January 16th, 2009

books

letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 221
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: YA fantasy

this week's query wars casualty: the author that sent the query that said: "In lieu of a sample chapter, I've included this DVD..."


Dear Authors:

It's not hard to find someone on a blog somewhere saying that agents are rude because they don't even bother to reply to queries. And in some cases, such a reputation might be well-deserved. But I caution against tarring all agents with the same brush, any more than authors would like to be all viewed through the lens of that handful of people who each week are (for whatever reason) obnoxious in their queries.

Make an assumption about this and it could be the wrong one....

Case in point: this week I got an email from an author who was simply asking for me to confirm that I had received their query in early November. Because I had not yet purged my outbox I was able to search for a reply, and discovered I had not once, but three times on three separate days, attempted to send a reply to the author in question and each time I'd gotten a bounce. So, today I tried to re-send the response that I sent them in mid-November, and I guess I'm not surprised that I got the same bounce with "permanent fatal errors". Besides hoping they don't jump to an erroneous conclusion and tell everyone on querytracker.net, what's a person to do about these things?