Sentences not to begin with:
“I am not an author and have no skill to become one.”
And – no – I’m not making this one up. This was really in the last batch that arrived from the NY office. (I work mostly from home right now and they ship them up once a week en masse. Of course, we missed a week during the holidays, so the last box, which arrived Wednesday, weighed in at 25 pounds. Yep, 25 *pounds* of mail – quite intimidating, though not quite all of it was queries.)
Addendum: It occurs to me that it might be interesting (at least to me) to track how many queries I get each week. I’ve never really done it in exact terms. Just sort of generally. So, the 25 pound box – first box of the year – had 65 query packages in it, 40 of which were the traditional letter with SASE; 25 of which were those people who either have been unable to secure guidelines or unwilling to follow them and include unsolicited sample chapters or whole manuscripts. I requested one partial out of the batch.