November 1st, 2005

books

100 queries in the inbox later....

There are a few of those questions from last week's Q&A that I didn't have time to get to. I'm still going to try, though with WFC on the horizon, it may take me a bit. facelesswords asked: What are your thoughts on e-queries? I find that agents are really split right down the middle on this issue. Some agents have the "you won't hear from me unless I'm interested" thing going with e-queries. What is that all about?

What do I think about email queries? Personally, I wouldn't mind them if they weren't so prone to casual mistakes or unprofessional behavior (see list below). Far more prevalent than with the snailmail approach, perhaps because email is often used in a chatty fashion. Also, I get a lot of them. If we assume, 50 or so a week (which is a rough estimate -- I haven't actually counted), that's over 2500 a year. Think about that for a moment.

We do have that proviso that is asked about above -- our official website says: due to the volume of e-mails that we get, we will respond only if we are interested in reading more of your material or if we want to discuss representation. It can take a lengthy amount of time to reply to them all - even if we go the route of cutting and pasting. Which, again, wouldn't be so disenchanting if they were better aimed, more accurate, etc. The guidelines on my personal site (which is badly in need of updating) still has the previous version of our submission instructions, which stated that we don't accept them at all. Problem was, people just sent them anyway. Our guidelines actually get ignored all the time, which always leaves me a bit puzzled since they're sitting right out there on the web and a search for the word "Maass" in Google yields a hit to our official site on the first page of links. Of course you also have to remember it has two a's and two s's, which a lot of people don't seem to figure out.

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