"Well, guys, I may as well give my two-cents here. (This is Jeff Kleinman, and it totally weirds me out that this would be in someone's blog, but never mind all that for the moment.)
1. I'm flattered and impressed that you think I'm writing "jaunty agent lingo" - it's the way I talk, so I guess I must talk the same lingo. It was actually *meant*, though.
2. The comment: "It makes you want to shout at this dude: "So just publish the damn thing ..." It's NOT my job to PUBLISH books. I'm an agent - I represent books, and send them to editors whom I think will fall in love with them, and those editors publish those books. There's a HUGE distinction here, and if you don't see that, then you need to do some more homework. There are a million reasons why I personally wouldn't want to represent a book, but could easily imagine other people representing it - as is the case here.
3. Women's Fiction is a distinct category in the publishing world. Laney does more of it than I do. I'll let all of you figure out the definition to women's fiction, but it's just wrong to say that because most women buy books, all books are women's fiction.
4. As to what does "land" on and stick to my desk? Not a lot. Fiction's tough, and I don't like to take it on unless I literally go crazy reading it. It's hard to find books that send me over the moon. You need to keep in mind that it's just not my job to find a home for every writer's work - or every 100 writers. My job is to take on books that I absolutely love, and want to sell, and sell them. And then work with the author on how to market them, and how to build the author's career. I could end up taking on 1 book a year, or 100; it's not a numbers game, though.
4. As for the form reject that reads like a personal critique - you're right, I did use that - because I got so sick of saying the same thing, again and again, to most of the writers whose manuscripts I read. So, instead, having gotten slammed somewhere else for using standardized language, I went for the real personal approach, as in the example cited here: A) I really liked it and it's not for me; and B) here's a REFERRAL to my colleague, whom I hope will like it even more. (Jeez, that sounds pretty nice to me - hardly a reason to be lambasted here.) But to answer the poster's question - the reason I used personalized rejections is because it was vastly easier than trying to say the same thing in a different way 10 or 20 times a day - when I could be out reading or working for my clients, and earning a living doing so.
5. I don't represent only men; I'm not even going to bother trying to answer this one. I represent books. I sometimes represent books that primarily appeal to women (and which would fall under the category of "women's fiction"); I sometimes represent books that don't.
Hope this helps.
Folio Literary Management, LLC"
Don't take us personally, Jeff. We are just a bunch of Bitter Bobs, who can't catch a publishing break no matter what we do, and we think your business is a sinking ship, which makes us depressed and then we lash out, which is why most of your colleagues don't really bother with us. (Actually, I don't think we really lambasted this dude, did we? We certainly didn't acuse him of publishing only men.)
Anyway, my friends, perhaps you have something more to say to Mr. K. since he bothered to drop by and defend himself?