I received a query letter for a book I was familiar with from one of the several contests I've been part of this year. I was glad to read the full manuscript and requested it.
It arrived with a nice email which I didn't pay much attention to. I simply downloaded the manuscript to my Kindle, emailed the author that it was in the pending file, and not to expect to hear from me for a while.
(as I said, what happens next was my fault.)
As it happened I had some free time. I picked up my Kindle and looked at the table of contents. There was The Book. I remembered it being fun and romantic, just the ticket for what I wanted to read. So I read it.
And was deeply perplexed when it ended very abruptly with several unresolved plot lines. And it seemed REALLY short.
So I went back to my laptop and checked the word count. Sure enough it was way south of where it needed to be. So I checked the email exchange. The first email said the book was being considered by other agents but the author also wanted to query me. No problem.
The second email, the one that arrived with the manuscript mentioned in the second paragraph that she was only sending 100 pages.
Like I said, this is my fault. I didn't read the email closely. I should have sent it back to her with "send only the FULL." But I didn't. I was expecting a full and when it came I didn't verify it was a full. I just downloaded it to the Kindle and treated it like it was ready to go.
Which brings me to why you are hearing this rant: NEVER EVER query on an unfinished novel and never EVER send a partial if a full is requested. Because other agencies were considering the book I was sure it was ready to go. What happened (I think) is the author decided to do revisions. And the revisions weren't ready cause I replied to her query too quickly.
So, I'm annoyed as hell with no one to blame but myself but one of my Rules for Writers is to BE READY!
Be Ready for an agent to request a full.
Be Ready for the agent to read it THAT DAY.
If it doesn't happen, no worries, but if it does you're READY.