STATUS: This Monday was crazy but productive. We had to play catch up from the power outage on Friday. I did call and offer representation to an author for her really awesome YA project. She has a couple of other agent’s interested so now I have to wait and see if she chooses me. Choose me!
What’s playing on the iPod right now? BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN by Jim Croce
For those of you who love agent blogs, I’ve stumbled on a couple of more that might be worth a read.
The Rejecter is an anonymous blog from an assistant at an agency. Definitely somebody with a perspective from the query trenches.
The other is from, in their own words, “the opinionated folks” at the Dystel & Goderich Agency.
Might be worth checking out.
Now on to my rant. Agents take a lot of drubbing for their standard query rejection letters. We have to say something and as y’all know, I prefer to be polite.
So what does it mean when I say, in my form query rejection letter, “although your work sounds intriguing…”
In means exactly that. It very well might be intriguing but it’s not right for me. Queries fall into five basic categories:
1. The obvious NOs because the query is for genres we don’t represent or something similar.
2. The other obvious NOs for well-done queries for projects we don’t represent.
3. The NOs for queries for projects we do represent but the query itself is poorly written
4. the NOs for well-done queries for projects that could fit for my agency, are intriguing, but I would never pick up that book in a bookstore so it’s not right for me. I can totally see another agent digging it.
For the most part, it’s for the Queries of number 4 that we include the standard phrase of “although your work sounds intriguing…” because this biz is so subjective. It really might sound intriguing for another agent who will then ask for sample pages, maybe a full, and then go on to rep this writer. Commenters on this blog alone have mentioned being rejected by me in the query phase but have then landed representation elsewhere.
It means their work was intriguing—but just not to me.
5. Well-done queries that knock our socks off so we ask for sample pages. These folks get the “request for pages” email letter.
To sum up? One agent’s “so intriguing I must see sample pages” is another agent’s “ho-hum and not right for me.”
So don’t get in a stew about the wording. It’s a NO. Tweak if you need to (especially if all your responses are NOs—that could signal the query letter/pitch hook being at fault) and then move on. Your agent might be around the next email query corner.