I love Fail Blog, I really, truly do! I make it an almost daily thing to stop by and read that site and some of it's juvenile, yet hilarious pictures.
So you can imagine that when I saw the whole shenanigans regarding #agentfail and #queryfail, I just knew it was going to be classic minus the whole funny picture thing.
But it wasn't funny and I'm sure it COULD have been if we put in a little effort.
Seriously though, if you're not privy to what went on, you can find it out here because I'm really not about to go through all of that--and I'm sure that this could explain it better than I can.
and here http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23queryfail
So assuming that you've read that and now have a general idea about what all of that entails, here's my take on it--and I'm not going to hide behind the anonymity of the internet.
I think this goes both ways.
I think writers in general would be alot less worked up over things like this if some of them actually took the time to:
1. Research the agent you're interested in
2.Have clear understanding of his/her guidelines and procedures about submitting a query
3.KNOW the audience and the book genre he/she is looking for and what you yourself has written.
I think people tend to go a little half-cocked with this whole query thing. You're so excited to have your manuscript completed FINALLY that you just want to get it sent out to everyone as quickly as possible. I think you need to take pride in your work and yourself and take the extra time to be a little professional.
I'm speaking from personal experience. I sent a query to an agent who I am just hell bent on getting to represent me. He rejected my first query because I don't think I went about it the right way, and really...the thing just plain sucked and thinking back on it now, I can laugh about it. And while the rejection was disappointing, his quick reply and kind words made it a bit easier to swallow.
That being said, I don't think that being agent gives a person free reign to be rude to people either. I have a very slim few people that I plan on giving my manuscript to. I've narrowed it down to about four or five. With the whole "no response means rejection" thing--I think it's unprofessional and extremely narcissistic. It comes off as "look at me, I am so FREAKING AWESOME and all these so NOT-AWESOME people are querying me with their even LESS AWESOME queries. I am a god among ants and I shall not respond!" *commence the smiting*
I really...hate that. I understand that a person gets HUNDRED of submissions and they get backed up with trying to read all of them--and while I sympathize and understand--that is an agent's job. So I'm going to assume that an agent entered that profession knowing full well of what it was going to entail.
I really don't even need a personalized note--just a simple, 'No, not what we're looking for, but thank you' would suffice. I'm not an overly sensative person (*cough*)...okay..I'm not an overly sensative person when it comes to my writing. I enjoy the critique because it's a challenge to me--a challenge for me to come even better than I did before. I know that I'm a good writer, and I know I am going to write a really great book...
but in the process of all of this, I'd like to be treated with the same courtesy and respect that I extend to a potential agent. I'm a grown woman, I'm a mother and I'm a person who really goes out of her way to be kind to people. It really gets my goat when people are just rude and mean and nasty for no reason.
That's just...people in general. I don't see agents as some sort of demi god. I see them as people who could benefit me greatly and I them.
Someone said on another blog about this, that it's like finding love. You can have all the criteria of what you're looking for, but once it happens...it happens. It's "booknerdlove" at first sight.
My dream agent would be a person like a man I know named Michael. He absolutely loves my writing and he has always saw it for what it was supposed to be--and I would love to have agent see that...and GET IT. I would love for them to read my manuscript and be wowed and fascinated and eager to call me--because let me tell you--that'd be almost up there with giving birth to my daughter and seeing this little person that's been growing inside of me for 10 months (she was late).
It'd be up there with locking eyes with that person--and knowing that you'd be with them for the rest of your life.
Writing is...beauty in words. It is an artform that not everyone can perfect. I'm not sure that it can be perfected. I have such a profound love for writing and it's something that I would hope would come through.
That whole queryfail thing was hurtful to those affected by it. I could see how it would be a slap in the face for someone. Integrity can go a long way.
I just say dot your i's and cross your t's--make sure YOURS isn't a queryfail--and even if it is, you can always start over.
That's the beautiful thing about being a writer--if you don't like the story--just change it.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Posted by Alicia Evans at 9:34 AM