Miss Fabulous, literary agent, brings news

A Colleague shares her email:

Dear Miss Snark,

I couldn't resist sharing this email exchange with you:

"Dear Miss Fabulous:

Thank you for reading my book (manuscript) and responding. As you don't feel that it is right, I am asking that you return TITLE by AUTHOR. You may use either FedEx or UPS COLLECT. The return address is: AUTHOR, ADDRESS, ADDRESS.

I was looking for a good agent and had hoped you would be it. I would not have sent you an unsolicated email if I had not made a statement in my original letter to the effect that if I didn't hear from you within a certain period of time, I would mail you a copy of my manuscript. I felt you were giving me an opportunity. Thank You for your time and for returning it.


To which I responded,


I'm afraid I've already recycled your manuscript, as is our policy when return postage isn't included with a submission (link to agency website), As for your approach to finding an agent, I suggest you rethink it. I don't recall seeing the original letter you sent regarding your novel, but sending your manuscript because you didn't hear a response (and sending same manuscript without a cover letter of any sort) was a questionable move at best. Did you send an SASE with that letter? If not, we would have disposed of it without responding, as is our policy. We are quite literally inundated with letters and manuscripts, a reality that unfortunately requires such measures.

I'm sorry we've disposed of your manuscript, and I suggest in future you adhere to the submission guidelines of the various literary agencies you contact.

Agent Fabulous

oh Miss Snark guffawed all the way down Madison Avenue on that one!

It's a new strategy! I'll send you something and if I don't hear back I'll assume the best! You've taken me on as a client! You've sold my work for zillions. Hey...where's the money??

Miss Snark retires to the settee with pail of gin and Norman Vincent Peale "The Power of Positive Thinking".


Anonymous said...

Cynthia writes:

Stupid, idiotic and annoying.

But actually, it's not such a new concept. Book clubs and music clubs (the kind that will sell you ten for a penny? Or has inflation pushed it up to a dollar now?) do that all the time. You have to check the little box and send it back to say you don't want the featured book. Otherwise, you're inundated with book after book ... and bill after bill. Quite annoying, which is why I never sign up for those sorts of things.

Guess Mr. Un-snarkling decided he'd take a page out of their book ... Anyway, didn't he save his original on his hard disk, backed up on a CDR or at least one of those web-based storage/backup sites?

If I'd been Miss Snark or Miss Fabulous Agent, I would have scooped a handful of the day's shredded material, drenched it in coffee, dumped it in a reclaimed Tyvek envelope, put his address as the return address and dropped it in the post without proper postage.

But then, I can be a little witchy at times. Just as well I'm not an agent ... Miss Snark would probably just file it in the round file and not think of it again.

WannabeMe said...

Miss Fab IS fabulous for actually sending a reply to Nutjob.

How do you and your kind deal with this, Miss Snark? Nutjobs and Nitwits - I hope you have a good health insurance policy and a better retirement plan.

Miss Snark said...

A colleague of mine once refunded the cost of postage and a box to some nitwit who sent it to her for return of the manuscript long after the manuscript was recycled. I think she used the box to mail Killer Yapp to summer camp then.

I usually reply saying "sorry, but manuscripts are discarded if postage isn't attached at the time".

I take it as a sign of dodging a bullet, cause clearly these folks have limited reading comprehensionn skills.

McKoala said...

The reply from Miss Fabulous shows outstanding restraint and is a masterpiece of good manners.

Anonymous said...

You know, the otherwise very useful and entertaining Carolyn See, in her book The Writing Life (I may have that title wrong, forgive me) actuall SUGGESTS this for freelancers trying to sell to magazines. She says you should send a query that says something like "I've got this fabulous idea for a story about killer poodles in tams taking over the display windows at Barneys for Valentine's Day. If I don't hear from you, I'll be sending something along in a couple of weeks. Best, desperate freelancer with far, far too much time on her hands.

I've always thought it was crazy talk, and it's almost as silly here!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Obviously Nutjob author was not a reader of Miss Snark.