So, a few years ago I moved to a new town. Sometime in the first week or so that I was there I found a nice little bookstore/coffee house with good lighting and relatively cheap drinks where I could sit for hours working on my stories.
Eventually I met the owner, a nice guy. We got to talking and I found out that he also ran a small press. I told him that I was a writer and had submitted a lot of books to small presses over the years, but I never had much luck with it. I told him my theory that there was very little carry over between the skills associated with writing a book, and the skills associated with writing query letters and synopses and everything associated with getting a book published.
From there we got onto the subject of bad query letters.
One of the ones that came to mind for him actually hadn’t started out that bad. The story seemed like it could be interesting, but after the first paragraph or so it had kind of meandered off point and the writer had kind of started complaining about his life and how hard it was to get any response from anybody.
The letter sounded vaguely familiar.
Several years later, while visiting home, I was digging through some of my old files and low and behold, I came across an old submission letter I’d written to a small press in that particular town… that’s right, I wrote a letter so bad that years later and hundreds of miles away, I got to hear somebody complaining about it.