Below is an email I received recently and I felt compelled to share it.
This was a response from a query I sent out a couple of weeks ago.
The agent indicated that they were open to women’s fiction, contemporary, commercial….etc. Well, that’s a perfect description of the manuscript I’m currently querying.
Each query takes time. There’s a lot of moving pieces. See HERE for all the ins and outs of the query letter. Just to get it ready to send, I:
- Confirm agent is open to submissions.
- Confirm the Agency is still open (some closed during covid).
- What are they looking for?
- Do they have their wish list posted?
- Is my work a fit?
- What does the rest of the agency look like?
- Is there another agent who is perhaps a better fit?
- Who does this agent represent already?
- What’s their track record?
- Have I read any of the authors?
- Is the agent still active? (some are on the brink of retirement and usually say they’re not taking anymore clients, but some don’t)
- Are they just starting out? An affiliate agent or agent at large? See the article above for my feelings about that.
- Is there anything the agent and I share in common?
- If I decide they’re a good fit, then I’ll check the submission guidelines to see what’s required.
- The query letter gets tweaked for personalization….Read it out loud. Make sure I have the correct name etc.
- Same with all the other documents.
- Some want a 300 word synopsis. Others say 600-1000–Big Difference.
- Others want bios, pitches, tag lines…
- You have to complete the ‘application’ in a professional way.
- After checking it over for any errors, then I’ll send it.
- Log it.
- Move on.
That entire process takes the better part of an hour–at least. So to receive the response that I did below, really pissed me off.
I know this is a knee jerk reaction and one that’s probably more emotional than anything, but it still bugs me.
I found this email to be an insult and terribly unprofessional. I would have preferred they never responded. It’s not the rejection. I can respect that. It’s the delivery and lack of professional respect.
What this letter tells me is that I’ve completely wasted my time in researching that agent and literary agency. Why did I bother? I have no idea who LaToya is… probably an intern. The letter was addressed to properly and professionally to the agent I was querying so for someone to say the project “doesn’t sound right” for his list… Like seriously?
So Why Do We Continue to Query?
This is the question of the century for me.
I actually find the whole process really degrading and I now understand why so many take the route of self publishing.
Are we all waiting to be “THE ONE” out of a million who are vying for the attention of an agent?
Artists have always struck out on their own and writers are doing it more everyday.
The world is definitely changing with technology and such, I’m sure the industry will eventually have to find a way to morph with the wants and needs of the reading public.
I’m now at a point in my life where I’m asking
If not know, then when…
We’ll see. Stay tuned.
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