3.29.2007

"no more queries"


QUESTION -- does it seem unseemly for an aspiring novelist to become near-totally unhinged with angry disgust when he sees a major lit agency posting a "sorry-- no more blind queries" note on their website? Maybe I'm inured to such annoyance as that "sorry-- we're too busy" attitude seems common in the movie-writing game, but the friend seemed genuinely bothered. This struck me as odd.

Also-- is it a great deal of trouble having large water-cooler jugs of sloe gin delivered to your workplace? The advantages (especially when suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous dumpth) seem to outweigh any inconvenience. A large "Herradura-on-demand" dispenser seems that sort of thing up behind which I could very much line.



Anyone who gets his or her panties in a wad about "no more queries" is an idiot. Feel free to quote me.

"I insist on querying you" is prima facie evidence of feral ego. People who disregard those announcements are the least likely to be writing something you'd actually make an exception for.

Mostly when agencies say "no queries" it means they won't open them even if you have an SASE. They throw them away, unopened, unread. This sounds to me like the textbook definition of "waste of time". Now, I don't know about you, but I prefer to call up editors looking for projects rather than those who aren't. Silly me I know.



I had to look up Herradura and we don't drink no stinkin' tequila here bucko.
We have a bathtub full of gin. No delivery required. We make it ourselves.

18 comments:

McKoala said...

'we make it ourselves'!? I always thought that you used the fine products of Messrs Gordon, Gilbey & Tanqueray. OK, Miss Snark. Out with the recipe that can trump those three!

LadyBronco said...

*snort*

Does Miss Snark know my in-laws?
They were actually part of a family in the deep South that ran gin and rum during the Prohibition Era.

Peter R said...

What your friend needs to realise is that they have no right of access to the agent. The work of any agent, in any business, is to source products on behalf of their clients. The publishing industry does a good job of muddying the waters by mixing up all the titles. The clients seeking the products (the publishers) who they call producers, employ agents to source saleable products (novels) from the producers (writers) who they call ‘clients’. And just to confuse the issue further, the producer (writer) has virtually no say over the price of their product – imagine buying a new car where the price is set by the customer and the salesman (agent) and the car manufacturer has no say over the price.
What I’m fast learning about this writing business is that despite years of dedication and effort, I will only get published it I’ve produced what the publishers want to sell, because an agent will only take me on if I’m writing what their clients want to sell.
I think I prefer the non-fiction approach, where you write the book after the pitch has been accepted – there would be fewer frustrated fiction writers about if it worked this way. In fact I might just do that: send out loads of queries in lots of false names and wait for someone to request a partial before starting the novel.

John B said...

Does your friend bang on the door of the Dry Cleaners at two in the morning demanding that they take his laundry now?

Computer Commuter said...

A bathtub full of gin. Hmm. I have a basement full of hemp. We should talk.

kathie said...

Tell me Killer Yapp contributes to the making of the gin. Or is KY focused on his utility tub of kibble to help with the gin? I know, I know, KY wouldn't be caught beretless making kibble in anything resembling a utility tub. Anyway, with all the things to get upset about, this is the weirdest I've heard yet--the "we're not taking queries, thank you very much." Obviously not an avid Miss Snark reader.

Kate Thornton said...

The friend mentioned "sloe gin" - a disgusting brown liquid bearing no resemblance at all to Bombay Sapphire.

That alone should qualify for a blindfold and a firing squad.

Bryan D. Catherman said...

The only downside to having a bathtub full of gin is that you have to bath in the toilet (that is if you don't mix your drinks there). It is for this reason that I have two bathrooms in my home. I hate washing in the crapper.

Squarehead said...

"....feral ego...." That's funny.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously not from Texas. Gin and tonic is great, but there is nothing like a good margarita.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. This is probably a nitwit question, revealing my utter cluelessness.

The original question referred to "no more blind queries", yet Miss Snark and several commenters responded as if it had said "no more queries". What is a blind query? Am I missing something obvious?

Jenny said...

People who work in client-based businesses do reach a point, believe it or not, when they have to let some of the work go. Their stable of existing clients will get so huge that they're putting in major overtime to make sure that everybody gets a reasonable level of service. When that happens, one has to say 'thanks but no, thanks' to new clients. Blanket referrals can be a rat's nest of trouble, too. I can see this agency's POV.

Jenny said...

"You are obviously not from Texas. Gin and tonic is great, but there is nothing like a good margarita."

That's a good point in favor of querying outside the 212 - what are you going to have for lunch? New York's food is awesome and full of variety, of course, but what if you want to eat at the Fulton Fish Market or drink banana dacquiries?

I've noticed that my trend on this board is to answer questions about food and drink. I think I'm mentally past writing and have moved on to lunch. Too bad I've barely started to actually write.

BernardL said...

Why go where you're not wanted, when there are hundreds of agents and publishers waiting to send you the form letter rejection in a flash. :)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, a blind query is one sent without referral. An agent who isn't taking blind queries will still look at something passed on to them from a client ("My friend wrote a really good book I think you'd love.") or another agent ("This was sent to me but I think it's more your kind of thing. Wanna look?").

Daisy said...

Another way to look at it: Would you be happy, as a client, if your agent who already had as much work as she could handle, spent her precious time wading through piles of queries in hopes of find another book she didn't have time to take on? Or would you perhaps prefer someone who spent that time on something more important, like making deals for you?

Anonymous said...

The only problem with this is that I can't tell you how many times I've queried agencies who were officially "not accepting queries" and gotten requests. Literally dozens of times. Often what "not taking queries at this time" really means is "trying to scare off the newbies and idiots."

Judy Schneider said...

Can't stop imagining a film of soap scum on the gin. Guess it doesn't change the effect, though. So ladle-up!