The guidelines aren’t that hard, and they’re there for a reason–to get everything organized and read correctly. It takes, what, a minute to read them? If you can’t correctly comprehend three lines of instructions, it calls into question your ability to read analytically and to handle the many complicated negotiations that a career in writing entails. If you can’t make sense of “do not send the full manuscript unless requested,” then what are you going to do when you get your fifteen or twenty or thirty or fifty page contract? Are you just going to ignore your deadlines because “who reads e-mails with numbers in them, anyway?”
Justine Larbalestier chimes in with her thoughts on her blog (addressing a specific comment that was made about not needing to follow the rules), and GalleyCat’s Ron Hogan added a tweet as well. In addition, Editorial Anonymous shares another agent’s example of someone who clearly needed the queryfail lesson, but refuses to listen.
As for me, well, I’ve said my part in the comments as well, and because I’ve always had a great reaction to my attempts to live-blog my queries, I will continue to do so. Maybe even next week!
One final thought — was it the term “fail” that seemed objectionable? Maybe if we’d called it #querylessons, or some such…