Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Friday, January 02, 2009

So, How can I drive you crazy today?

I've spent quite a lot of time ranting and raving about things that make me crazy in query letters.

Let's start 2009 off right with a little list of the things agents do that drive you nutso. These are responses to a question I asked on Twitter a while back:

1. Agents who do not respond to queries. As in, silence equals "no." This is especially annoying when there's another agent at the same agency whom you want to query next, and there's no way to be completely sure how much "black hole of silence" time needs to pass before it's kosher to query the next agent. (every single person who answered me mentioned this one)

Agents who don't answer equeries they aren't interested in should have an auto responder so that we writers know our query was actually received and not lost into cyber-ether.

Agents who say they do respond to all queries (even equeries) never respond. When their web page says that they respond and they don't I feel snubbed. When they say they don't respond unless interested I assume rejection. You'd think that it would be in the best interest of the agent to respond in some way, even if it is an auto response, to prevent writers from requerying them over and over, assuming their mails were getting lost.

2. Agents who do not respond to status checks on requested material. I don't mean neurotic emails sent only three days after the partial was mailed off. I mean waiting a decent interval, politely status querying, and receiving nothing.

3. Agents who do not respond to requested material. Ever. As if they'd never asked and you'd never sent.

4. Agents who use form rejections for requested fulls. You've come this far and can't plug in the author's first name, at the very least? Rejection's part of the game, but this is beyond the bounds of decency. Especially if the full was hard copy. I've paid for you to read it -- can you at least call me by name when you tell me "no thanks?"

5. Agents who do not accept e-queries. I'm sorry, it's time to move into the millennium.

6. Agents who request some sort of release form (usually electronic) before they'll read your submission. To someone well-seasoned, this isn't a big deal. To a newbie who's already nervous, this is a stumbling block. And a bit stupid.

So, what else should be on the list?

Fill up the comment column.


Adam Heine said...

I can't think of anything to add to the list, but I wanted to say "Amen" to #1 and #5.

The query/rejection rounds are nearly done on my first novel (results: not good), and I'm thinking about what I'll do differently on my second in a few months. Mostly, I'm thinking of only querying by e-mail, meaning agents who don't accept e-mails will either not be queried or, at the very least, be queried last.

That sounds a little arrogant, coming from an unpublished author, but I also live in Thailand, and it's expensive to print & mail 30 query packages overseas.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Amen to the entire list.

But don't forget the very reputable woman who offered representation and then vanished into thin air. That was a bitter pill to swallow, on many fronts.

Gary Corby said...

Intentional failure to respond to queries is so irritating I think it should be made a reporting category on Preditors & Editors.

It is genuinely in the interests of most new writers to try these agents last.

An interesting cultural difference I noticed when querying: British agents are invariably excellent about replying with friendly and polite notes, but they are barely aware of the existence of electricity and can be very slow. US agents are hip to the latest gadgets, have internet surgically implanted, and although polite and businesslike when they do reply, are the only ones with a non-reply policy.

If we could breed the two groups together, we might produce the perfect literary agent.

December/Stacia said...

Not replying to queries never bothered me that much, but not responding to requested material is HORRIBLE. You asked for it; the least you can do is send a quick note to say "Thanks but no thanks", really.

Can't think of anything else, though.

Steve Stubbs said...

Agent responses that bug me? How about these:

(1) Agents who say no, instead of “Yes, Yes, FOR GOD’S SAKE YES!”

(2) Agents who say: “I’m sorry, but no eight figure advance this year. Your advance will be in the high seven figures. And I have already called the IRS so you don’t have to.

(3) Agents who say: “I’m sorry, Mr. Grisham, but I just can’t stand to read another chase story about lawyers in the Deep South.” (Well, OK, that would only bug me if my name were Grisham, which it is not.)

(4) Agents who claim to be with the biggest, baddest, richest superagency in the 212 and yet they call and ask: “Buddy, can you spare a dime?”

(5) Agents who are so out of date they talk about Bennett Cerf as if he were still alive.

(6) Agents who say they can’t sell your book but they will take a shot at selling your house if you take a big enough discount.

Oh, and if there are any agents out there reading this who are thinking about offering me a high seven figure advance, ignore all the above. It's just a joke. I love ya, baby.

BJ said...

I sent a requested partial to a young agent once, and waited. And waited. Then I e-mailed to see ig he'd got it. No, he hadn't. Fair enough. I re-sent* it, e-mailing soon after to make sure he'd received it this time. Yup, yup, he had.

That was the last I'd heard from him, even after a nice status request. Now he's not an agent anymore, and I still haven't heard bupkiss about it. I've given up on him, now.

* Ever notice that 're-sent' is 'resent' with a hyphen?

Amy Nathan said...

Wow, that's a pretty comprehensive list.

My skin got thicker just reading.

Karen said...

Agents who don't have an agency webpage. Or an agent who has a webpage, but refuses to list books she represents. Or reads. Or once liked when she was a kid.

If an agent doesn't want us to know what she likes, she shouldn't be surprised when we send her stuff she hates.

Etiquette Bitch said...

Amen to #5!

I'm not so bothered by form rejections anymore, or no rejection, but I agree w/ #1 -- I'd like to at least know my query was received, so I won't pester you again (anytime soon, anyway!). :)

Thanks, Ms. Reid. I LOVE your blog!


dark_opus said...

I'll paraphrase one that I've read but never personally experienced: agents who don't conduct themselves professionally in public forums. Examples include posting query letters or correspondence with bad intent in mind, like to disparage the sender.

Of course, this should apply to everyone, right? Agents, Editors, Publishers, & Writers.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Right up there at the top:

I queried an agent early on with Pixie Warrior. You prolly all know this agent and may read her blog. She used my email in her blog in a rude way. She misquoted from it. She said it said things it did not say. When I apologized for impressingher the way I had and pointed out that she had misread my email, she wrote a brief and rude reply ... and she never amended her blog. For two weeks I was a villain against whom all her regular readers railed.

I felt hurt. Then I was angry. Know what? I'm still angry.

I'm an excellent writer. (Read my novel; read the history book that's coming out; read any of my history articles. Heck, just READ PIXIE WARRIOR ... Okay, plug is over.) I may never be a famous author, but I'm a good writer. Even if I were to become famous, I'd never seek out this agent or the well-known agency she's with. Agents who mistreat new writers aren't worth your attention, no matter what their reputation may be.

You see an agent do this on their blog, why would you want to do business with them? A professional person who abuses clients or potential clients is no better than a ranting street person who berates passers-by. And they are as distasteful.

As I said to someone in a chat room once a long time ago: "I'm prettier than you; I'm smarter than you; and I'm a heck of a lot meaner than you. So just watch it, Buster."

Seems to me I also called that person a retromingious troglodyte of doubtful mitochondrial heritage.

Agents remember rude writers? Writers remember rude agents. Period. The same gossip chain that spreads through the publishing community runs through the writing community too.

Just behave.

Maria said...

Agents with different guidelines online, in print and then even different ones during a doesn't matter to me what the guidelines are, so long as they are consistent and the agent responds in some form.

Agents that go to conferences that do not want to be queried or see material that are just there to "teach."

Linda Adams said...

Agents who send back your query letter with "Not interested" written on it. I know everyone is getting tons of query letters and is overloaded, but handwriting a two-word response on the query letter just doesn't look very professional to me.

Margaret Yang said...

What Maria said! If an agent is at a writer's conference, she should be expected to take pitches and be actively looking for new clients. Otherwise, don't go.

I went to a conference where all the agents were super duper except one. She was angry when anyone tried to pitch her, and told the entire crowd that she was just there to meet editors and hang out with other agents.

Word spread. Fast. She's never been invited back.

Aimless Writer said...

A very wise (published) writer once told me to send the query or full out, forget it and then keep writing. So I usually don't wait around for agents. If they answer they answer. If not, I move on hoping for the one that will. I had one rejection come back over a year after I sent out the query. I really had forgotten about them.
I picture your desk, email box, book shelves and briefcase crammed with queries and requested manuscripts so I'd hate to bother you. Instead I trust you'll get to mine sooner or later.
My only suggestion is if it is a rejection - make it a nice one.
Today its mostly email but back when- I had one that was only a sliver of paper with one sentence. I crossed them off my fav list.

AmyB said...

#1, #2, and #3 have all happened to me, and they drive me batty.

On the other hand, agents who respond promptly and politely, even when the response is no, gain my respect. In querying my first novel, I'm learning a lot about which people I'd enjoy working with and which people I wouldn't. And you can bet I'll remember all that if I'm ever in a situation where I have to choose between multiple offers.

emeraldcite said...

That's a great list.

I agree with #1 wholeheartedly. Both agents and writers expect each other to act professionally.

I usually strike agents who don't respond unless interested from my list for queries. It's not worth it, really.

The question is: do I really want to work with someone with that kind of attitude? I don't want to feel like it's a privileged to be sending them my work. Instead, I want it to be a business partnership. If an agent can't bother to send me a quick form rejection to my query, that's probably not a good sign of the business relationship to come.

Hope this list circulates the web. :)

DebV said...

How about an agent who holds onto your manuscript, which she professes to love, for more than a year without submitting it? And then stops returning your emails/calls after promising she'd finally submit it within a couple of days?

True story.

Anita said...


I have followed all of your advice. I learned everything I could about agents who interested me, and I queried a few agents. In their responses, they have all been professional and downright NICE.

I haven't queried any agents who did not have a website. It would bug me, if an agency didn't have one. And I only queried agents who accepted email queries.

I would be upset if an agent requested my full and responded with a form rejection, but that hasn't happened to me, yet.

I love it when an agent has a blog on which they regularly post, especially if there are photos of the agent and/or their workspace on their blog. I am nosy. I can't help it.

Julie Weathers said...

I posted this earlier and I guess it got eaten.

Agents who use my SASE to return pamphlets about their books, workshops or whatever. Don't send me ads about your novels. Ever.

I have enough junk mail, I don't need yours.

Agents who have a professional blog and then post endlessly about their pet cat, dog, fish or cockroach etc. When they do finally get around to posting something about the business it is to tell everyone how miserable the business is and how no one is selling anything and if the readers don't like it they can take a hike.

Agents who don't keep their sites current. I don't want to waste your time any more than you want me to waste it. If you no longer represent xyz, then say so on your site so I won't send you my xyz query.

A kind word, even if it's followed by no, will be remembered forever. Rude words will be remembered and shared forever.

December/Stacia said...

I'll paraphrase one that I've read but never personally experienced: agents who don't conduct themselves professionally in public forums. Examples include posting query letters or correspondence with bad intent in mind, like to disparage the sender.

Of course, this should apply to everyone, right? Agents, Editors, Publishers, & Writers.

And agents' slush readers. It certainly should apply to them as well.

We all know the business of publishing can be very complex and rather opaque, and that can foster a "We're the in-crowd and you're all peons" kind of feeling. And it's human nature to feel that way sometimes. But to publicly demonstrate that you feel that way? To expose people to ridicule and then speak about them as though they're less than human and thus should not be "allowed" to write stories/have dreams/use the internet? Shameful. There's a difference between humorously rolling your eyes or using someone as an example, and simply being nasty, cruel, snobbish and inhumane. (I believe the difference is in attitude.)

I can't agree about agencies that don't have websites though. My agent doesn't have a site, and the agency itself doesn't either; but they still manage to chug along just fine repping Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, and Augusten Burroughs (and John Elder Robison), among others. A good website is great, but in the long run it's results and reputation that count.

Karen Duvall said...

This isn't an irritant, just a wish: I wish all agents reported their deals to Publishers Market. But they don't, and they certainly don't have to, though it sure would be nice if they did.

That is all. 8^)

Sarah Jensen said...

Amen to Karen and Julie W.
And Steve Stubbs-- :)
I try to do what Aimless Writer wrote. Send them and not stress.
A gripe I have is agents who want to know if you are querying another agent. I've said yes, and within minutes had my rejection. Do they NOT think we will query more than one at a time? That we wait for weeks on end to query each agent individually?
I don't have time to send out one a month, in hopes that said agent will respond.
I do agree with the list, and the comments here.

RoseNoel01 said...

This builds on #3, but agents who request fulls and then never read them. I've been waiting seven months for an agent to get back to me on a full. When I write to "check in," I'm told they're uber-busy and that they understand that the exclusive has run out.

What is that?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...


Herewith submitted for your perusal: Agents Behaving Badly, A Reality TV Show based on the publishing industry.

Six agents live in one house. The one with the most obnoxious behavior after six weeks wins. Bad hehaviors include, insulting other agents, insulting writers, behaving badly on a blog, web page, or at a convention, sending me a rejection slips, emailing a rejection when you included an SASE (Stealing stamps), advertising their own books, eating with the wrong fork, being disrespectful of black olives. (Insulting editors only gets a half point.)


William E. Goat, III

Just_Me said...

Ditto the gripe about not responding unless they're interested. How long does it take to copy and paste a form rejection?

And the agents who don't list what they like, or list everything but when you look at what they represent you see they don't represent a genre at all. They may read it, but they've never sold it.

I know writers are at the bottom end of the totem pole in publishing. We write, and everyone else makes the decisions for us from what name we'll be published under to what the cover will look like to if we'll even get a chance to be read. But there's no reason for agents to be rude. This is business. We work together. And I don't want to waste my time on an agent who constantly makes me feel like a peon.

Merc said...

I gotta agree no response (i.e. only responds if interested) is highly annoying. You wonder, did the email/letter even make it through?

Auto-responses saying 'hey, got your query' would be lovely, too. At least if you're not going to reply, set it up so we know if the email went through or not. ;)


Serenissima said...

This list is great. Unfortunately, I've experienced too many of its items.

My rebuttal is to slog away on my next manuscript. When it's complete, the agents who never responded, or worse--asked for fulls and never responded, or worst--the agent who offered representation and then said he was "off the project" a week later, won't be on my query list.

I know my decision means diddly to them, but makes me feel like I have some teeny crumb of power. I don't want to work with people who save courteous behavior for those they view as higher on the food chain.

annerallen said...

Great list. And I second the suggestions by Margaret Yang and Julie Weathers:

7) agents who go to conferences but don't want new clients, and

8) agents (or any professionals) who gum up professional blogs with boring personal blather and pointless cute pet/kid stuff.

We are only interested in your pet if it has had a personal relationship with Killer Yap.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Adopt an Author...

I think if an agency finds an author they think has promise they should adopt them. This way an agency could have a "minor league" team, or junior varsity if you will.

In exchange for editorial guidence and all around literary nuturance the author agrees by contract that any and all work done while on that agency's "junior varsity squad" belongs to said agency and said agency holds all rights including copyright. (in case author up and leaves in mid-stream).

The agency agrees to get the author published... or die tryin!" (in case agency up and leaves in mid-stream).

LOL... Oh yeah, Haste yee, that'll go over like a feather brick!

Haste yee back ;-)

Julie Weathers said...

"8) agents (or any professionals) who gum up professional blogs with boring personal blather and pointless cute pet/kid stuff."

I don't mind the personal stuff and, frankly, I enjoy most of it. It gives me a sense of who they are as a person. It also lets me know if they have a sense of humor and that's important to me.

What I do mind is going to a professional blog and having to sift through pages and pages of stuff to find ANYTHING writing related. Then, what I do find is so depressing I wonder when books were banned.

Janet Reid said...

uh, no.
No no no.

I don't need a junior varsity. I have more good work coming in every day than I can take on.

Under no circumstances should an author assign copyright to anyone like an agent or publisher. Copyright is OWNERSHIP. Publishers license the work; agent's don't have ownership of it at all.

BJ said...

For those folks who don't like the personal postings on an agent's blog -- are you sure those are professional blogs, not personal?

I know of at least one agent who will post publishing-related information on her personal blog. Because it's her personal blog, there are many personal postings - but it *is* her personal blog. I've heard people complain about the personal comments on her personal blog, which seems rather odd to me.

Besides, what the agents post on their blogs is their business. They don't even have to have a blog, let alone cater to writers they do not represent. If you don't like an agent's blog, don't read it.

Sorry to vent, but I think it's rather unreasonable and unrealistic to require agents to spoonfeed information to wannabe writers every time they show an online presence.

Word verification: thecud. What I shall go back to chewing to bring my blood pressure down again.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear BJ ...

Amen. The blog belongs to the agent. I don't care if they post about toe jam, as long as they aren't nasty to a writer who may feel dependent on their goodwill.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

LOL, Janet... I know all that!

I wsih I colud sned pctirues wehn I psot... yuo'd see tnogue pnalted fmirly in cehek!

I lvoe Onerwhisp... truinp, I a'nit!

Hstae yee bcak ;-)

Alex said...

I absolutely agree with #5, though I understand that some agents/etc prefer the snail mail method for various reasons. Possibly weeding out the on-the-impulsive-whim cold call full manuscript senders... I was one of those a few years ago, and I know that the cost of sending a full manuscript at the post office made me think twice, whereas the email didn't. :-)

Something I wanted to say too... I absolutely love Query Shark. I think the people who submit their queries to that website already know that they are putting themselves up for some discomfort, but it is also a learning experience.

I'm less likely to make the same mistakes that other people have. I imagine that was the reason why Miss Snark was so popular.

For that matter, I like the examples that other agents give on their websites, provided they first obtain permission. Again, it is a learning experience.

Julie Weathers said...

"For those folks who don't like the personal postings on an agent's blog -- are you sure those are professional blogs, not personal?"

When you look up the agency information or you go to professional referrals to the agent and it links to that site, I have to assume that is their professional blog, since it is the only one associated with them.

Now, yes, it is their blog and they can post pictures of themselves dancing nude with goldfish for all I care. However, when I am trying to get a feel for them professionally, 119 posts about their dancing goldfish doesn't help me much.

"If you don't like an agent's blog, don't read it."

I don't. I also won't be querying them since I tried numerous times to find out what kind of submissions they prefer etc. and all I found was the "dancing goldfish." They were recommended to me so I did follow the trail to find out a bit about them. Now, if I ever write a book about dancing goldfish, I know where to go. Other than that, I have no idea what the agent likes because they have more important things to discuss on their agency-linked blog.

Yes, I realize they could probably care less if I query them, but that is the professional face they are putting forward. A nice mix of fun, writing and humor is great. Dancing goldfish and doom and gloom isn't my idea of a good time professionally or personally.

Aimless Writer said...

I totally agree. A blog is not a business website but somewhere inbetween. Let them post any thing that pops into their brain. I think that's what I like about the blogs. You get that little insight into who an agent really is.
But now I'm really curious about those Dancing goldfish.

Julie Weathers said...


"A blog is not a business website but somewhere inbetween."

Agreed, heaven knows I tend not to take things too seriously. However, when it gets down to business, I do like to do things correctly.

If an agent has current information available, that helps a lot.

If they have some kind of guidelines about submissions, that's even better.

I'm revising PALADIN now and it was pretty durned handy to glance over to the right and see the posted guidelines for a manuscript page. Previous information from some other places I had was conflicting, but this was direct, clean and basic.

Nathan Bransford is another one who has some good information archived.

It just makes things so much simpler.

I don't care where an agent posts it, on a web site or blog archives, but some direct information is solid gold.

Adam Heine said...

Re: agent's blogs. One thing people tend to overlook is that the internet is public. Anyone can and will read what you write, whether it's about your cats, your fish, how you're stealing from your boss or cheating on your wife... Even if you write under a pseudonym, it's only a matter of time and effort for someone to find out who you really are, if they want to.

All that to say that everybody should be careful what they publish to the internet. Obviously for the house mother who just needs a place to vent, this matters less (though it still matters). For agents and authors and wannabe authors - anyone who might be searched for by the public - this is even more important.

It doesn't mean that agents (and authors!) can't blog about what they want to. Go right ahead, it's your blog. But be aware that someone, at some point, will Google your name and hit that particular result. What do you want them to see when they do that?

BJ said...

I remember a time when none of this information was easily available. You got a copy of Writers Digest Markets and had to go by that. Being an annual publication, of course it was outdated, but you used it because it was all you had. (Why do I feel like saying, "And you *liked* it!" Stupid SNL)

I don't assume that everything I need to know about a person is online. It's nice (and often surprising) to find exactly what I'm looking for online, but I don't get angry because I don't find what I'm looking for.

Is it helpful to have information on what an agent wants? Of course it is, and it may even get that agent more business than those who don't post it online. But that information isn't a right.

If you've received a tip about a certain agent -- especially from a client -- I would count that information over and above any info the agent puts online. After all, as Mr. Heine mentioned, you always want to put your best foot forward online. A client would therefore be a much more accurate source as to what an agent is like than a professional site of any kind.

I could point out an agent with a very professional site, but I wouldn't send my worst enemy there. I'd pick any number of less professional agents over that one. And no, I'm not going to mention any names. It's not a name to be spoken outside of the deepest shadows.

My point? You can't judge an agent (or anyone) completely accurately from his/her blog or website. Janet, I know, is honest here, because I've met her in person and she's exactly the same in real life as she is here. And I liked her so much at the conference, I started following her blog.

Word verification: worms. Is someone trying to tell me something?

Julie Weathers said...

I pretty much wish I had never mentioned the blog thing now, but I'll express one last opinion on blogs and add web sites in there.

"I remember a time when none of this information was easily available. You got a copy of Writers Digest Markets and had to go by that."

Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. That's how I got an agent for my suspense novel DANCING HORSES and another agent for my children's book.

I still have the three-ring binder with the ledger sheets tracking queries.

This really is a golden age for writers. There is a wealth of information on writing, query letters, synopses, formatting, submissions and a wealth of information about agents and agencies. Much of this information comes from the blogs and web sites of various agents, editors, publishers and writers, so it comes as little surprise that some of us expect more than doom and gloom posts about publishing or endless posts about dancing goldfish in a professional blog.

Now, as I have said before, it's a free country and said agents, editors, writers and publishers can post pictures of them dancing nude with their dancing goldfish if they want to.

As for being referred by a client, no, it was just someone who noticed the agent handled my genre and was actively looking for clients.

Janet asked for things that drive writers crazy and this doesn't drive me crazy, but it does frustrate me if I have to search their professional site or blog with a bloodhound for pertinent information. It's also nice to have current information

Give me that and I'm a happy camper. Half my feel good bookmarks come from agent, writer and editor blogs, so I don't need or want an online text book about writing.

My number one frustration is the no response thing, but I understand why some agencies do it.

December/Stacia said...

The thing for me is, if it's a personal blog, make it a /personal/ blog. I have a personal blog myself; I haven't posted on it in a couple of years, but it's there, under a different name, with no mention of work.

Personal blogs are great, but they only count as personal blogs if they don't do double duty as your professional website. If your personal blog is the only place to find certain professional information on you, it should be at least somewhat professional.

There's nothing wrong with posts on goldfish or kiddies. Those posts can be a lot of fun. I like it when agents tell personal stories or share bits of their everyday life on their blogs.

But when the blog is post after post of goldfish, with the occasional "Here's what I'm looking for now" thrown in... I just think it might behoove the agent in question to set up a separate blog and simply re-post all the "professional" posts there, is all. It only takes a couple of seconds to copy a poste and paste it in a "New Post" screen, and that way you're not making it appear to observers as though rather than working, you spend your entire day stalking your puppy and taking photos. I much prefer getting the sense from an agent's blog that they take their work seriously, not that if I'm on the phone with them discussing work, they're going to suddenly interrupt to tell me all about what their gerbil is doing at the moment and isn't that adorable?

People who want puppy/fish/LOLCats can continue to read the personal blog--and personal blogs can be a real hoot--but you do then have a professional presence.

I do what I can to make sure my blog is a professonal one. Sure I rant and rave and tell jokes. Sure I post the occasional picture. But if I want to talk at length about my children or my husband or whatever I either lock the entries or post them elsewhere. I care about projecting a certain image. I don't think it's too much to ask agents--who are constantly telling writers to make sure their blog is professional--to do the same.

JMO. :-)

Julie Weathers said...

I don't think it's too much to ask agents--who are constantly telling writers to make sure their blog is professional--to do the same.

There's the point.

JS said...

I think blogs, even blogs that are linked to one's business, can be chatty and fun, but I don't think people necessarily should be sharing anything on their business blog that they wouldn't share at a business meeting.

"My sister had a baby!" is, in my opinion, fun to hear from a colleague, and fun to read on a blog. "Here is a picture of my cute puppy!" "I had a great time in Cancun!" All of this stuff is just groovy.

"I had a colonoscopy and I hate my mother" not so much.

I think it's okay, though not ideal, for an agency to have the "No response means we're not interested" policy as long as they communicate that clearly in their submissions guidelines. Some of us are organized and do the status-query thing every six or eight weeks; if you're a "no news is bad news" agency, let us know so that we won't waste either of our time in status-querying.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I would like an agent who criticizes grammar and spelling on their blog to at least get it right themselves ... That means you, agent-I-love-to-loathe, and you too West Coast guy ...

Though one has to be amused at a blog-post that mentions a spelling error in the middle of a query letter, but contains two errors in the post ...

Take a Midol; sleep it off. Then post. Use spell check. Get a blog editor.

Word Verification is 'unchi,' whichis probably what I'm being to these two agents ... THAT was funny, and you didn't get it!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I'm not very good at this:

ποσω ουν διαφερει ανθρωπος προβατου ωστε εξεστιν τοις σαββασιν καλως ποιειν.

But I'm not deleting the previous post either.

monica said...

I agree with all the comments, Janet. Bless yopu for thinking from a writer's POV.

However, these do not solve the problem of the black-hole-as-query or submission-response.

The other problem I see is that often (mostly?) the reader who looks at the ms. is not the agent. If an agent asks for a full only to pass it on to someone else to read, how can the requesting agent get a real feel for the story?

What is your take on this?