Today, a friend of mine e-mailed our writers' group to say she was mortified to have sent out a query to an agent whose website said they were closed to submissions. 'How could I have made such a Rookie mistake?' she says.
Haven't we all done something similar? Like send a query in Bookman Old Style Font instead of Times New Roman, or attached the first twenty five pages instead of chapter 1 to 3. Or maybe even sent the synopsis as an attachment instead of as part of the e-mail?
We press the 'send' button and the panic sets in - Then we twist ourselves in knots and imagine the agent has assigned us to a Blacklist on some secret database accessible only to other agents, saying, 'This author ignores instructions!'
So we e-mail all our author friends on how dumb we have been and what to do - and they all mail back to commiserate and reassure us there are plenty more agents out there who don't know what idiots we are.
Then we stress over whether we ought to re-submit, because the agent might recognise our name and delete the query as a reflex action? Or will another sign go up on the database. 'This author is still deluded enough to think I am going to read their query - despite previous blunder!
The nice part of this story is the agent e-mailed my friend back - and of course said friend panicked and thought she was going to be 'yelled at or something' [quote] for breaching the rules, and guess what - The agent wants a partial.
What senstive souls us authors are and how we live in dread of upsetting the superior beings that are Literary Agents.
And by the way Dearest Kate, this post is definitely not about you!!
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