Mar 16, 2009

Query for Love.com

Dear Agent:


Marsha Underwood is one of those people who actually can sell iceboxes to Eskimos. So it’s logical that she is recruited as Director of Marketing for the San Francisco based Internet dating service startup, LOVE.COM. The startup’s founder, Paul Latimer, has loved Marsha for her strength and beauty for more than ten years since their college days, but Marsha doesn’t consider Paul to be marriage material. Paul is desperate to win the approval of his own powerful but remote father as well as Marsha’s affection. Love.com becomes the vehicle for both of his desires. Paul also recruits Marsha’s father, the noted relationship expert Dr. John Underwood to develop matching protocols. The company becomes an overnight sensation after adopting Marsha’s novel pricing strategy: allow subscribers unlimited use of the site for free, and charge them only after a successful match is made. But such a pricing strategy proves an irresistible temptation for Paul to tinker with Mother Nature. Of course, he can’t let Marsha or her father in on the plot. They wouldn’t understand. They have morals.

A slick advertising campaign and the Company’s controversial ‘Soulmate Strategy’ isn’t enough to account for the Company’s success. Soon, subscribers begin marrying in numbers far greater than anyone can fathom. When Marsha and her father question why, danger and death are right behind. With Love.com now a worldwide phenomenon, Marsha is afraid for her life from the man who purports to love her. Will Marsha save her own life, discover the secrets of Love.com and perhaps even find her own soulmate?

LOVE.COM is a romantic suspense complete at 99,000 words. It will be of particular interest to the millions of women and men who have dabbled with Internet dating (we all know at least one). It is the first work I have submitted for representation. I was previously Vice President of Marketing for an information technology consulting firm, which not only is relevant to the story, I also have an excellent marketing plan for the project. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


Author

3 comments:

Heather said...

I've trimmed it down and started to insert comments in bold, but then lost track. ahahaha. So, I put more comments at the end:


Marsha Underwood could sell iceboxes to Eskimos. So it’s no surprise when she is recruited as Director of Marketing for the San Francisco based Internet dating service startup, LOVE.COM.

The startup’s founder, Paul Latimer, has loved Marsha since their college days, but Marsha doesn’t consider Paul to be marriage material. Desperate to win the approval of his own powerful but remote father, as well as Marsha’s affection, Paul decides to use Love.com as a vehicle to achieve both.

The company becomes an overnight sensation, but a slick advertising campaign and Marsha's strategy isn’t enough to account for the Company’s success. Soon, subscribers begin marrying in numbers far greater than anyone can fathom. When Marsha starts to question why, danger and death are right behind, and Marsha is afraid for her life from the man who purports to love her. Will Marsha save her own life, discover the secrets of Love.com and perhaps even find her own soul mate?

LOVE.COM is a romantic suspense complete at 99,000 words.

My experience as Vice President of Marketing for an information technology consulting firm was vital to the writing of the book.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First, it's a really interesting premise! But I think you tried to incorporate too many details into the blurb. I also didn't get a sense of the main character's voice in this. Who is she?

As to your bio info, it's best to keep it as short and as simple as possible. Also, during #queryfail, I think a couple of agents mentioned that they don't need to know about your great plans to market the book before they even read it. So you'll want to revisit that.

pulp said...

I tried to figure out why this doesn't really click. The plot is original (as far as I know), interesting, and complex, but the query is emotionally flabby.

As Heather commented, we don't get a feel for the main character. (And Heather trimmed the query nicely! Some of those details were baffling, and therefore irritating).

Also, the unanswered questions weaken it: How is Paul tinkering with Mother Nature? Why are danger and death the results of Marsha's investigation? What makes her suspect Paul? There's too much detail about some things and other things are too sketchy.

I like the opening, but its humorous tone doesn't persist throughout the query. More confusion.

Rick Daley said...

I think this is a neat concept, and it shows a cynical voice that catches my attention.

Think about changing this:
"Paul Latimer, has loved Marsha for her strength and beauty for more than ten years since their college days, but Marsha doesn’t consider Paul to be marriage material."

To this (takes away passive voice and the rhetoric flows better):
"Paul Latimer's love for her strength and beauty began in their college days, but after ten years Marsha doesn’t consider Paul to be marriage material."

The first paragraph is long. I'm not sure if you want to end with a rhetorical question, it may be best to reveal the climax / ending in the query. I'd love to hear other people's feedback on this, actually...