The post on Snake oil word merchants has brought some VERY interesting email to the Snark box. Here's the first one:
This is the text of an EMAIL rejection letter.
Thank you so much for sharing your work with us.
We are grateful that you thought of us, and that you took the time to query. Unfortunately, this is not quite what we're looking for right now. Please keep in mind that this is not necessarily a reflection on your work, but merely a reflection on our current needs.
As a way to give something back in return, we would like to give you some free, practical tips that you can use to help strengthen your future queries. We have pasted an excerpt below. (Please forgive us if you have already read this.)
Thank you once again, and best of luck for continued success.
Here's the part that makes this slimey: we would like to give you some free, practical tips that you can use to help strengthen your future queries.
It's EXACTLY the same baited hook that drew writers into paying reading fees several years ago.
Now, the next part is the one I like best
-TITLE- is a short e-book (80 pages) which can be downloaded instantly, and read in a day
(an 80 page e-book in Adobe PDF file format which can be downloaded instantly for $24.95)
Gee, I hope they don't want to give me too much more in return, my Amex will burn up.
Who are these guys kidding?
$24.95 for 80 pages of PDF file?
Hell, you can buy Pat Walsh's book for $14 and that includes paper and ink.
Ignoring the obvious huckster overtones, I ask you
what's the point of this?
If it's to "be of help" --give the shit away on a web site. God knows half of us do that anyway.
If the point is to make a buck -step up to the fucking plate, write a proposal and sell it to a publisher.
The irony of a MAJOR literary agent in NYC selling his/her work as POD doesn't escape the ever watchful Snarkster.
No wonder writers think agents are weird.