2.02.2006

Thank you...I think

At what point do I thank the agent for his or her time?

Here's what I've been doing:
1) Query agent
2) Receive request to see partial or full
3) Send partial or full, thanking the agent for her time and interest
4) Wait
5) Receive rejection, the usual "writing is polished but I couldn't work up the enthusiasm" etc.
6) Move on

Now my instinct is to write back at number 6 and thank her for her time and speedy reply. No questions, no comments. No asking for more information. Simple.

But I've heard the agent should have the last word, so I haven't sent a thank you at this point. I have, after all, thanked her ahead of time for her time.What think you all? This seems a small enough point to get Snarkling feedback but maybe not big enough to bother Miss Snark.



Miss Snark is not bothered in the slightest by questions of when to send her flowers and choccies. Oh wait, that wasn't the question was it?

Do not confuse "having the last word" with saying thank you. It's never ever incorrect to thank someone for reviewing your work. Sometimes you don't need to, such as when you get a form letter or when the agent demonstrates rampant nitwittery (see preceding posts), or if you already have done so. It's ok to do so even then, but you don't lose your Snarkling Good Conduct badge if you don't.


Having the last word means simply that once the agent says no you do not go back with variations on why, you nitwit, you'll be sorry, or even neener, neener. No matter how justified.
No matter how much you want to do it. No matter how much you think you should do it. Don't. Just don't. Move on.

11 comments:

kaytie said...

And thank YOU, Miss Snark!

If anyone was deserving of flowers and choccies, it's you for answering the questions that stem from my insecurity. :)

Ken Boy said...

My query letters end with a thanks for the agent's time and effort.

Anonymous said...

So glad this question was posted and answered. My personal policy has been to send a brief thank-you note to any agent who requested and rejected my full (form letter or not), and any agent who took the time to include comments when rejecting my partial. It seems like the polite thing to do.

Christa M. Miller said...

So is it good to thank agents who reject your query with feedback? (I sent 7 e-queries and even though most say they won't respond if they aren't interested, I do have 2 rejections and one said my project looks "strong," just wasn't right for her.)

Like Kaytie said, such a tiny point, but the agent's personal response made me wonder.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't bother to go back and thank an agent who rejected a simple query. A comment like, "While your project sounds interesting . . ." is a standard rejection phrase.

A comment like, "Your protagonist, Killer Yap, is strong and sympathetic, but I found your secondary characters lacking in depth," is more personal.

Anonymous said...

I queried one agent with letter and sample pages. He wrote that the writing was very strong but didn't like some aspects of the project as he interpreted them from the query. It was a rejection. I wrote back and said he might get a different idea of the book if he looked at the complete proposal.He agreed to look at the proposal. It wound up being a no in the end, but this incident shows that you can create a dialog with an agent and attain another look.

My momma also told me never to burn bridges. But I couldn't resist a couple of snarky responses to agents who responded with a no months after I had representation. I responded with some of the same boiler plate rejection language I had had so much of: "This is a subjective business. I'm sure you're a worthy agent and I wish you every success in finding someone to represent."

I know Miss Snark says no neener, neener, but sometimes you just can't resist.

I'm going to have a hard time not sending out press releases to agents who rejected me about my nice book deal--if and when I get one.

Mark said...

It's hard to think too much about a rejection that mentions no details of the book. It just didn't grab them for any reason.

Jillian said...

Interestingly, Jennifer Jackson mentioned on her blog several months ago that she would appreciate receiving a "thank you" after she's sent her standard rejection email. I was taken aback by this; I respect Jennifer and the entire Maass crew. I'm not sure why an agent would think that a non-personalized rejection letter would warrant a reply from the writer -- especially if the writer has already thanked the agent for her time in the original query.

I guess we all have our "things."

Christa M. Miller said...

I'm still confused. LOL

To me, saying a project is "strong" is not the same as saying it's "interesting." I mean, the other agent who rejected the project just said she didn't feel she was the right rep. The second rejection seemed a shade more personal.

I'm leaning toward a quick note saying thanks for the feedback... even if it's not much, considering that most e-queries go unanswered, I appreciated hearing back so quickly and seemingly personally.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Why so much angst about this? The agent said no. You probably already thanked her for her time, as ken boy said he did, in the query letter or cover letter accompanying the manuscript.

Does anyone honestly think a thank you letter is going to make an agent remember you next time you query? Maybe I'm wrong about that; maybe it will. But in the end, I still have to believe the writing's what counts. Not whether or not you sent the rejecting agent a thank you note. (Under most circumstances; of course there might be the rare instance of a very long, drawn-out correspondence complete with edits and rewrites and such, that results in rejection. In that case, certainly send the note. And maybe chocolates.)

Christa M. Miller said...

Melanie, we're not the only ones angsting. ;) I went and found Jennifer Jackson's archives and found 41 comments on this post:

http://arcaedia.livejournal.com/83202.html

and 32 comments on this one:

http://arcaedia.livejournal.com/83736.html

You definitely have a point. For me, though (and what I'm getting out of reading those comments), it's not about trying to be remembered... it's about trying to be more personal during a process that seems so very impersonal. I fully expected to be ignored for at least 2-4 weeks (if not indefinitely) and two agents took the time to respond within 24 hours. I guess I feel like sending a thank-you lets them know their extra effort - beyond their consideration of my query - is appreciated. Warm fuzzies, and all that.