What NOT to Do

dont1Though we’re still behind, Renee and I have been doing our best to get to all of your queries, and while it’s true we do use a form response, we absolutely look at every single one of them. How are we going to find a diamond in the rough if we don’t actually LOOK at the rough? Anyway, today we received this response to a rejection:

Dear Agent,

Many thanks for your form letter rejection, which I am receiving with your regrets. I sympathize with the demands of running a boutique agency–I’m a teacher, after all, and don’t work for a living–and I understand how difficult it must be to hit [control+c] and then [control+v] several times a day after making aspiring [Dear Author]s wait for eight weeks. I appreciate your lack of specificity when it comes to the various ways in which my writing sucks, as this will guide my abiding hatred for you and for all of the Ivory Tower Guardians you associate with. May your children contract gingivitis, and may your husband come down with an itch that will have you both wondering what the illness is until you get the [Dear Patient] email that asks you to empathize with the plight of “boutique” doctors.

Best,
[Disgruntled Author]

I don’t have to tell you that this is wildly inappropriate, right? Our use of a form letter is necessary when we’re sending responses to hundreds of queries, and it’s the same letter if the query is illiterate or intriguing, but not for us. This author went so far beyond the bounds of appropriate behavior in a way that absolutely guarantees not only that we’d never consider working with him, even if he had written a Harry Potter-level masterpiece, but that we would warn others if his name ever came up.

Don’t do this, ok? Just move on to the next agent on your list.

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