So, as I read this I keep thinking I may be reading it wrong. Are you actually saying, "who cares if an agent says they do not represent X, query them anyway?"
As an agent I specialize in MG, YA, and Romance. That's it. no PB, and no other adult genres.
Let's pretend Joe is writing an international thriller. It would be an incredible waste of time-- both for me AND the writer-- to bother sending me a query. But let's say the crazy happens and for some reason I read it and request it anyway because it sounds THAT amazing, and I read the full, and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread-- why the heck would this writer WANT me to take them on? I don't know a damned thing about adult international thrillers. I could never guide this writer on how to revise cliched plot lines or overdone tropes. Sure, I could dig up some random editors I don't know and send it on over to them, but why would these editors prioritize my submission?
I really do not understand this advice, or I am just completely misinterpreting you. One of the two.
Let's look at this from a writer's point of view. Mandy has stated her guidelines pretty clearly right?
Let's answer these questions from those guidelines:
1. Does she represent New Adult?
2. Does she represent Women's Fiction?
3. Does she represent non-fiction for kids?
4. Does she represent chapter books?
Even when an agent thinks her guidelines are clear, authors who are just learning terminology, and aren't sure of what categories mean, and do not mean, can be confused. Hell, I'm STILL unsure of what New Adult means, and I've been swimming in the Sea of Publishing for some time now.
Thus my point is this: an author should err on the side of sending a query. If an agent goes on twitter and says "oh why did someone query me for the Wrath of Zeus when I clearly don't represent Wrath books" that's the agent's problem not the writer's.***
Writers like to gnaw themselves into frenzies over small details. Everyone with experience in this industry knows this.
I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who deal with the newest and least skilled and most meticulous (not overlapping groups by the way) to understand that "simple instructions" and "simple guidelines" aren't always simple to the people on the other side of the email inbox.
The answer is to just say no to the queries you don't want, and try not to make writers feel stupid.
***another commenter on yesterday's post gave that example:
There are agents on Twitter who do #tenqueries pretty frequently, and many of those batches are variants on "____, I don't represent _____. Rejection" (paraphrased). I do like reading #tenqueries, I think it gives me a false sense of educating myself? Or maybe a non false sense. Though any education would pertain to that agent and that agent only, I feel.
I think we're so indoctrinated into being terrified of making a misstep and being blackballed for life, and I think social media both helps and hurts.