Dear Miss Snark,
I queried a top NYC agent and included the first 3 chapters of my suspense novel. Within 2 wks he replied with excitement that I should send the entire ms. I did. 8 wks later, I asked how things were going. He said he would get back to me. 6 months I queried for a progress report. He emailed back that he needed another week. 12 months later I requested my ms back. Da nada.
I called, left a pleasant message on his answering machine, something to the effort of time passed & if he wasn't interested, could he pls use the postage included in my kit to mail my ms back. Da nada.
I've long since moved on & am now waiting on another agent who requested my ms. I gave this agent an exclusive read. It's only been 2 wks, so there's still a chance he's a winner.
Apart from OD'ing on TUMS, I realize there's nothing I can do about the first guy, but I can't let it go. I've gone thru 2 agents who were quick to sign me, then promptly spent the next 2 yrs ignoring me. How does one stop themselves from going insane?
My question is "Why didn't the fellow just reject my butt?"
You have a nice ass?
Recently I called an editor to follow up on a ms she'd had for donkey's years. Ok, months, but same diff. I'd emailed her a couple times with a perky little "checking in!!!" kind of thing with some comment about a recent buy she'd made. Nada zilcho silencio.
Finally I called her.
"oh," she said, "yes of course, you've been emailing me about that, well I can't find it."
Insert sound of me slamming my face into the computer monitor. It takes all my strength and resolve not to SCREAM "why didn you just tell me; I would have sent another one over".
It gets better.
I don't scream, the convo continues, I tell her about this ms. It's clearly wrong for her after we get talking. I say so, she agrees. Here's the fun part: another editor at her company had told me to send the ms to her.
The only thing that explains this logically is that when she couldn't find this, she was a touch embarrassed, then got caught up doing other things and forgot about it.
My guess is that's what happened to you. Agent NeedsANanny forgot, now he's totally embarrassed, and how do most of us deal with that? You got it: ignoring the email.
It's not personal. It just happens. Think of it this way: the only stories people really want to hear in the bar at writing conferences are the horrible ones. If you have none, you don't get to be the center of attention ever. This poorly organized, cretinous excuse for an agent has done you a favor. I think you should thank him in the acknowledgments.
As to how to avoid them, I don't know. If I did I'd bottle it and make zillions. My best advice is to look at his client list, contact a couple of authors and look at how long they've been with him.