I want you to pretend that you are a literary agent as you are reading the horrible query letter below. Would you ask the author to send you the full book proposal? Of course not! The letter is unfocused, overwritten, confusing and badly written. The proposal would simply give you a full blown migraine.
I'm going to analyze this letter, paragraph-by-paragraph, in an attempt to discover what the book is about. I will also try to fix the letter but I'm not sure that is possible.
Paragraph One: I'm writing to you about my book, She Wept, which is a nonfictional story about passion, Love, trust, relationships and self-discovery.
DELETE I'M WRITING TO YOU ABOUT MY BOOK. WHAT IS THE POINT? THE LITERARY AGENT KNOWS THAT.
DELETE NONFICTIONAL STORY.
PASSION, LOVE, TRUST, RELATIONSHIPS AND SELF-DISCOVERY......SOUNDS LIKE A NOVEL. NOW I"M CONFUSED.
Paragraph Two: Fall in love with this life-changing story about a beautiful and gifted young woman who overcomes herself and the choices she makes because of the Amazing Grace of Heaven. Find out how this popular, intellectually bright and professionally astute sorority girl who seemingly had it all manages to fumble her way through young adulthood, yet miraculously regroups, tackles issues and transforms before self-destructing.
WHAT? IS THIS A MEMOIR? IF IT IS, WHY NOT SAY SO IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Paragraph Three: Meet the book's ingenue, and be inspired. A God-fearing person all her life, the protagonist believes that it is more blessed to give than to receive, yet she somehow forgets that she, too, is part of that equation, and responsible for staying true to herself holistically.
INGENUE? THIS ISN'T THE THEATER! I THINK THAT THE AUTHOR MEANS PROTAGONIST. AS FOR THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH, I SIMPLY DON'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO DECIPHER IT.
Paragraph Four: But what happens when she forsakes her responsibilities to herself and instead makes it her priority to attend to the well-being of fragile confidants in her life? She eventually finds herself in perilous situations strange circumstances. Without immediate answers to how she arrived at her current state, she seeks clues from within, only to discover that she doesn't recognize the person she has become or the type of people she has allowed into her heart. Alarming!
NOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A NOVEL BUT THE AUTHOR SAID THAT THE WORK WAS NON-FICTION.
Paragraph Five: With limited, relevant popular culture resources and messages of inspiration available to adolescent girls and young ladies "She Wept" fills an urgent need and seeks to be one source of encouragement to which young women can refer to if faced with situations pertaining to the intersection of self-love, Christianity, personal goals (educational, career, health, financial) and relationships (romantic, social).
NOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A SELF-HELF BOOK AND NOT A NOVEL OR A MEMOIR. CONFUSING. IF IT IS A SELF-HELP BOOK, IT IS TRYING TO DO TOO MANY THINGS WHICH IS A DEFINITE REASON NOT TO ASK FOR THE PROPOSAL.