Some time back I had a chance to read 87 rejection letters sent by a zoo of agents; one of my clients kept every letter he received saying no to a book I now represent.
The rejection letters ranged from the formulaic "not right for me" to "fuck off and die".
There was a comment to the blog recently about this topic also. It reads:
As for rejection, I much prefer NO to all the snarky comments agents feel so compelled to make. You guys should hire David Spade as a rejection consultant. No more creativity than Nyet or Nein, please. Or maybe a rubber stamp "Rejected." I don't need to hear you write how well I write but there's no market--especially when Agent no. 2 calls me out of the blue and says he can walk into any house and sell it. If you don't want to rep me, keep your opinions to yourself.
Back when Miss Snark wasn't wearing stiletto heels and was trying to get in touch with her inner Miss Congeniality, she tried to write helpful things on query letters.
Didn't take but a month or two to stop THAT. Some of Miss Snark's favorite swear words were learned from the responses to those "helpful rejection letters".
Unasked for advice is hardly ever welcomed.
Criticism is welcomed less than that.
And yet...at writing conferences, at parties, in the subway, on this blog, people are looking for information about why their work isn't making the cut.
So, what's a Snark to do? Stamp "fuck off and die" on 37 queries a day?
(Ok...that's damn appealing).
Or just keep sending "not right for our list but query other agents cause ya never know when
you'll hit the 1:87 who says yes".
Which is better: comments or rubber stamps?