6.09.2006

Alimentary My Dear Holmeys--UPDATED!!

Dear Miss Snark:

I'll bypass the usual kiss-ass comments you receive from most readers and get to my question. You're a professional, and so am I -- so let's move on (subtext: fellow writers, please get some self respect).(snarktext: get that humorsucking stick out of your alimentary canal..it makes reading the blog a tad more fun)

After querying a well-known member of AAR, I was pleased to receive an email from him expressing excitement for my work and requesting detailed information about me. I supplied this information quickly and succinctly. That was almost three weeks ago. I've heard nothing from him since then.
In your experience, why would an agent with limited time and a large slush pile send an unsolicited email to a prospective client requesting more information -- and then suddenly go quiet? I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts and any advice you may have.

-- an occasional, if also slightly reluctant, snarkling (ya but you sure as hell want my time and attention when you have a question don't you?)


Unsolicited?
If you're a professional, let me introduce you to this large book that you can find in every library, most offices, and even in tiny electrons on your computer: dictionary.

Unsolicited means he phoned/emailed you up out of the blue and said ...well normally I'd write "hey hot stuff" but yanno, we're professionals, you and I, none of that humor stuff.

The reason he hasn't gotten back to you quickly and succinctly is you're not his number one priority right now. Probably not even top ten. Sorry for the bad news but since you're a professional I know you'll appreciate the direct, no folderol, honesty.

You queried him, he asked for some further info. He'll get back to you when he's made a decision. The normal rules of querying apply. Spend this time getting over yourself.



And in the email this afternoon:

Wow -- that was a rude response. But certainly your overly delighted laceration of my question could hardly mean that you need to get over yourself . . .


Honey, I'm not the one wondering why everyone hasn't jumped to attention when I send them a query. Nor am I the one who opens an email asking for time and consideration by insulting those who also read the blog and my blogging style.





22 comments:

The Rentable Writer said...

... And you've now officially been snarked.

Miss Snark's blog without humor is a frightening thing.

Nobody said...

No no, the questioner is right. All this hearting of Killer Yapp. It's disgusting. You pour out your soul to him, he takes the Charlee Bears, then nothing. He never calls. You see him around town and he pretends not to even remember your name. It's time we writers woke up and got some self-respect.

- an occasional, if also slightly reluctant, yappling

S. W. Vaughn said...

Ooooh. My. Speechless.

Writerious said...

In the writing business, a thick, criticism-and-rejection-resistant skin is an asset, but it is not to be confused with being too full of onesself, which actually makes one more sensitive to criticism and rejection.

A sense of humor helps.

ADevotedSnarkling said...

Ah, yes, but my dear Miss Snark, what about those agents who request partials or completes via email and then are never heard from again?

Now, I'll admit, this book is in a less-than-hot-selling genre and is much different from my published novels but, honestly, is that any reason to ignore me?

Jodi Meadows said...

You are my hero forever, Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

A well known writer once said this happened to him a lot--people would want to talk to him because he was famous but would insult him at the same time, as if to say, "you and I both know you aren't very good." I think they assumed he would say, "yeah, but let's just keep that our little secret."

Those nutty snarklings, always kissing up. Aren't they just a bore, Miss Snark? Let's roll our eyes together.

-C-

michaelgav said...

"A sense of humor helps."

Good Lord, a sense of humor is the only thing getting me through this process. Without my role models for dealing with frustration and anger (Basil Fawlty and W.C. Fields), I might have already chucked my stuff into the sock drawer like so many wilting almost-writers before me.

Miss Snark deserves high praise for exhorting us to query widely and to keep at it, and for reminding us that rejection is an everyday part of the business.

That she is also capable of bludgeoning a nitwit with a few clicks of her keyboard doesn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

A professional answer. For a professional writer. Seek and ye shall find.

Georgia Girl

December Quinn said...

The best part is, you have his/her email, and can ignore further insulting demands for your help!

If you truly were so full of self-importance, Miss S, you might share that particular non-snarkling's name with us all, including the agent who dares to do other work instead of immediately jumping at the querent's command.

Since you are a benevolent Snarkess, though, you won't (although it's a threat s/he should keep in mind. Duh.)

I doubt the querent is as principled. :rolleyes

Bernita said...

This...person...should hook up with the typo-nazi.
They would deal extremely together.

Anonymous said...

"I got Snarked" is a scar (badge? mark? brand? memento?) to be proud of. I got Snarked a couple of weeks ago, and it's almost as good as getting a response from a non-virtual agent.

This is, ultimately, sales advice. Ask any salesperson (they're easy to find). It's a numbers game of rejection. "No" is polite compared to the equally common FOAD (google it if you don't know). I love my snark time because it moves me up the slush pile--if I listen as a business person (who are often funny in public, but grave in the self-and-others-respecting privacy of their own homes) rather than as a cardio-exanguinating-sleeved nitwit.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Beverage warning.

Beverage Warning!

BEVERAGE WARNING!!!

jeanjeanie said...

Cheese whiz on a cracker. There's sucking up, and then there's showing appreciation for the very useful service that Miss Snark provides, free of charge, in her limited spare time. Her individual time and attention to your e-mail is a favor, not an entitlement, and if you don't recognize that then you are indeed a nitwit and you deserve to be treated like one.

--E said...

This is the kind of person who goes to Pamplona and then wonders what the hell just poked him in the butt.

Simonbun said...

"This is the kind of person who goes to Pamplona and then wonders what the hell just poked him in the butt."

Beverage alert indeed!!! Thank you for a hearty belly-laugh on that one.

J. Carson Black said...

He doesn't need to be poked in the butt. As Miss Snark so quickly and succinctly indicated, he already has the required spine straightener inserted in the appropriate place.

Anonymous said...

How could this person consider a reply from an agent, "unsolicited"? And, how could she think "almost three weeks" is too long to wait? Obviously, she qualifies as a nitwit.

Anonymous said...

A well known writer once said this happened to him a lot--people would want to talk to him because he was famous but would insult him at the same time, as if to say, "you and I both know you aren't very good." I think they assumed he would say, "yeah, but let's just keep that our little secret."

Oh my heavenly dog, anonymous, thank you for this post. So it's not just me? Somehow I feel much better. Not that I want ANY writer to have to feel degraded and humiliated in this manner, but at least I'm not alone.

kis said...

Yanno, the snarklings can occasionally get a tad, shall we say, fawning, yes? And when our beloved Miss is threatened by the vulagarity of outsiders, well, we certainly do circle those wagons.

But those who find fault with this need to focus not on what the behavior is, but WHY it is. Miss Snark may not be a saint, but she is saint-like in her devotion to her following--even those whose manners are less than sterling. She gives her time and wisdom perhaps not selflessly (I'm sure she hopes the quality of her slush might be improved by her endeavors) but with astounding generosity. She is honest. She is affectionate. She is funny. She is more tolerant of nitwits than many give her credit for.

Although I would never bother to post a comment that said merely "Miss Snark rocks!" I am happy to enlighten those who would doubt the accuracy of such a statement.

To reiterate: Miss Snark rocks. Miss Snark rocks. Miss Snark rocks.

ello said...

"How could this person consider a reply from an gent, "unsolicited"? And, how could she think "almost three weeks" is too long to wait? Obviously, she qualifies as a nitwit."

HEY!!!! As a "she", I object to qualifying this nitwit as a "she"!!!! THAT's GENDER PROFILING! I think this nitwit is most definitely a "HE"!!!!

jude calvert-toulmin said...

> Wow -- that was a rude response. But certainly your overly delighted laceration of my question could hardly mean that you need to get over yourself . . .



Rolls eyes. Priceless.