Friday, August 28, 2009

I got someone else's rejection. What should I do?

Question: Yesterday I got a rejection email from an agent, no biggie. However, despite being addressed to me, it appears to have been written in response to someone else's query. (This query was still in the email)

And this is where the etiquette pickle comes in. I'm assuming that I'm rejected, because despite the agent's public statements the email clearly states that he's not interesting in any new clients. That's not my problem.

My concern is about the other guy. Did he get my rejection? Did he get anything at all? (no knowing is just awful, trust me, I know) However, I don't want to get some poor overworked assistant into trouble for the mix up, or leave someone hanging because they didn't get the message.

What should I do?

Answer: Nothing. The other guy got the same rejection you did.

If you can't live with doing nothing, it's ok to email the agent back and say "this one was intended for someone else by the looks of the query." You won't get some poor overworked assistant in trouble; this kind of thing happens every once in a while. I've done it myself.


laughingwolf said...

pobody's nerfect!

Loretta Ross said...

It's nice of the author to worry about the other author and the poor, overworked assistant though. :)

hannah said...

For the record, this happened to a friend of mine--he got a reject meant for someone else's query. He emailed the agent back and let her know, and the agent apologized and requested a partial of his manuscript.

I mean, couldn't hurt, right?

Aimless Writer said...

I'd have to be absolutely sure it wasn't meant for me, but then I'd probably send a short, polite note to the agent.
I usually don't wait for those rejection letters but some writers do and I'd want the other writer to get the feed back he's waiting for.

Margaret Yang said...

Reason #45 why the form rejection is good. A form rejection would leave no question in the writer's mind.

Cathy in AK said...

I've had this happen too. I replied to the agent explaining what had happened. She apologized, said the rejection was meant for the other person, and asked for a partial from me (maybe it was the same agent Hannah's friend queried?). Was it a guilt request? I like to think not : ) The partial was eventually rejected, but hey, you take your shots where you can.

ali said...

Too true margaret too true