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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Paperback Writer

I'll be querying HATSHEPSUT: FEMALE PHARAOH in February and I've got a darn good pitch. Several of you made suggestions last time when I posted the query here and the letter is finally done. The only thing that would make it more sparkly would be glitter and I'm pretty sure Nathan, Kristin, and Janet wouldn't appreciate glitter.

For those of you querying, getting ready to query, or perfecting that all-important letter, I have found a fabulous query we could all seek to emulate.

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer.

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer.

John, Paul, George, & Ringo

Okay, so I've heard the song a gazillion times, but I've never paid attention to the lyrics. Who knew the Beatles could write such a lame (albeit funny) query letter? Here's for those of you who want to jam to the song.

And if you haven't already, go write your query. It can't be worse than what the Beatles wrote, right? :)


Gary Corby said...

OMG poor Paul! You can see him suffering through that gig with the microphone.

About a year ago I sent the lyrics of Paperback Writer in to Query Shark as a joke, to see what Janet would say about them. She ignored it (very wise).

This was the first song written by McCartney which was not a love song. Even McCartney's own Aunt got sick of nothing but love songs and asked for something different. This was the (excellent) result. For someone who'd never written a query I thought it was a reasonable try. The querier does do a lot of begging, which is obviously wrong, but hey, it's a first draft.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've heard it often too, but never made the connection! That's awesome!

I think your letter is bright enough to attract an agent!

Julie said...

I've never paid much attention to the lyrics either. I just sing the chorus and tune out the rest. Its pretty cool!

Thanks Stephanie, this made me smile :)

Matthew Delman said...

Once again, this proves my theory that many things can be related back to Beatles lyrics.

Working hard but staying up to spend time with your loved ones? -- "Hard Day's Night"

Taking care of your significant other when they can't take of themselves anymore? -- "When I'm Sixty-Four."

And on and on. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Gary- Janet is a wise woman. I didn't realize this was Paul's first non-love song. I like it!

Jemi- Thanks! I hadn't made the connection either. I tend to zone out verses and just pay attention to the chorus of most songs. But then, I mostly listen to music in languages I don't understand. :)

Julie- It make me smile too. My husband is actually the one who pointed it out to me this weekend.

Matt- The Beatles were pretty smart. I'd never made those other connections though. :)

Susan R. Mills said...

Ha! I never made that connection. How funny.

Valerie Geary said...


Amalia T. said...


Bane of Anubis said...

See, I wouldn't recognize that song ever b/c I'm one of the few out there who does not like The Beatles.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Good one Stephanie! I like the song but I've never really listened to the lyrics. Nice!

Julie Dao said...

Congrats, Stephanie! Can't wait to hear how the querying goes and I wish you all the luck in the world ... send lots and lots of good vibes your way. That's an awesome song with equally awesome lyrics. Thanks for sharing!

Tamika: said...

That was pretty terrible! I hope I can do better than that when the time comes.

KatieGrrr said...

Lol, your so random.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

hahahahaha! The Beatles had a great sense of humor.
I have no doubt that you will submit a query of awesomeness.

V. S said...

Oh, you have got to love The Beatles! I wish you luck on your querying! I am sure they will love your story!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

How could I have missed that?? The only thing missing are the squirrels! Ha ha!

Lorel Clayton said...

Good luck with your query! You are way cooler than the Beatles :)

Katie Ganshert said...

HA! I don't even think I've ever heard of that song. Crazy lyrics! Best wishes on the querying!