Today I crossed Agent #26 off my list. Their website says, and I quote, We read all of our email queries ourselves and respond very quickly when we are interested. However, we usually do not respond when we are not interested – no response should be a clear enough indication. The term “very quickly” is open to interpretation but from their tone, I think I can safely assume that I won’t be hearing from them now that 10 days have slid by since I queried them. Yes Mr Agent #26, no response is indeed quite clear thank you very much. Further input from you is neither expected nor required.
So now I turn my dewy-eyed attention to agent #29. I had a look through their impressively long list of clients and many of them appeared to be writers and illustrators (literary agents often work on behalf of illustrators) of books for children and teenagers. I started to think that this was not the agent for me until I noticed that one of their clients is Sylvia Browne who is probably the world’s best selling author in the psychic genre. Then I saw another client who has titles such as “THE TEN-MINUTE SEXUAL SOLUTION: How To Double Your Sex Life in 30 Days” and “VIRGIN SEX: A Girl’s No-Regrets Guide”. Clearly that client is not writing for the no-pubes-yet crowd.
I didn’t see any authors writing the sorts of books I’m trying to plug to any literary agent with an email address. But then I turned to their Submissions page. (Every agent’s website has a ‘Submissions’ page in which they outline exactly how they want to be queried.) On this agent’s page they said, Our doors are always open to new writers… Currently we are looking for…adult fiction in a wide range of genres. If in doubt, query us.
Words like that are a Motown dance track to the ears of someone like me. Most submissions pages are comprised of a list of either “Only contact me if you’re writing in these genres: …” or “Don’t even think of contacting me if your project falls into any one of the following genres: …” It’s understandable, they’re trying to cut down on the tsunami of queries these people receive all day every day. But when you come across an agent who’s open to anything and everything (as evidenced by their broad range of clients) it does jack the Hope Meter up a notch or two. And if I get knocked back, perhaps I ought to call Sylvia Browne and ask her what in the name of Agatha Christie these agents are looking for because I sure as hell don’t know.