Dear Miss Snark,
I'm writing because my agent has been shopping my novel MS for a year to 15 editors, and NONE have responded. What's going on?
My agent has been in the business for 20+ years at a reputable firm with a handful of well-known clients. He shopped my book (debut literary fiction) to 7 editors last February, and then sent it to 8 more in November, and NO ONE has responded. Recently, he started taking 10 of the 15 editors to lunch, he says, to hand-sell the book. Still no responses.
He claims it's the business. I can't help but wonder whether it's something else. He's a nice guy, and I certainly don't want to get rid of a good agent, but how can I tell what's going on here?
This is horseshit.
There's not one single chance in the world that an editor, sitting at lunch, pitched a book, will give NO response. It may not be the one you want (wild laughter, gasping, calling for the defibrillator); it may not be polite (have you taken leave of your senses); it may not be verbal (editor faints dead away and requires oxygen) but there will be a response.
I've been sitting across the lunch table from editors for quite some time now, and one thing is for sure: they're not mute.
I'm not sure what's going on with your agent but I absolutely guarantee you that "no response" from 15 editors defies the laws of physics, at least here on planet earth.
And agents don't take editors to lunch. I can count on one claw the times I've picked up the check or issued an invite. Editors ask us to lunch and pick up the tab.