I'm muttering to myself this morning because the cats are out sunning themselves and Jon is still in Chicago.
I'm catching up on queries so I can then catch up on partials and finally get to manuscripts. Today's mantra in my mind is, "Sometimes it's just not fair!"
It's not fair to authors that we agents have our own little quirks, likes and dislikes and that we can dismiss a perfectly good query--maybe a great query--because of our biases. I have so many queries to go through each day that I have a standard "boiler plate no thank you." I very seldom diverge from this. But I just rejected a fine query for a police procedural and it gave me pause. The author may truly be the next big thing, but I rejected him. Why? Because the topic of the novel is the kidnapping and murder of little girls. Can't do it. Sorry. It's my own little problem. I can't deal with child abuse.
I can't deal with animal abuse either, nor most religious topics, nor angels, nor swords and dragons. It's not that those topics aren't hot stuff with some editors and publishers, it's just that I can't stomach them. Yet I continue to get scores of queries each week on these topics.
So, my words for the day are, "Take heart." When you get a rejection it may not be that you have a lousy query. It may be that the agent simply hates your topic, not your writing. It happens! Don't take it personally. Read agents' write-ups in the books; read their websites and blogs and then send to those who really like your topics. It will save us all a lot of muttering.
"What does this remind you of?" - That's a much more useful way to get feedback than asking if we like it. We make first impressions and long-term judgments based on the smallest of clues. ...
4 hours ago