Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another Predator Stalks the Unpublished

One of readers pointed out this web advert that may be responsible for nearly carbon-copy queries turning up on editors' and agents' desks these days, much to their annoyance. This bit of software (for some unnamed operating system, the advert does not specify) will write your query letters for you. No more worrying about writing a clear, coherent query letter. No, no. Why actually write anything when there is software to do it for you?

Let's have some fun with some of the text from this ad:
At Last! Now There Is A Fast, Easy and Fool-Proof Way To Create a PROFESSIONAL Query Letter That Will Convince Even The Most Critical Editor Or Agent To Request YOUR Complete Manuscript Immediately!
Ummm... is there a reason we Need To Capitalize Every Word? I HOPE Your SOFTWARE Doesn't Write QUERIES Like THIS.
Why spend valuable time crafting the perfect Query Letter?
Maybe because that's what writers who want to get published do?
...out pops a fully customized, highly professional Query Letter that has the ability to put your article in front of MILLIONS of readers!
Yes, but I want it in front of a few, carefully selected editors and agents. The MILLIONS of readers will have to wait until the book is published.
He not only created the program exactly the way I dreamed about, he also TAUGHT me how to duplicate the program and others like it - by myself!
I think that's called "Save to Disk."
Editors despise incomplete, shoddy queries.
They also despise carbon-copy queries and anything that gives them a hint that you've sent this same query to MILLIONS of other readers.
"Instant Query Letters" has a simple Q & A format that never allows you to forget a single important piece of information -- plus adds just a "hint" of hypnotic writing to firmly imprint your Letters into the editor's mind.
I'm sorry, but I can't think of anything funnier to top that.
Editors will LOVE the outstanding professionalism that your Query Letters provides!
Nor that. "Outstanding professionalism," yet with creative capitalization and a grammatical error. I am going to slash that price and give you the most amazing, innovative software product to ever be released in the Writer's Market, for only $137.00? ...I'll go ahead and give you the software right now, for only $37.00.
Bless you, my child, but I know a way I can save even more than that.
Don't ever forget that magazine and book publishers are SWAMPED with queries every single day.
So you're promoting software that will add to the problem. Clever child.

There are a few glowing "testimonies" to the product's efficacy, but there is one thing distinctly missing: how many books or articles did the writers of those "testimonies" and the promoter of this software sell to legitimate publishers (not vanities) using queries written with this product? I want titles, publishers, and dates.

Otherwise, I'm keeping my wallet firmly closed, and I'll stick with the method that has already worked for me many times over: writing my own queries, because writing is what writers do.

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