Imagine my delight to see this:
On a weekend, 26 MINUTES after I sent the query, I received the following:Frankly, it made me laugh.
Thank you for your query. I regret the volume of queries has made a form letter necessary.
I regret I have to pass on many interesting projects due to time constraints.
I urge you to query widely of course!
--Very disheartening as I have trouble believing anyone had time to read any part of my query on a weekend in 26 minutes turn around time. If the volume is too great to allow reading, then it would be preferable to just say that on the website.
Given I ask for a query and 3-5 pages how long do you think it takes to read it?
Let's assume I speak English, so I'm not translating the words.
Let's assume I read well enough that I don't sound out each word, or need to look up too many words.
Just for research purposes, time yourself reading your own query and five pages. How long does it take?
Less than 26 minutes is as close to a sure thing as I've seen lately.
I don't take these kinds of complaints seriously at all. For starters, anyone who knows one damn thing about publishing knows that nights and weekends are the prime time to read queries. You'll notice this blog post is timestamped after 12:30am on Friday morning...and that's right, I'm still working.
Second, these kinds of complaints clearly presuppose an agent would not reject the query if only s/he'd "read it carefully." I don't need to read much past the first three paragraphs, and skimming at that to see if something isn't right for me. And remember, that's ALL a form rejection means.
And third, of course, the volume of query letters means the form response is required, not that I don't read the query. I read all my queries myself. I read queries, request fulls, and sign debut authors out of the slush pile ALL the time.
Frankly, I'm glad whoever wrote this thinks I'm awful. It probably means s/he'll never query me again. Which is just fine with me.