Manic Mom's Mental Myriads

Stop by and have a laugh from Manic Mom's Mental Myriads on Motherhood, and some other stuff too, but mostly motherhood, wifehood, thoughts on writing, etc. No politics will be discussed here or geography, and I will not be solving any mathematical equations. Just some BS on whatever I feel like blogging on...

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Art Of Finding An Agent - What Not To Do?

So, I sent an agency a query for my novel, and then I get the dreaded REJECTION letter, which, they don't really bother me all that much, because I expect to get rejection letters - it's the nature of the business.

What I loathe though is that some agents cannot even take the time to write "Dear Stephanie" on their basic form letter that all they have to do is copy and paste onto my original email query. So, below is the correspondence I had this week with a very reputable agency:

My original query was something like this--


yada yada yada... (I won't bore you with the actual query I sent, but it was nicely written, professional, etc.)

Heard nothing. For what I considered to be ample time to respond. I emailed back, politely reminding them who I was, what I had written, "I know you are busy, yada yada yada," and just wanted to make sure my query was received.

I got this back:

Thank you for thinking of NOTMENTIONINGANYNAMESHERE Literary Agency. Unfortunately, we must decline your request for representation. Please forgive the necessity of this form letter; we truly wish we had the time to personally contact each writer who sends us his/her material, but it's just not possible given the number of letters and manuscripts we receive each week.

We like to give all writers who submit material to NOTMENTIONINGANYNAMESHERE Literary Agency every opportunity to establish a successful partnership with us. To that end, please be assured that if the agent you originally queried decided that your work might be right for a different agent here at NOTMENTIONINGANYNAMESHERE Literary Agency, she may have passed it along to an associate. For this reason, there's no need to submit your work to multiple NOTMENTIONINGANYNAMESHERE agents. Also, please keep in mind that we welcome queries for exciting new projects from authors who have previously submitted other projects to us.

For more information on our agency, please check out our website at: Once again, thank you for approaching NOTMENTIONINGANYNAMESHERE Literary Agency. We wish you the best of luck with your writing career.



She got me on a BAAADDD day so I wrote back:

Hi, thanks for the response. Out of courtesy, could you just let me know if my info was forwarded to another agent in your office for review. Just want to know, and if, as you say, I can be "assured" then please assure me if this has happened. If not, I will continue my agent search elsewhere.

I sincerely do appreciate you taking the time to review and respond to me, although I'm not a big fan of the form letter. I think aspiring authors deserve more than that, even if it's a letter saying, "Dear Stephanie, your work sucks."


My new agent-search goal-besides pissing off those who have already rejected me and burning possible bridges I may need to cross later-is to send out three queries a night. I did this last night, and wouldn't you know it, two of the three requested partials of my manuscript. One rejected me, but very nicely, even using my name in the email. Now, that's what I call courtesy.


At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Pops said...

Dear MMMM (Is this ok it's shorter than Stephanie or Ms Elliot or Ms Stein),
I babble, anyway, I wanted to mention that at my class reunion this past weekend I learned that one of my classmates was a publisher. So, I mentioned you. He offered to help you publish it yourself???? I could only say how much I enjoy your blogs, but I believed the manuscript had to be fantastic. It's incredible to me how he was reluctant to take the time to read it. And he's just starting out in the publishing game. You are in a very tough game. Persevere.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger momma of 2 said...

Hang in there - the right one will find you- your blog is too funny - and I can only guess the book is just as good!

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Caryn said...

I can see how their e-mails may have touched a nerve. It doesn't appear as if they even looked at it, does it? They could have dashed off a quick e-mail to everyone who asked for follow-up. How frustrating. At least you acknowledge that you could end up burning bridges that way. In the meantime, thanks for reminding them that authors are real people, too!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Hey Pops! You're so sweet to have said those things and to tell your classmate about me! : )

He was probably reluctant because I bet so many people tell him they know someone who's written a book as soon as they find out he's in publishing.

When he said he could offer to help me publish it myself, he probably meant what they call Vanity Publishing--there are companies out there that charge the author to print their books, then it's up to the author to sell them. Do you think that's what he could have meant?

Anyway, with such great comments from all of you here, you're helping me to persevere, so thanks a lot!

And thanks Mommaof2 and Anna also!

At 12:58 AM, Blogger Jennie Reb said...

Steph -- you should be proud that you actually finished the book! I, like so many others, have one that I've "been writing" for 2 years. That of course means that I got about halfway through and then let real life interfere and have never picked it up again. Think of the number of bestsellers who tell the horror stories of how many rejection letters they received before getting the book to an agent. Hang in'll happen!

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Jenny--TAKE THAT MANUSCRIPT OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! (is that loud enough for you to hear?)

It took me since Tukey was 8 months old to now to finish mine. I set it away plenty of times. So, it was almost three years in the making! Get it out, read it over again, and I'm sure you'll fall back in love with it and your ideas!

At 12:22 PM, Blogger crissachappell said...

You should read "everyone who's anyone" for laughs!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Crissa--is that the site from Gerard? I love it! Also, I am going through there and contacting everyone he has listed!


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