snafus r us

Wonders a Snarkling

(An agent) asked, via e-mail, for submission --a complete novel. I sent it. Three months later, I inquired via snail mail whether she made her decision. A few weeks later I received a standard
pre-printed rejection from her assistant. Undaunted by such flat negativity, I e-mailed her again, asking whether she'd like to see another one of my novels. She replied that though she had an e-mail record of requesting my work, she never saw anything from me in the first place, and what was I talking about. I sighed and gave up on this venture. So, my question's driven by the said experience. I'm wondering whether the agent who requested the work will actually get to see it, though I did enclose a copy of the original e-mail request.

Actually, if she said she never saw the first one, I'd have offered to send it again. Shit happens. We're dealing with TONS (literally) of paper, in small spaces. Assistants and interns come and go. Things get deleted on the data base as if by elves. We're not perfect. We're not even close.

The important thing is to not let that deter you. It's just the price of doing business.

I've had to email people and say "I've had this for five months, I just found it under my Mallomar stash...is it still available". Sometimes I've missed my chance.

I've lost things. The post office has lost things. I've gotten letters with my agency name and address and the name of an agent who lives three thousand miles away. There was the sad case of a manuscript catching fire... but that's another story. I'll say it again: shit happens. Crude, but true.

I've had publishers send rejection letters, and then buy the same book a year later when the editor finally read it. I'm still laughing about that one.

Until you query 100 times you're not allowed to give up. That's a rule. Learn it. Know it. Live it.


W. S. Cross said...

How about 756 times. Your correspondent might want to slit her wrists if she reads 756 Agents & Counting...

I've had agents ask to see something they'd already turned down, assistants who left with no record of receiving my mss., the list of fuck-ups goes on and on.

But the reason for my visit was to let you know I reviewed your site at Beyond You & Me. It's always a pleasure visiting here!

Anonymous said...

you can't convince me you're not perfect in every way, Miss Snark...i'll bet with your stiletto heels, size 4 waist, and hot body suit on you're a knock-out.. after a few drinks, probably confident enough even to flirt with Nicki Hilton's ex!

Miss Snark said...

Dearest Anon, you have me confused with Jen Weiner's agent. Would that I was, but I'm not. I'm also not even sure who Nicki Hilton is exactly. I do however have a PARIS Hilton joke for you:

Friend: Paris! I got you a gift for your birthday!
Paris: Oh, thank you! (ripping into the wrapping). Oh! A book, gosh thanks, but, I already have one.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... if you're really not, then i have been mistaken for some time now...
you've have made a number of indirect statements that suggest you are... including a number of references to her work and the whole obsession with George Clooney...either you're covering yourself here or you've out-smarted my Snark-Detector.

Anonymous said...

So what do you do after rejection 100? *ggg*

Kitty said...

Paris Hilton has a book? Coloring or bank?

Miss Snark said...

I'm not Jen Weiner's agent. Honest.
I'm not Philip Spitizer.
I'm not Binky Urban,
and I'm not Flip Brophy.

I am however, George Clooney's love slave.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Yes, these mistakes happen. I sent a requested full and received, forthwith, a form rejection. A month later, I received a phone call from the agent saying she liked book and could we talk.

Unfortunately, I think that snafu led to several silly fantasies wherein my writer friends and I imagined that every agent who had sent form rejections had actually sent them in error. However, in rare instances, things happen, and if the woman asked for the book and said she hadn't seen it, by all means, give her another chance!