I queried a novel 5 years ago and after 15 no responses, I gave up.
I am now in the process of the dreary queries again (different novel) and tried something crazy, just to test out a theory. Honestly, I don't think my writing career can get any worse at this point.
I sent out a query to an agent and within 3 days had what I knew was a "form" no. I shook it off and hoped that maybe one of the other agents I sent it to would be interested. One "no" is no big deal. Only I couldn't stop thinking about it. The more I read about agents and writer's good and bad experiences, the more I started to think.
So this is where the crazy comes in. I sent the exact same query for the exact same book. I literally copied and pasted the original letter in an email and sent it in to the exact same agent. Same thing, 3 days later I got a response from her. The exact same form response.
I can't help, but wonder if my letter and sample were even read. I followed the instructions posted to a T.
I feel like if she read the exact same twice, she would have just ignored the second. Right? I mean why tell me the same thing twice. I clearly wasn't smart enough to understand the first no (I'm thinking this from her perspective here of course).
She could just feel sorry for me and be politely telling me to leave her alone, again, in that same e-mail "form" fashion. I don't know.
It just seems as if an "I don't have time to read this right now" form letter is a better response than, "Your project sounds very interesting, but it's just not for me" email.
Of course this is me assuming that on Wednesday she rejects all of her Monday queries and on Friday rejects all of Wednesdays.
Now that I have typed all of this, I have lost sight of my question. I don't even know if I have a specific question. What do you think about his whole experience and my theory that agents aren't actually reading our letters?
Obviously, all agents aren't the same, and I'm certain that some do take the time to read the queries even if they don't take time to respond.
In your spare time do you like to beat your head against the wall?
At this point I almost want to read your novel because you have a fevered imagination. Too bad you're using it to torment yourself instead of entice ME.
For starters, let's both of us agree that you don't know a damn thing about how the OTHER side of the query process works. By my count, you've sent 17 query letters total, and that's over the course of five years.
I read 17 query letters in 30 minutes a day. Every day. For YEARS now.
And I can tell you that people sending duplicate queries by mistake, or because of bad record keeping, or because they misspelled one word in the closing paragraph, or they failed to add their twitter handle is so common that I don't even notice any more.
I don't investigate. I certainly don't assume the writer is stupid. Or poorly organized. Or anything. I just reply again.
I do this because it's the easiest thing for me to do. And frankly, I'm very invested in keeping things simple.
Now, you're about to become a crazy person here, and you're doing it over something you have ZERO control over.
Do not do that.
Do this: Send more queries.
You can't start to complain or kvetch until you've sent 100.
For ONE book.
And if you don't think your writing career can get worse, let me introduce you to a cold hard truth: you keep sending duplicate queries to torment yourself or prove that agents aren't reading your stuff and you're going to find even agents like me [who respond to ALL queries] ignore you. One fast way to get on my Very Bad Side is to resend the same query endlessly. [Yes, that happens.]
If you're really seriously worried agents aren't reading your work, get to a writing conference. Make some pitch appointments. Take your query. Find out what needs improving.
There is one basic fact you're forgetting here: agents are looking for things to sell. Finding them is largely a numbers game once your query and pages are in good shape.
Quit making yourself crazy. Go work on your novel. I'm sure there are a few characters in there who could use some skullduggery in their lives.