...can you hear me Major Tom?
About a week ago author, and former agent, Nathan Bransford posed a question: Should agents respond to all queries? (There's some great links in there, too.)
My initial response was, of course! Then I got to thinking. Is it really that important to have the polite little form rejection in my mailbox. Hrmm. No, I guess not really.
Let's face it, agents are busy. As long as the agent is actually reading the query, I'm really okay with silence on the other end - as a means of, thanks but no thanks.
However...(you didn't see that coming? Really?)
I don't send my queries willy-nilly. I research each agent I come across before even thinking about adding them to my Query List. They need to, first and foremost, rep my genre. Hopefully genres, since I write in a few. I also look through their client lists and read excerpts, and sometimes buy the books, from writing styles/voices/stories that may be similar to mine. Of course, not too similar - what agent would want to try and sell a book they've already sold, yanno? I find interviews with the agent and study up. Fresh interviews are best since sometimes the agent has changed tastes/genres, etc, but not yet updated the blog/website. There are a few other things I research, too (who me, a stalker? Nah. *pulls ballcap lower*)
Each query letter I write takes a good half an hour (maybe it's the 20 minutes I take to convince myself to hit send...) while I make sure that I let the agent know why I think they might be a good fit for my book.So, sure, agents are busy, but I use a lot of my time on queries as well.
In the end, I'm still fine with the non-responders, but what I'd love to see from them is at least an auto-generated email response to let me know that the query hit their inbox. Otherwise I might sit and stew on whether they actually got it or it hit their spam folder, or flew into outer space. (Wait, did I forget to mention I'm neurotic? Oh. Well, there it is. I am.) I hate not knowing if my hard-written query actually got to its destination.
How 'bout you? Do you need that rejection letter in your inbox, or do you move on without ever thinking about the old queries you sent? (Okay, I've picked myself off the floor, and my sides ache a little from the hysterics. The dogs also think I'm crazy. But, they've never met another writer. Possibly they think I'm the only hot-mess-neurotic writer.)