Seriously?

The other day, I received “requested material” from an author I didn’t remember. The author had written the standard message: something to the effect of, “Thanks so much for your interest. As requested, attached, please find my proposal…” So I started reading…and immediately wondered what had made me request the full. It was definitely, shall we say, not my cup of tea. I kept reading, seeking an answer. Why would I have seen a glimmer of hope in this? Had I requested it by accident?

When I went through my simple rejection procedure, I had my answer: the author had never even queried me with anything. If he had, it would have been in my folder of queries, it would have had my response attached to it, it would have been logged in my Excel spreadsheet of every query I’ve ever gotten and my reaction to each. The author hadn’t just sent an email to the wrong person, since it was addressed politely to me, specifically. He had lied.

Sigh. Seriously?

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Posted on September 13, 2011, in Advice, book publishing, literary agency, logging submissions, manuscripts, queries, slush pile, submissions, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. This is exactly why I sent my proposal as a reply to the email requesting it. It may be overkill on my part, but I wanted to be perfectly certain the agent in question remembered having requested something from me, and what better way than including their own words in the thread. Now I’m just playing that waiting game…wondering is two months too long before sending a “check in” email?

  2. Fellow would-be authors, take note:

    Lying to an agent is not conducive to a long and healthy business relationship. Yes, the submissions process is often tedious, and it’s difficult to get your foot in the door… But don’t give up! All it takes is perseverance, passion, and a bit of elbow-grease; so, rather than insulting the intelligence of the person you’re querying, and making an idiot of yourself in the process, why not show off your skills and prove that you’re worth his/her energy by doing your research and making sure to follow the submission guidelines?

  3. Fellow would-be authors, take note:

    Lying to an agent is not conducive to a long and healthy business relationship. Yes, the submissions process is often tedious, and it’s difficult to get your foot in the door… But don’t give up! All it takes is perseverance, passion, and a bit of elbow-grease; so, rather than insulting the intelligence of the person you’re querying, and making an idiot of yourself in the process, why not show off your skills and prove that you’re worth his/her energy by doing your research and making sure to follow the submission guidelines?

    • Neither is double-posting, even if it’s by accident. Curse you, six-year-old laptop! And curse the graphics card on my desktop, for needing expensive repairs! This is not my day at all…

      /rant.

      PS: Is there a delete-reply button on here?

  4. Desperate measures. How insulting to you. How foolish of him…

  5. It just makes me want to scream LIAR!! LIAAAARRRR!! Just like Miracle Max’s wife in The Princess Bride.

  6. Lauren,
    Actually, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. When I was in the songwriting business I heard numerous stories from publishers who had this very same thing happen to them all the time. “Here’s a copy of the requested CD you asked for at such and such music conference. Please let me know when we can discuss making it a hit song.” Makes me wonder if this method actually worked somewhere, so some advice givers are promoting it? Would you have thought differently if it HAD been an awesome MS? Sorry. Just playing the Devil’s Advocate. It’s definitely not a grand idea or smart way to endear yourself to ANY agent. :)

  7. I wonder, not that I’m excusing the author by any means, if it’s because I frequently hear agents say, “I’ll never remember you anyway”. Usually, this during agent panels at conferences. I find that interesting because in my experiences, a lot of agents do track submissions and do remember something if they’ve been interested enough to request. Ah, human behavior – so fascinating. And scary. :)

  8. That’s kind of crazy. And insulting. How stupid does he/she think you are?

  9. Wow. I can’t believe that! It never pays to lie or start a potential relationship with one. Just makes people wonder what you’ll lie about next!

  10. Ughh I hate lairs. Electronic, or otherwise

  11. Sad he is that desperate to have his manuscript read, but that was not a cool move. Not cool.

  12. You keep an Excel spreadsheet of every query you receive?? WOW! I’m impressed. :)

  13. I should totally use that technique next time I want to be blacklisted!

  1. Pingback: What Happens to My Query When I Hit Send…? » Colin D Smith

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