I’m up to agent #10 now. I’m still on the New York agents and still querying the ones who list ‘historical fiction’ or ‘historicals’ as one of their specific areas of interest. But since about agent #6, I don’t seem to be getting replies back inside 48 hours now. Of the ten agents I have now queried, I’m still waiting to hear back from five of them (not including the two that asked to see more material.) Considering how many literary agents there are – they’re in their hundreds – I’ve really only just started this process but I had been struck by how quickly they were all getting back to me. Perhaps I just picked the top half-dozen agents who are really good about getting back to authors efficiently.
At any rate, I’m now at #10 and when asked in the Jeff Herman guide “How would you describe the perfect client?“, she had this to say: Glorious talent aside, the perfect client is distinguished by good sense, good humor and good manners.”
I’d have expected the first two, but good manners...?! It makes me wonder what sort of letters get sent out to literary agents by people on my side of the brick wall. Take me on as a client you goddamned bitch or I’ll come at you with a machete. I suppose all sorts of different approaches work for all sorts of different literary agents but I can’t imagine The Rude Approach works for anyone. And that’s probably a good thing. Where does one even buy a machete?