Thursday, October 23, 2014

Count Down Day 19--Uncool Agent Delivers An Electronic Kick in the Nuts to This Outraged Writer

I am interrupting this regularly scheduled count down to post a rejection sent in by an LROD reader today. It's a particularly weird one, both overly personal and dramatic, and yet kind of insincere. The first line also might mislead a hopeful writer into thinking that "it's finally happened" means that his/her book is being chosen for representation. Uncool, if you ask me, or maybe just insensitive, but you decide for yourself. Here it is:
Dear Author,

Well, it's finally happened: after over thirty years of answering every query letter that has ever come my way, I've been forced to finally acknowledge that a new era is upon us all.  Before the arrival of e-mail submissions, I used to receive perhaps one hundred queries a week.  That was a lot of queries but it wasn't frankly unmanageable.  The Friedrich Agency now receives more than twice that on a daily basis and it's becoming impossible to attend to much of anything else!  I'm so sorry for the impersonal response, I hate to do this.  Writing a good book or a good proposal is among the hardest things in the world to do; I promise, we're not unsympathetic!  You have our word that we are reading every single query letter that comes our way, but from now on, we're only responding personally if we're sufficiently curious and would like to read further. Please don't take offense at this Draconian measure-- there is undoubtedly a wonderful agent out there for whom your book might just be the perfect match. Toward that end, we wish you all the best!

Take care,
Molly Friedrich

As the receiver of this rejection said: "I mean seriously, starting a pass with, 'Well, it's finally happened,' is a real kick in the nuts. As if anyone's gonna celebrate an agent switching to electronic form rejections. C'mon, man."

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