Hubby went fishing this weekend, so I decided to write a query letter to an agent who takes e-queries. I spent hours composing the perfect letter. I read it so many times I could recite it. I looked at every nuance, every word, searching for perfection. I revised it a few times. I opened with why I was querying said agent, launched into my book, and closed with awards, requests, etc.
Finally, when I was completely and totally convinced I'd written the most wonderful, most fabulous, most amazing query in the history of querying, I hit the send button. And then I was so happy I reread my letter a couple more times, imagining what the agent would think when she received it. How could she not like it? I hit all the right notes, read her guidelines carefully, and tailored my letter specifically. Yay me!
Natually, I went to bed happy and proud that I'd sent out my first agent query. This morning, still awash in happiness, I decided to reread my letter again.
And there it was — a typo. A dropped ‘r' within the first two lines. A ‘you' that should have been a ‘your'. And I felt like Charles I of England — for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the crown was lost, etc. ARGH!!!
Oh yes, I am an idiot. In spite of my diligence, careful composure, and obsessive proof-reading, I have managed to commit the cardinal sin of sending a letter to an agent in which she will think I am careless and inattentive to detail. After about an hour of grumbling, I decided to get over it. What am I going to do? Send her another query in which I explain I had a minor typo so I'm resending? Send a brief note telling her I know I have a typo and I'm sorry?
No, none of the above. I'm going to wait, cringing with embarrassment each time I open my email, and see what happens. If she rejects me, I'll get over it. If she requests more in spite of the glitch, I'll happily comply. The bottom line is, stuff happens. It's embarrassing because it's so stupid. It could have been avoided if I'd begged a friend to read the letter for me. But I didn't because the book pitch portion has been vetted and I was satisfied with it. I was merely composing a letter around the pitch, right?
DUH. I do believe my stylist bleached my brain on Thursday when he did my highlights.
Do you have any embarrassing tales from the submission files? Any glitches that worked out anyway? Do share! Join me in my hall of shame. 🙂
Um, you have friends, you know. A quick email with the subject line “Proof this” would have saved you the grief…
I’d have been happy to look it over for you too, Lynn. 🙂
Everybody’s got fri-eh-ends!! (Bette Midler)
Y’all are completely right, of course. Sometimes, I am too independent for my own good. *sigh*
I’ve done it too! Not for an agent but something that I had agonized over and that was equally important to me. My new rule is to wait at least a day and re-read it before sending, that way I don’t want to bash myself over the head with the keyboard.
Got my fingers crossed that they didn’t even notice.
Hi, Nikki! How is it we can’t see the mistake, hmm? I think your rule is correct, btw. I should have waited, or I should have sent it to friends and waited for a response from them. I won’t make that mistake again.
I sent a query with the agents name (on the envelope but not on the letter) spelled wrong. My brain is mush. I checked everything too.
Whoa, Cyn, that’s embarrassing for sure. Ack! But maybe they didn’t pay attention to the envelope. The letter, however….
I read somewhere that your brain only picks up on the first few letters and the last few letters in a word when deciphering, especially when you’ve been working on something for a long time. The same goes for dropped letters, your brain registers what the word should be according to what you think it is so it doesn’t always pick up on it. Stupid huh?
That makes sense, Nikki! From now on, I get someone to look. 🙂