Dear Miss Snark,
Some literary agencies are apparently much more efficient than others. Most websites indicate that email submissions require at least 7-10 days for a response (if they respond at all).
So I email out 4 queries late one evening. Surprise! In less than 10 minutes I have my very own rejection! A second rejection was in my inbox first thing the next morning.
I am puzzled. How in the world can we-are-so-busy-don‚t-dare-waste-my-time agencies
receive a query, open it, read it, and make a decision so quickly? And, in the middle of the night! It would be unprofessional to accept email submissions and then reject them unread, wouldn‚t it? They would never do anything like that, would they?
No, they wouldn't.
When exactly do you think we read queries? Ten am on Monday? Are you nuts? That's when I'm yapping at editors like the Hound of Offerville. Do you think I'm doing it at 6pm on Tuesdays? No, that's when I'm howling at film agents, and my foreign rights agents.
We read queries when we aren't doing anything else. For some us that's now. 10pm on a Sunday night. That's EXACTLY what I'm doing now, while I also post to the blog.
Scroll back through the archives for a couple recent posts on "Why I stopped reading" and you'll see why many times it doesn't take more than 1/4 of a NY minute to know "it's not quite right for me".
Most queries suck. Most writers can't write query letters to save their lives. Odds are you are one of those people. This is not a comment on your query cause I haven't read it but if I know that most ie 75-80% of query letters suck, I'd be an idiot to bet yours didn't. Cold hard brutal facts, but they are facts nonetheless.