Ms. Reid ... thanks for your astonishingly quick response to my query re my novel "(redacted) "
I was disappointed, of course. But puzzled by your comment, "I1m (sic) sorry it1s (sic) not a match for my list."
Perhaps your entry in the 2008 edition of Novel and Short Story Writer's Market is different from that in the 2007 edition...which clearly stated, "Considers these fiction areas: Action/adventure; detective/police/crime; ethnic; experimental; literary; mainstream/contemporary; mystery/suspense; regional; thriller; young adult."
But if not...and I'm not be nastily critical here, only making a helpful suggestion...perhaps you should edit/update your list.
Also, and this IS a criticism of the publishing industry, it seems to me that literary agents have too much say in what gets published and what doesn't. I read some of the blogs on the site to which you referred me.. .and came away convinced that a literary agent's personal likes and dislikes shouldn't carry so much weight.
After all, literary agents are just people...and prone to make mistakes that people often make. I wonder how many possibly great novels never see the light of day because some literary agent somewhere wasn't impressed enough by a query, for example, to request a manuscript. Or having read one, decided that the world wouldn't be interested or intrigued enough to buy and read a particular novel or whatever.
Or vice versa...pushes a book that many, many readers are manipulated into buying, only to find that the novel is boring at best. Lord knows I've come across enough of them!
I admit, I don't have an answer as to how to improve the process. But I do know that it should be.
Hmmm. I could write a book about that. But then, what literary agent would recommend it to a publisher?
Have a nice day!
This was in response to the query he sent that reads in part:
"We do not accept e-mail enquiries." (2007 Novel & Short Story Writer's
Market) "How to Send Work / By email: / Query letter to: email@example.com"
Length: Estimated 294 printed pages
Author: (name and snail mail address)
Synopsis: Action/adventure; detective/police/crime; mainstream;
But, you'll see...if you 're interested enough to request a manuscript.
I understand that agent websites can be confusing, and that's frustrating. I understand that publishing seems to be run on personal taste. I STRONGLY encourage you to not mention that anywhere near a query letter.
For starters it has nothing to do with your book. For finishers, it sets my teeth on edge to be criticized by someone I don't know for a "mistake" that isn't. Two years ago when that guide was published I didn't take e-queries. I also wasn't with FinePrint (or even Imprint when the Guide was assembled--the listings are sent in in January of 06 for the 07 edition).
Also "not a match for my list" doesn't mean "it's not the right category." It means only that I am not going to ask for more. That's ALL it means. That's all it EVER means when ANY agent says it. It's not code for 'you suck'. It's not code for 'you queried me for something I don't represent.'
This guy could have sent in the next DaVinci Code and I probably would have said no because I really do not want to work with anyone who thinks this is a persuasive query letter.
Don't make the same mistake.
And just for reference here's the text of the form rejection:
Thank you for your query.
I’m sorry it’s not a match for my list.
I need to focus on the things I do best so I have to pass on many worthy projects.
Very best wishes finding just the right place for your work.
FinePrint Literary Management
I have some posts about query pitfalls, and the world of agenting on my blog: jetreidliterary.blogspot.com