Shotgunning Again

This time, I didn’t do quite as well as last time, because I have a lot of other stuff going on, but I did query 3 different books with 3 different agents this week. I haven’t heard back from any of the ones I queried on the last go-round, but it’s early days yet.

I do have a bit of a complaint about this process. More than half of the agents I’ve investigated for possible submissions state that if they aren’t interested in your work, they won’t respond at all. They only respond if they want to read more.

I might understand this if the system still worked via snail mail. It does take a couple of minutes to print a form rejection, stuff it in an envelope, and apply a stamp and address label. Not to mention that postage isn’t cheap.

But that world has vanished. It takes maybe thirty seconds to copy and paste a form rejection into an email, and press send. And it’s free! And it relieves a writer’s anxiety over whether to keep waiting or give up on ever hearing anything.

The assumption behind this is that an agent’s time is exponentially more valuable than mine. He or she can’t spare a few seconds to send an email rejection of a manuscript that I spent months writing, because that’s just a waste of his or her valuable time. I realize that they get massive piles of submissions, the vast majority of which aren’t at all what they’re looking for, but honestly, tasking an underling to send out form rejections would really not take that long. I would so much rather get a rejection than ongoing silence.


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