I’m adding the Agent perspective here. If you have read my previous posts, chatted with me a conference, or mailed your query to Red Sofa Literary, you’ll know that I take this job seriously. I will never be mean or demeaning to any writer who sends a query, however I do reserve the right to turn down a book idea if:
1. It doesn’t work for my current list, i.e. very similar projects are already on my plate.
2. It doesn’t have my passion and/or interest in order to “champion” it to the publishers.
3. The book idea doesn’t even fit within the current representative categories for Red Sofa Literary.
Plus, if an author pitches a project to the agency and the book proposal is requested; only for a DIFFERENT project to arrive in the inbox and/or at the doorstep, this comes across as a bait-and-switch on getting my attention. This type of behavior will result in an immediate rejection as well.
Please remember that rejections are a normal part of the industry, anyone who has been published and/or those who work in publishing know this. Just because ONE agent or ONE editor doesn’t find him/herself working on a writer’s project, doesn’t mean the writer should stop sending queries (or even stop writing).
Ultimately I personally wouldn’t be an agent if the process of working with my authors wasn’t such a wonderful experience. The same goes for editors, as they too wouldn’t be making books ready for commerical readers if they didn’t already love books or their jobs.
My gentle nudge for this weekend: Refer to 14 Best-Selling Books Repeated Rejected by Publishers (from the 11/7/09 blog), and Fragile: Contains Dreams. Please Do Not Bend, Fold, or Crush. (read the comments too).