"The courtesy of a quick look"

A comment on my earlier post (Nitwit Town) below made me think. The querier said she only wanted "the courtesy of a quick look". Is that REALLY how you want me to look at your work?

Right now it's 10am. The phone has already rung twice. I have 14 emails stacked up on my agency incoming list. (Miss Snark averages 60-75 emails a day-my agency account about half that). Those are the ones that require more than a quick response and are left over from yesterday when I was out of the office for a long period.

I'm still on my second cup of coffee.

Your email comes in. You have 300-500 words in the body of an email. You get five seconds of distracted attention.

Is that what you REALLY want?

The reason I personally do not take e-queries is cause I don't READ email mostly. It's skimmed. If I need to take action on things, it gets a closer read.

As a "courtesy" I'd like to at least read what you send me. I bet you do too.


kitty said...

If you need a laff, check out the pot at the end of the rainbow.

harridan said...

Oh yeah,

You never, ever, ever want just a quick read as the agent or editor is struggling with other tasks. In fact, you should pray that they aren't just skimming your stuff while multi-tasking.

I'd prefer in my heart to think that the person on the receiving end had notched out a set amount of time to focus on submissions. The all important first contact of the query, to be specific. Editors and agents constantly have to take longer material home to read, but that's another matter entirely.

Yes, an email query can sometimes provide instant gratification, even if it only means you get the rejection quickly. That's what some writers seem to want. They spend all that time crafting a story, then they can't wait for feedback.

But I would personally prefer the somewhat dillusional belief that someone on the other end took the time to pay attention to my words and give them true value. I say dillusional because there are gads of horry stories about writers getting snail mail form rejections when 1) the letter has coffee or lunch stains spilled on them, or 2) the printed copy of chapters sent are as pristine the day they went out. As if a human hand never made it past the first page. (smile) Both scenarios will send an already antsy author into spasms.

What the subject of this whole topic of discussion did, was well, she didn't play it smart. The moment that agent/pub took the time to send back an email saying they didn't take queries in that manner, well she should have taken a different tack. Even though she knowingly broke the agents set submission procedures, she should have apologized and claimed ignorance.

Why? Because if she was nice, the agent might actually have paid attention to the submission though it broke her rules. She'd already responded politely. A good sign. So leave her with the impression you aren't some pushy ass, and say that you will send the item in snail mail asap. The agent would have at least favorably remembered her name. And remembered her is the key here.

Okay, off my little soap box. LOL

Mac said...

Both scenarios will send an already antsy author into spasms.

Truth be told, it takes very little to accomplish that end...*grin*

I always wonder that more overt sadists aren't drawn to the agenting/editing professions.

TillyLost said...

I've sent my first submission. It feels like I'm standing in the agent's office naked, shouting, 'take me, take me!'
It's a good job I'm not, 'cause I bet that would distract him from reading the query thoroughly.

One down, a squillion subs to go.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I see the problem....it's 10 AM and you're only on your second cup of coffee. By ten, I'm usually down half a pot!