A year or two ago, I was looking for a new agent, since I’d ended my relationship with the only agent I’d ever had. Keep in mind that we, as writers, have been preached to over the years about being uber-professional in our dealings with agents and editors. Know what they represent/publish; get their names right; be polite; blah blah.
So I picked Ms. Big-Time Agent who repped several of my friends who seemed happy with her and queried her about representation. I told her that I’d published more than 70 books, had made the USA Today and Waldenbooks best-seller lists and had won every major award in our genre, and I wrote a few lines each about the manuscripts I was hoping to interest her in.
I emailed the query and time went on . . . and on. After weeks without a word, I emailed the agent again, and within a day or so got the following reply.
It was signed Ms. Big-Name Agent, though the email address was Ms.BNA’s assistant. I was miffed. I felt snubbed. She couldn’t even bother to type “Dear Marilyn”? And she could tell by the fifty words or so briefly describing multiple books that “the story” wasn’t right for her?
Reveling in insult, I whipped out a response: Dear Assistant: Thank you for letting me know that my story isn’t right for Ms. BNA at this time. I have to say, I would have been surprised if it had been, considering that I didn’t actually send a story.