Thursday, September 27, 2007

I have learned my lesson, oh yes indeed I have

Remember when I mentioned that I periodically take leave of my senses and write individual rejection letters about why a project doesn't fit my list?

Boy howdy did I learn my lesson.

This entire week I've had telephone calls and emails from people "following up" on my notes. One guy called five times. People in the office are so unused to this that I got pulled out of a meeting to answer his call. He wanted to re-query since it was clear he'd done it wrong.

And no.

Generally if it's just your query that doesn't work I can figure that out. Amazingly enough, when you include pages, I read them. When I mention some specific problems in your query about the book you describe, again, it's not the query letter that's the problem.

Verily I have learned my lesson.
Back to form letters.

Those individual ones "are not quite right for me."


Mags said...

Ok- I'll leave off being a smart ass only long enough to say that before you determined that my genius-sparkle was not right for your list, you helped me build a better query to send out to others, Miss Thing. You were confused about my query and took the time to inquire before rejecting it.

Glad I got in before the onslaught. Sorry you've had it badgered out of you.

Oh, and thanks.

DeadlyAccurate said...

I wonder how many of them said thanks and understood how rare a personal rejection letter is.

Josephine Damian said...

Pulled out of a meeting? Jeesh!

There aren't enough hours in a day for an agent - Janet, you don't owe any writer any more than a polite, "Thanks, but no thanks."

IMO, it's the writer's job to figure out what they're doing wrong in a query, and there are plenty of websites and books to help them how to do it better - if only writers had a better sense of how overwhelmed agents already are with these queries.

Maya Reynolds said...

Personalized rejection letters are rare enough that, two years later, I can still remember--with enormous fondness--the agents who took the time and trouble to write me one.

They are also the agents I mention first when someone asks me for the names of good agents.

You earned a platinum thread in your crown for those letters.

Anonymous said...

Dang - why do some morons have to ruin it for everybody else?

I just sent you a query. I knew I should have sent it a week or two before.

jjdebenedictis said...

What a pity whenever an agent tries to be generous, someone makes them regret it. I'm certain most of the writers you rejected via personal note were very appreciative.

Perhaps naive and overeager too, but appreciative


Chris Eldin said...

Ditto everyone here. Also glad I got in before the onslaught.

I can't imagine calling an agent. Ever. Even in those most extreme leaves-of-absence.

At least it provides for the entertainment of your readership. :-)