What every aspiring “Paperback Writer” should avoid:
“Dear Sir or Madam”
I guess at least it’s gender equitable.
“Will you read my book?”
I presume that’s why you sent it.
“It took me years to write it…”
Yikes, I can only imagine how long your next one will take. Tough to build your career with years between releases.
“It’s based on a novel…”
Double yikes. Copyright infringement, here we come.
“It’s a thousand pages…”
Oh boy. Probably single-spaced, too.
“I’ll be writing more in a week or two. I can make it longer if you like the style.”
Because a thousand pages is definitely not enough. And clearly you know where you want this to end. True story: A woman pitched me a romantic suspense at a workshop once that had a double romance. I asked how the two couples knew each other and/or how their stories came together in the book. She gave me a completely blank look, then explained that an editor had previously told her the book was too short, so she had to add this extra couple in to fill the word-count requirement.
“If you really like it you can have the rights.”
Really? I can have them? That’s the easiest negotiation ever.
“It could make a million for you overnight.”
Of course. Sign me up. I’m sure you know it would make an amazing movie, too.
“If you must return it, you can send it here…”
Only if you’ve enclosed a SASE. Though at this point I can’t imagine why I would possibly want to return it.