So tidy, so efficient, so dumb.
I know, you're multi-talented and the muse has you gushing manuscripts faster than you can write letters. Here's the thing about query letters that query more than one thing at a time: I'm going to choose one.
And even more often than that, I'm going to choose none. You're sending the psychological message that none of these manuscripts is worth devoting a whole sheet of paper to.
I'm also puzzled and amused by the check-the-box response forms some people include with their manuscripts.
- I've received this manuscript (included in a submission for which there is only the required SASE; response form itself is not stamped)
- I haven't received this manuscript (think about it)
- I love it! (Why would I use a form for this?)
- I hate it! (I'm never going to tell people this.)
- Try _______________ (name) at _____________ (publisher) (Oh, yeah. I'm ambivalent about you enough to use a form, but I'm going to pass a colleague's name to you. Sure.)
- Signed, Hotshot editor (or I could just sign it)
- Signed, Hotshot editor's assistant (or she could just sign it)
- Signed, Hotshot editor's assistant's intern (or she could just throw it in the trash)