4.26.2007

Nitwit beyond even the last one

Hello,
This morning I submitted a query to an agent I'd researched, and promptly received a reply from another agent at the house who had been forwarded my query from the original agent I queried. This agent asked for my full electronically, and I gladly sent it right away, settling in for the long wait. Not more than 3 hours later, I received a "Thank you for letting me read your manuscript. Unfortunately I cannot offer you representation at this time." Is this standard procedure in any way? Do I have grounds to be frustrated for the false hope, and that there was no feedback given?


no
no
no

I think taking the blame for giving writers "false hope" by asking to see their manuscripts may qualify as the nitwittiest thing I've heard all day. And as you can see from today's posts, you had SERIOUS competition.

I need a gin IV drip after this one.

17 comments:

Maggie Stiefvater said...

I clicked on the "Miss Snark Sets Her Hair on Fire" in hopes of finding other instances of hair flamage, but alas, this is the first -- I'm sure not the last.

Ozal said...

This doesn't appear to be a joke. So just in case MS wasn't clear enough... no. The only thing non-standard about this procedure was that it occurred with merciful speed.

You should thank the agent for his/her efficiency. But only in your head. If you sent an email, the agent might harbor the false hope that you wish to be friends.

Anonymous said...

oh, she's finally gone and done it.

Gwen said...

Maybe agents complain about false hope every time they get an interesting query or first chapter and the ms turns out to be weak.

Holly said...

I think I would mostly be thankful I hadn't spent an ink cartridge on printing hard copy.

There is feedback, though, in a way. There was something good in the query, and less good in whatever can be read in three hours. The author has a starting point to start picking things apart, if picking proves necessary.

BernardL said...

Too bad you can't give us the Agent's house. Submit, get a request for full, receive a polite rejection, and all in four hours: wow, what a ride. Sign me up for a ticket on that express. :)

Maria said...

If this happened to me, I'd work hard on the first chapter (and probably the rest of it) because it would appear to me that the agent read a few pages and thought it sucked.

That, or she thought you were someone famous, got the manuscript and said, "Oh this isn't DAN BROWN, it's DANIEL P. BROWN."

Anonymous said...

I caused MS to create an entirely new category?! Wow. Just, wow. In my defense, the aim of the question was not really in the ballpark of what I "deserve" from an agent as a writer, and the whole "false hope" wording was pretty unfortunate...

What I was mainly asking about was what I should think about a full ms rejection that took merely hours; there was part of me that defensively wondered "how much did you read and what was so wrong with it that it caused you to immediately fling it from your presence?"

Bernita said...

Maggie, it goes back to the first Crapometer.
I merely made her want to stand on a chair and scream.

--E said...

Anonymous Original Querent--

Most manuscripts get rejceted in a matter of minutes. There's just usually a couple of weeks or months where the manuscript is taking up space in the agent's or editor's office while other tasks are taking priority.

Count yourself lucky that this agent had a spare moment to read your sub right then. Or maybe your pitch is so incredible that they had to drop everything and read your ms right away. Or possibly your pitch indicated that your book might be exactly what the agent recently heard her favorite editor was looking for, but then the manuscript itself wasn't quite right.

There are a lot of possibilities. A uber-fast response is rare, but not odd. The bell curve has pointy bits at both ends.

Elektra said...

I think I'm going to yell at the next person who calls me for "getting my hopes up"

--Elektra, who has a full out to an agent and is praying for The Call.
Word veri: ucofxgcu Does this seem unnecessarily long to anyone else? For that matter, does the word 'unnecessarily' seem unnecessarily long to anyone else?

BernardL said...

Anonymous, it's like going fishing, and getting a huge bite; but just as you clear the big bugger out of the water, the hook dislodges. Just think to yourself what a great ride, bait the hook again, and throw the line right back in the water. :)

Anonymous said...

What I was mainly asking about was what I should think about a full ms rejection that took merely hours; there was part of me that defensively wondered "how much did you read and what was so wrong with it that it caused you to immediately fling it from your presence?"

An agent doesn't have to read the full ms--or even the first 25 pages--to know the story isn't right for them.

Anonymous said...

anon:

Agents don't hold on to a manuscript for months because they're thinking about it--they hold on to it for months because they haven't gotten to it yet. This one just happened to give you your fifteen minutes of attention within three hours because you were on top of the stack. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your feedback, everyone. What a tough biz! I've submitted my first 10 pages to an editorial service, so hopefully that'll give me some good feedback for how to improve my first impressions.

In retrospect, it does seem better to have gotten the bad news over with. Although, it would've been fun to hang onto the glow of "I have a full out there!" for a few days longer. :)

You guys are great. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if First Agent thought, "Hey, this looks a lot like a book Second Agent just signed. Maybe I should pass it along." Second agent sees the query and thinks, "Oh, no, are two people querying the same book?" Asks for full, just to be sure. Finds out book is similar but not the same to one Second Agent currently represents. Sends "no" letter.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Bernita, that's not bad - I live most of my life in that condition.