13. Avatar SharonK says:

    Wow – almost makes you want to invoke the "snail mail" only rule, weeding out those not invested enough to purchase stamps.

  14. Avatar WitLiz Today says:

    Before this gets any further because I can already see how this can go south of the sensitive comment border, let me just very gently point out to those whose comments follow mine, that if you have nothing constructive or kind to say about these errant queriers then, (as my momma Bates used to say), shut the fuck up! (Believe me, I followed that advice quicker than my daily trip to the outhouse with the river runs)

    And if I were a lit agent, I'd take or make the time to direct these errant queriers to sites on the internet that might be helpful to them, such as QueryShark or Evil Editor, Absolute Write or other agent blogs instead of using the time to write a blogpost about them, even though I clearly see the instructional benefits for other newbie writers to avoid sending same; but, on the other hand, knowing the response to that blogpost will quite likely be less than humane by my commenters, I might be better served to not dangle the carrot in front of the mass of aspiring writers, thereby assisting these publishing hopefuls to shoot themselves in the ass with their unkind remarks, because I suspect there would be readers and buyers like crazy WitLiz Today who would take down their names, including anonymous' and other colorful artistic names, and remember them as she trips through the bookstore trying to support the publishing industry by buying alotta books!

    And in the event there is a persistent querier out there who won't or can't take no for an answer, I will press the delete button and hope and pray within my heart of hearts they get the help they so desperately need.

  15. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful remarks, WitLiz. We need more people like you in the world today, not just in the publishing industry.

    And lest one thinks I'm saying this to get her to buy my book, I'm posting anonymously. This one's from the heart.

  16. Avatar Anonymous says:

    A couple of those sound a little like stalking.

  17. Avatar Stephanie says:

    Sad….really really sad…… I hope these newbie writers don't give us all a bad name!!

  18. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    For the record, the guy with Query 47 is now up to Query 112.

  19. Avatar Falen says:

    posts like these make me feel so much better about my chances

  20. Oh my! And I thought only famous movie stars had stalkers.

  21. Avatar Dara says:

    Oh goodness. The ones that keep sending despite being blocked are truly on the ridiculous side.

    I wonder if they know they're only harming themselves by making threats like that?

  22. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Yes, these are obvious rejects but why do you ask to see partials or fulls, then refuse to read them for months? Then when we prod, you give us an auto-eject–no reason, no feedback, nada. Been there, done that and it's not so funny!

  23. Okay, I can't decide whether to laugh or to cry since I am currently knee-deep in the query process 🙂

    Let's go with laughing. My query doesn't fall into any of those categories (w-h-e-w), and let's face it. Laughing just feels better.

    I did really giggle at the self-delusion part. But I don't think that was the intent of the author. Hehe!

  24. Just yesterday I experienced a total brain fart and addressed a personalized query to the wrong agent. Right personalization, wrong name.

    I freaked out and immediately sent another with the proper salutation.

    I tweeted the agent that I screwed up, and she said she never got it.

    Thinking the query had been eaten by her spam filter, I sent a third, then she tweeted that the general queries don't go directly to her.

    The agent told me not to worry, but I'm sure her submission coordinator will think I'm an idiot, and pull the plunger.

    Or not. Fingers crossed.

    To Querier 47, no matter how careful you are, there's an excellent chance you'll hit the Send button before you realize you did something lame.

  25. I remember reading through slush as an editorial intern. Some of it was hilarious… but the rest… so eager and awful that it was depressing.

  26. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    Anonymous 1:17:

    Because we're now receiving approximately 100 queries/day, we're making our clients our top priority and sometimes we just don't have more explanation then "it's not right for us."

    I know it's frustrating on your end, but it's stressful, exhausting and time-consuming on this end too. Which is precisely why I — personally — have closed to queries for the time being. I'm woefully behind on requested material because there's just not enough hours in the day. And yes, I hate it and I feel guilty about it. I'm certainly not laughing about that. But when my already overflowing inbox gets flooded with Query 112, 113, 114, etc…after I've politely replied over and over again, I can either laugh or go crazy.

  27. I think there's an a setting in "e-mail delivery configurations" which will auto-reject e-mail from another planet.

    Perhaps it would be apropo with this querier.


  28. Avatar Jane Smith says:

    Snowbooks (a prizewinning UK independent publisher) has an open rejection letter on its site somewhere, which it asks all rejected writers to read. It's a good idea: explains why they can't personalise their rejections, provides resources for the writers concerned… and it takes up no time at all now it's written. I believe it works well.

  29. Avatar Cookie says:

    @WitLiz Why the heck are you telling people what to say in a comment and not??? I'm sorry, but what gives you the right to be all high and mighty on someone else's blog?

    You have obviously not been around the Internet long enough to recognize a TROLL, which is what at least Query 47-sender and the "self-delusion and arrogance"-sender are. If an agent was to respond to them, they would not hear any sound advice, they would just jump at the chance and revel in the fact that their query had been answered – regardless of what the agent's response was.

    Some people you just can't teach. They will never read any piece of advice but continue on in their delusional state and annoy us. They are best left ignored. And a suggestion for you: Keep your preppy advice to your own blog space.

  30. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Kim–I respect that. I just wonder why so many agents say they're "open to" or "actively seeking" submissions, then they don't give you the time of day.
    For now, I've stopped querying and hope the agents who currently have my ms. will respond in a timely manner–and say yes. LOL But I'm not holding my breath.

    Q: Do you think it's best to wait out this bad economy, say for 4-6 months, before querying again?

  31. Avatar Kristi says:

    Thanks for this post…and the laugh!

    As a new writer most of the advice I read is to "be professional" about your query. I always worry about formatting, etc… when it's time to query a novel…apparently by actually researching I'm already ahead of the curve! LOL!

  32. Why not just move along after the 40th? LOL!

  33. Avatar Jemi Fraser says:


    Query 47? Can we maybe take a hint??

    Thankfully you can laugh – it's kinda crazy 🙂

  34. Yikes! You do live/work a thankless life from time to time, don't you?

    You ever show up in Connecticut, I promise you a cup of Starbucks, query'free.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate
    presenting writers' raves for readers' faves … AT THE BIJOU

  35. Avatar Lisa Lane says:

    Yeah … good luck with that….

  36. Avatar D. Antone says:

    Sometimes it can be pretty depressing to think about the odds of your query getting accepted. Reading something like this makes you feel better about your chances. It also reminds me to make sure I work hard on queries and make them count.

  37. Avatar Nicole says:


    What else is there to say/do?

  38. I think the last one counts as stalking in some states. lol.

  39. Avatar Donna Hole says:

    Yeah, but you needed a good laugh today, right? I know I did.