Limbo of Agency


Pilgrimage has been out at agents for a bit now.  As is standard, I put it out to multiple agents – just as queries, mind you, since most of the agents I started with asked for samples vice the full manuscript.  I kicked it out there to see what would happen.  No expectations, just a first attempt.

Results have been mixed.  The first agent responded back with a polite rejection in 48 hours.  Fair enough.  Another responded back a few weeks later, with another declination.  One agent had a policy of “no response in two weeks means you should assume rejection.”  Again, since the standard was stated at the outset, that’s all good.  This means I have had a couple of responses which, if disappointing, were at least expected.

I also have two queries languishing.  Both had targeted response times (i.e., “we respond to queries within xx weeks”).  In both cases, I have exceeded the response times by at least 2 weeks and heard nothing.  This leads to uncertainty.  Did they receive my query?  Did they laugh and not bother to respond?  Did an intern forget to send the rejection?  Did they respond, mistype my email and assume I had received it?  Maybe they just haven’t gotten to it.  I understand that agents are busy, and that like anyone else, they don’t always meet response times.  Still, it is frustrating on the author’s end.

So I sent it out to another round of agents a week ago.  At one site, I kept getting my email kicked back, with a message stating that the agent’s server classified my submission as spam.  Even when I stripped out all attachments and went text only, same result.  I sent a very brief email to the agent (which got through), stating that I was having problems and that perhaps they were having some trouble on their end.  They responded, saying the message head been passed to their server administrator.  No further response, or invitation to re-submit my project.  Again, I get that they are busy.  Still felt like a unceremonious brush-off.

(Muse:  Are you not being oversensitive here?  You are the one trying to impress them, right?)

I dunno, I think that works both ways.  Aren’t agents supposed to put their best feet forward as well?  A good first impression should be everyone’s goal.  Perhaps I am mountain-izing my molehills and I am being over-sensitive.  I guess I just prefer the quick, terse, “No thanks,” so I can keep moving forward, instead of wondering what might be.

I read this entry on the blog Thoughts from a Literary Agent.  To sum up, it is another example of some ass-monkey making a fool of himself and torching the crap out of his career.  Ehh, as amusing as these things are, they aren’t really represenative.  But even this guy got a response.  I can’t seem to get that from all my queries and well, hell, I even followed their guidelines.

Yeah, I do scratch my head over these things.  A lot.

Ah well.


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