Strange one this. Or maybe not? Maybe this is common. I don’t know yet.
Anyway, I received a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ from a small Kent-based agent the other day. So what’s odd I hear you cry? Well, I received the email at lunchtime the day after I’d posted my submission package… So they’d had it for a maximum of four hours.
Either this agent doesn’t receive the usual gazillion MS a day like most others say they get, and hence their slush pile is so miniscule (non-existent) and they have so little to do for their existing clients that they have the luxury of being able to read each submission as it drops onto their clear desk, or they bin them straight away, unread. If so, fair enough, but why not make it clear on the website that they are not looking to take on any new clients unless they are JK Rowling or Dan Brown? The email was so standard that I wondered if the package had been read. (It must have been opened, they had my email address). It wasn’t even topped or tailed. No ‘Dear Laura/Ms Wilkinson/Misguided Fool. No ‘Yours sincerely/yours dying of boredom having just read the turgid nonsense you laughingly describe as the opening chapters of a novel’.
Perhaps the work experience kid charged with the daunting task of ploughing through the slush pile read it, chucked it on the ‘You’ve GOT to look at this’ pile, but it slid off, unnoticed, onto the ‘Chuck IMMEDIATELY’ pile? Ha ha. Perhaps someone read the synopsis and thought ‘Cobblers’, or read the opening paragraph and thought the same? After all, I will choose a book in a shop in this manner. Who knows? Perhaps many agents are, as the fabulous Mr Edit says, plain rude? I’d like to think not. In optimistic mood, ‘til the next time…