I got a letter from an agent who had requested my proposal saying, "this is quite nicely written and a very helpful guide but just isn't right for my list." Why do agents request something that "isn't right for their list" in the first place? Is there sometimes a level of curiosity behind the request that they know will not lead to any offer of representation but just sparks their personal interest?
What kind of guide is it? Dive bars in Dubuque? Dungeons in Denver? Bordellos in Boise?
"Not quite right for my list" is like "I'm sorry". It can mean "oh darn I stepped on your toe on accident" or "get the bloody hell out of the subway door with that bicycle before I puncture your $800 tires with my hat pin you bloody oaf". (Err...it was crowded on the B train tonight.)
No one is asking for stuff just for amusement. We get all the jollies we need in the slush pile.
We request lots of things we don't take. There's no way to know if we want it till we read it. That's just an absolute fact of life. If it drives you nuts, you need to get into a new line of work, cause this won't change ever. Unless you're Nicole Ritchie of course then the only thing I have to say is "I'm sorry".