Nice literary agents

March 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts | Leave a comment

I emailed three queries for “CHASM” Thursday night.

Many literary agents won’t respond to an email’ed query if they’re not interested.  I guess the attitude is that since they get so many emails from authors like myself seeking representation, there’s no way they could possibly respond to all of them.  Many of the agents write on their websites that “if we’re not intereseted, we won’t write to let you know.”

I’ve sent out a total of thirty requests over the past year, and about two thirds have found the time to click on the little REPLY button above the email and paste in the response “Not right for me but thanks for asking.”  Hey, I’m not stupid – if you haven’t responded to my email in 120 days, I know it’s not sitting in the top of your inbox waiting for you to get to it.

When I checked my email Friday morning, I found responses from two agents who had read my email and didn’t think my book was something they could sell.  I’m perfectly alright with that.  A “quick no” is really so much better than a “slow no.” 

What I’d really like to do is mention them by name and say “Thank you for taking the time to respond so promptly,” but I wouldn’t want my comment to be misinterpretted as being sarcastic or angry.  Both of these professionals, however, have their names permanently stamped into my memory until the day I meet them at a writer’s conference, or book signing, or where ever that meeting might occur.  When that happens I am going to warmly shake their hand, look them in the eye, smile and both enthusiastically and sincerely thank them for taking the time to act compassionately and kindly to a guy on the outside trying to claw his way in.

I’m also going to make Thursday my night for sending out queries.  A 66% response rate in 24 hours is darned good.


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