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Rant! If agents are NOT taking submissions, why not say so? Prominently, pls

E G Logan

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Sorry, sorry. Burst of indignation here.

I spent an unimaginably long time yesterday carefully crafting – and I do mean that – not only an individually-tailored 'query' (not a submission, very different, so quite some work involved) letter, but also a one-off sample.

I know many agents ask for different fiction samples (1st 3 chapters, 1st 30 pages, 1st 10,000 words, etc, ad infinitum..) but this guy (no names; I haven't totally given up on him yet) wanted something else. Not impossible, but really requiring thought.

I went back through all the stuff (a lot) I'd accessed about him, looking for more clues as to how to play this sample – and found a post from a writer saying she'd heard that some agents at his agency were not taking submissions. I hunted out the page on the company's website with all the agent photographs, which I'd not looked at before (frankly, I don't care if the man has two heads) –
and, sure enough, all the most important agents there seemed to have gone AWOL, indefinitely.

It was only at that point that I found, right at the very bottom of just ONE of the several places where this guy's info appears, a line saying he was "not taking submissions until some time in 2021".

He should watch out, though. I'm still here ... and I'm watching him.


This only adds to the frustration caused by an earlier example, at the end of last year. It was the response to my first US 'query' – and it came from a very eminent US agent. NOWHERE was it suggested he was closed to new business. Believe me, I looked.

It caused me to skip about the kitchen ... then bash my head repeatedly on the wall.

<<That sounds lovely and I love the whiff of [a series for which he is the agent] but during the current crisis situation I just haven't had any appetite for discovering new authors. For now I am just tending to our client list and not expanding.>>

Doesn't he sound like a lovely man? I am watching him, too. Like a hawk.


One more tiny rant. A rant-ette. (Spellchecker really hates that.) Nearly done now.
Why do so many people think that if they have to add to a web page, usually to update it, the place to do it is the BOTTOM? Total laziness.
From the reader's point of view, the place to add something new – and I am not discovering fire here – is AT THE TOP. Even if it's technically a bit trickier to do.
Nobody, or only the very desperate or determined, will find it at the bottom, down there with the registered notices and FAQs.

Apologies again for ranting, but I do feel better for that.
 

Hannah F

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I read everything right down to the bottom of the thread about the agent I'm considering. Yes, sometimes I sigh when I get there and it says "closed to submissions", but even if it said it at the top, I'd still read on to find out if it's an agent I'd be interested in querying once they open, so it makes no real difference to me. I suspect, unless they're a one-person band, they tell the web manager, and the web manager updates the site, not the agent themselves.
 

E G Logan

Full Member
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I read everything right down to the bottom of the thread about the agent I'm considering. Yes, sometimes I sigh when I get there and it says "closed to submissions", but even if it said it at the top, I'd still read on to find out if it's an agent I'd be interested in querying once they open, so it makes no real difference to me. I suspect, unless they're a one-person band, they tell the web manager, and the web manager updates the site, not the agent themselves.
Yes, but this guy has only put it in ONE of the many places online where his bio, etc, is officially listed. I'm not talking about threads about him by other people.

And that probably was done by someone else at the agency.
 

AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
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I read everything right down to the bottom of the thread about the agent I'm considering. Yes, sometimes I sigh when I get there and it says "closed to submissions", but even if it said it at the top, I'd still read on to find out if it's an agent I'd be interested in querying once they open, so it makes no real difference to me. I suspect, unless they're a one-person band, they tell the web manager, and the web manager updates the site, not the agent themselves.
 
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