A lot of people have asked me for advice on how to structure and format a query. For your edification, I provide this example. But don't steal the book idea it describes or I will sue you so hard in the face that your butt will be sore for a week:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I know you agents love money, so I am going to tell you about my fiction-novel, which is a guaranteed bestseller. I've taken the classic, time-tested text of Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations," and I have updated it for modern readers.
Specifically, I've used the find-and-replace feature in Microsoft Word to change every instance of the name "Pip" to "Barack Obama." I've changed every occurrence of the name "Estella" to "America," and, finally, I've changed every instance of the name "Magwitch" to "Affirmative Action," and every instance of the word "cake" to "Constitution."
Additionally, I have written several entirely new chapters, in which Miss Havisham frets about Barack Obama's citizenship, searches for his birth certificate, and voices her concerns that he is a socialist and/or a Muslim. I have also modified the ending so that Miss Havisham dies after being denied health care by Barack Obama's death panel, even though she is supposed to be covered by Medicare.
This publishing thing seems like the best scam ever, and it's totally legal, as long as we pay the taxes, which we won't. All we need to do is get Glenn Beck to write a foreword for this thing, and we're ready to slap it on the shelves and start raking in that sweet, sweet cheddar.
I am a graduate of both the state penal farm and the federal penitentiary, where I obtained my high-school equivalency. I am also a state chairman of the Tea Party Patriots organization and a former Republican candidate for the United States Senate. The manuscript is available on request. If I don't hear from you by tomorrow, I'll go ahead and stop by your office, so we can discuss this in person.
And there you go. That's a near perfect query.