QueryTracker Community

Queries and Agents => World's Worst Query Letters => Topic started by: NextChapter on February 23, 2018, 05:32:26 PM



Title: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: NextChapter on February 23, 2018, 05:32:26 PM
Don't you just hate it when you copy and paste from your last query, which was the most perfect query ever, and as you hit send, you realize you forgot to change the name of the agent, or the reference to books the last agent represented, or "the first chapter is attached as . . ." when you have actually included the first five pages in the email. And you just know the query is going nowhere. Ugh!


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: blackhat on February 24, 2018, 10:19:19 AM
Oh yes! Been there and done that. You just feel a hole open up in your gut and you sit frozen looking at the computer screen, wondering how you can recover. I hate it when I've researched a couple of agents and worked hard to nail down their preferences and tailored the query for each of them and then check and double check and finally hit send just as my eye sees something - like the wrong name, wrong agency, a flagrant misspelling, something blatantly stupid. Yes. Sadly, yes, I know the feeling.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: gckatz on February 24, 2018, 04:17:18 PM
There's a lesson here: Never use a copypasta query with an agent's information in it. Nor a query with placeholders like "Dear Agent X:"

Make a blank template query with no personal information at all and copy that. That way, worst case, you might leave off the salutation, but at least you won't include anything obviously intended for a different agent.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: 007 fan on February 24, 2018, 07:20:40 PM
This is why I have a 'before you hit send' checklist. My list is a page long and includes making sure I'm pasting my query in as plain text, checking genre since some queries might have the addition of 'commercial' or 'upmarket' paired with a more descriptive genre. I'm so "whatever" that also on my list is to make sure I've added a Ms. or Mr. and that a period is at the end of those and a comma after the agent's name because I know someone who sent out a query lacking those things (the period and comma).

I just added 'are you sending from the right email account?' because in a recent batch I sent out, one was sent from a joke email account I have, that having a funny name that is a play on words that I use for my twitter account.  ;D

Anyway, sorry you went through that 'ack!' feeling. The first time I queried, I'd sent one out with the wrong name on it. Haven't forgotten that feeling, one very similar to realizing I'd sent one out from the wrong account.

And hey, gckatz, is copypasta an autocorrect gem that is quite awesome or is that a slang phrase I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing yet? ;D


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: gckatz on February 24, 2018, 08:29:01 PM
I've always heard "copypasta" to mean "something which is copied and pasted."

If it's any consolation, mucking up a query is not necessarily an insta-reject. As I think I've mentioned before, I sent my agent a query that ended in the middle of a sentence and she made an offer anyway.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: Munley on February 24, 2018, 11:51:43 PM
I have my query saved without any references to particular agents.
After writing to Agent ZYX, I copy and paste the query into the QT option for saving a copy of the query of the letter to that agent.

If I included ms. pages that stop at some odd number (not the usual 5 or 10 pages) specified by the agent, I include the first and last sentence of the whole writing sample in that QT paste-in of my query letter. (The last sentence is typically one that has the protagonist facing some choice, rather than literally ending at the bottom of page 15 or or 30 or whatever the agent asked for.)

I do paste in the query and sample pages from my Word Document with a bcc to my regular email to check over. When I close the Word docx file, I decline to save it so that none of the particulars about a certain agent remain in the document.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: slightlysmall on February 25, 2018, 03:28:43 PM
I've always heard "copypasta" to mean "something which is copied and pasted."

If it's any consolation, mucking up a query is not necessarily an insta-reject. As I think I've mentioned before, I sent my agent a query that ended in the middle of a sentence and she made an offer anyway.

007, yep, this is a term I've heard, although only in the last year or so, and really only from my husband. I think it's genius, wherever it started from, but I never get to use it. A little mad (totally not mad) GC beat me to one of the few instances where it makes perfect sense.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: horrorchix89 on April 14, 2018, 03:08:22 AM
There's a setting in gmail that allows you to set a certain amount of time to UNDO a sent email so long as you don't change screens or close the tab. I have mine set to 30 seconds and it saved my butt once or twice.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: Waterfall on April 14, 2018, 11:07:20 AM
Turns out that you can accidentally send a message in Gmail by hitting command-return, which I've done a couple of times. It's embarrassing to send an incomplete e-mail, cut off in mid-sentence, even more embarrassing when you're trying to introduce yourself and your work.


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: NextChapter on April 14, 2018, 02:10:37 PM
Turns out that you can accidentally send a message in Gmail by hitting command-return, which I've done a couple of times. It's embarrassing to send an incomplete e-mail, cut off in mid-sentence, even more embarrassing when you're trying to introduce yourself and your work.

Oh, no! :eek:


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: Vortigern on May 11, 2018, 06:57:29 PM
Ugh! So been there and nearly done all of this.
Feeling your pain NextChapter. :no:


Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: julie288 on May 17, 2018, 02:00:54 PM
It's an awful feeling!

I actually just came to post my own blunder and saw this post!
My pet bird landed on my keyboard and hit send on a query before I got a chance to attach the synopsis.
Yes, you read that right...it wasn't me, it was my BIRD LOL! :eek:

I'm too old for the dog ate my homework excuses but I guess truth really is stranger than fiction!

I can't do anything about it now but laugh!



Title: Re: unsend . . . unsend!!!
Post by: OkwuNanya01 on June 04, 2018, 10:29:07 PM
OMG! That sounds terrible! Has an agent ever answered? If they did what they say and what did you do?