Why agents get really annoyed

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May 5, 2008 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

So you’ll remember that back in this post I noted that an agent (or editor) who doesn’t comment on your attempt to rewrite Jane Austen verbatim doesn’t necessarily not recognize it, but that perhaps they don’t want you being weepy/vindictive/really annoying at them.

Agent Colleen Lindsay’s blog has an example of just exactly the sort of thing I meant.

There are many constructive and fun things you can do when an agent does a We Thank You For Your Application on your query letter. You can give them a number of fingers (depending on whether you’re American or British). You can use a photograph of their face as a dartboard. You can rewrite your query and send it to the next agent who WILL respect your genius, and plot the cutting things you will say to the evil agent when you run into them at the Frankfurt Book Fair and they fall to their knees weeping for you to forgive them (NB this is not actually going to happen so enjoy the fantasy while it lasts).

A response that is neither constructive nor fun is writing a TWENTY-THREE PARAGRAPH letter detailing to the agent just what they missed out on.

Admittedly, it is informative for the agent, because they now know to put your e-mail address on auto-reject, fumigate any snail mail with Raid, and maybe inform the feds.


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Photo credit: Rahima Subhan

Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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