Friday, April 29, 2011

Adventures in Querying

I realize this makes me look like an idiot, what with my last post and all, but it's just another one of those things that's bound to happen once and a while.

I now know why rocket scientists are prone to screwing up. When a rocket goes into space and something goes wrong, people always wonder how that's possible. After all, with all those smart people working at NASA, how can you screw up something like forget to put on the last heat-resisting panel?

It's all about attention to detail. I know, that sounds a little backwards, but it's true. See, you're focusing so much on everything else - getting the agent's address right, spelling their name correctly, making sure your query letter is formatted right, and in my case, making sure that the envelopes are right-side up this time - that other things you normally don't screw up on get neglected. And then you screw up on them. That scientist at NASA was working so hard on the other 99 panels, he forgot the last one. It happens.

So what did I do this time? I forgot to put a stamp on my SASE, thus effectively making it a SAE. There I was, making sure my margins were correct on my manuscript sample, ensuring things were spelled right, numbers were correct, I had the right number of pages, I signed my query letter at the bottom, etc. etc. then I shoved it all in the envelope, made sure the SASE (or at the time, SAE) fit well, licked the adhesive, and carefully folded it over and firmly pressed down. I flipped it over and looked up one last time at the submissions guidelines.

The word "postage" caught my eye and in that brief moment, the image of my SASE flashed in my mind - minus postage. After a giant mental "O M G, W T F," I oh-so-carefully opened the letter again, snuck a stamp onto my SASE, and quickly licked and re-sealed the envelope. Luckily it worked out well and I didn't ruin the first envelope too much with tearing or lack of stickiness the second time around. I really, really didn't want to be stuck using tape (the envelope was already stamped, so I didn't want to ditch it, but tape just looks....bad). I hoped it would stay stuck until the morning.

The story ends happily ever after (at least, for all I know), because I sent out the letter today and it was still holding together. I just hope it can make it all the way to New York without getting trashed.

Why can I not get my snail mail query letters right??

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