Today, a query writer replied to my form rejection with "will think of you when the project gets picked up."
Which demonstrates the writer certainly has bravado and confidence, and also demonstrates s/he doesn't know how to control it.
Because when you say that to me, what I hear is "you're gonna be sorry you didn't take this on" and frankly no one responds well to that kind of comment. I certainly don't.
Now here's the part that's hard for people to remember when they're in the query trenches: one of these days you're going to get OUT, you're going to have a published book, and you're going to need readers. And people to buzz about your book.
And you may not want or get me as your agent, but I'm still someone you probably wouldn't mind having in your corner when you need to find readers.
And if you've said something like "neener neener, you're going to be sorry" to me, the chances of that happening are the chances of hell freezing over (even with global warming.)
And it's not because I keep some sort of blacklist of people I'll never ever be nice to again.
Here's what you didn't remember: I pass on books I like. I pass on books I like a lot. I pass on books that are not only publishable, I pass on books that DO get published.
Not all good books are right for me. I'm not the right agent for every good book.
That means I can and DO talk about books I've passed on after they're published, with things like "this is a terrific book." Which might be something you want said about YOUR book, no?
So, what to do?
Before you reply to rejection letters with anything but "thank you for taking a look" remember agents and editors are READERS too.
Be extra careful what you say about the query process in public forums. And MORE careful in private forums. If you don't think we see all those comments, you don't understand how much people like to talk.
This is the EXACT reason I never reply to queries with "you suck" even if I think the book does. There are a dozen books selling quite nicely that I think are utter dreck, and if you think I want MY rejection letter on any of those authors' website** you underestimate the size of my ego!
**I've attended several conferences and one awards banquet that featured authors reading their rejection letters. I was praying the entire time one of them wasn't from me.