From best-selling novelists to people who once penned their phone number on a cocktail napkin--
All ready to advise you on how to pitch your beloved novel.
Yet very few of them will tell you what you shouldn't do.
And that's why here at Of Cabbages and Kings, we have pulled together a helpful list of phrases that you should never, ever use to promote your novel. Unless you want to give publisher-type people something to snigger at around the watercooler. Which they might appreciate, if only from a place of schadenfreude and ironic sadness.
What Not to Say in Your Pitch Session or Query Letter:
- "I have sent my 1,064 page manuscript to your offices posted C.O.D. because I am that sure the moment you read it, you will want to sign it."
- "This darkly romantic Gothic saga is in the tradition of Stephanie Meyers and Anne Rice, if Edward or Lestat were giant talking squids."
- "My novel is so hilariously funny, I laughed so hard that I cried. Then I wet myself. Then I paused long enough to change my trousers, and start the cycle over again. You've never read anything so uproarious as Mr. Wiggins' Fiscal Analysis of the 90s Recession."
- "Contains a cast of characters bigger than Tolstoy's and Dostoyevsky's works combined!"
- "I'm giving you the unique opportunity to be the first to read my manuscript, even before I have. That's how much I value your opinion."
- "I'm the ideal person to write Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer because of my remarkable experience in the field. I have watched Silence of the Lambs 147 times and..."
- "Deer Ageint..."
- "So, in closing, my non-fiction self-help book, Procrastination: How-To Stop Putting It Off isn't yet complete, but I expect it to be ready sometime in 2012. Or at the latest 2013."
- "I know I sent you this manuscript twice before, but I really think if you would just spend some quality time with it... say, take it to dinner, share a few bottles of wine... cuddle up with it before bedtime... you would see..."
- "I know you receive so much mail daily, so to save on paper, I have decided to communicate my manuscript to you via telepathy... coming... NOW."
So there's the complete list, folks! Simply scan each query you send for these ten key pitfall phrases, and soon you will be on your way to receiving rejection letters based on more fulfilling reasons--
Like your plot sucks, you didn't happen to go to school with the editor's brother, you never were on a reality television show, or you just mailed your power of positive thinking guide to a publisher specializing in nihilist literature.
And PS- Do you folks have any "Don'ts" to add here? Leave a comment and share them! I promise there will be no rejections... unless you spam.