STATUS: I have a bad head cold, and I’m so ready for it to be over. Usually I read in the evenings but since I’ve been so tired, I’m asleep by 8 p.m.. Ah, the crazy, wild life of a literary agent.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHY DON’T YOU DO RIGHT? By Sinéad O’Connor
And I’m going to blame my bad cold for not being particularly clear in yesterday’s post. It sounded like I have several different form query rejection letters and it’s only for #4 that you get the “although your work sounds intriguing” line.
Nope. I don’t have five different form letters. We can’t. Time-wise it’s just not feasible in terms of responding to 500+ queries a week in a prompt fashion. We can’t expend extra time by toggling through five different letter versions in order to send out the “right” one for any particular query. You guys know this because you read it on every agent blog currently in existence. Our time is spent on current clients and for authors with projects who will actually become our clients. The volume is too overwhelming for anything else.
Think about it. 500 queries a week multiplied by approximately 48 weeks in a year is 24,000 queries.
And out of that, how many new clients does an agent take on?
For me, in a good year, I take on 4 or 5 new clients—and I’m actively looking. Really looking. Like attending conferences, reading lots of partials, and really making myself available to writers kind of looking.
So you can see that sifting through 24,000 queries for 5 clients isn’t overwhelmingly productive.
That means one letter for all queries period. I include the intriguing line because some of the queries we do receive really are intriguing and will totally float another agent’s boat. For the others that don’t really fit into #4, well, we think it’s polite to use that line because our goal isn’t to crush aspiring writers…
We literally don’t have time for anything else.