Monday, July 11, 2011

Wait a minute, agents make mistakes too?

In the querying process, I've made a couple mistakes that make me cringe. I've been working hard to "personalize" each query, and so, of course I've been researching each agent I send to. Despite all my research though, I've still made a few errors that I felt horrible about.

I accidentally told one agent how much I loved a book she repped. I did really love the book, but her firm didn't rep it (I just forgot to erase that line from the previous query). And, in another instance, I sent an identical query twice in a few hours to one agent (once from each email account).

In my mind, agents are these God-like creatures floating in the sky that I am simply begging to PLEASE, OH PLEASE, LIKE ME. So any mistakes from us humanly folks makes me feel low. Lower than low.

But today when I opened my inbox, I was really happy to see another rejection. Yeah right, that didn't come out right. What I meant to say was, the rejection I received this morning was a mistake on an agent's part, and THAT made me smile.

You see, this agent already rejected me a few days ago. Today's rejection was ANOTHER copy of the exact same rejection--nothing like twisting the knife into the writer's gut huh? It was a simple mistake, and one without any major consequences, but it just made me realize that agents are also human.

Yes, we MUST strive for perfection in our queries. But remember we all make mistakes. Next time you address a Mr. as Ms. or something similar, don't make a suicide plan. It happens, and it's okay.

What mistakes have you made when querying? Or what mistakes has an agent made on you (besides not picking you up for representation of course)?


Chantele Sedgwick said...

I can't remember any specific ones I made, but I do know I made some. I do remember an agent that sent me a rejection for a book I didn't write. It was a detailed rejection and I politely wrote him back saying I didn't know which book he was talking about, but it definitely wasn't mine. He wrote back immediately saying how sorry he was and he'd accidentally clicked my name because he had my full and the other person's full manuscript open at the same time or something. It was kind of funny. He was really embarrassed! So, agents ARE human. They make mistakes just like we do!:)

Emily Rittel-King said...

I made so many mistakes, but I think my biggest is not being persistent. One particular agent I queried three times before getting a response (she was one who says she'll reply). Each query letter I personalized a bit more until Walla! She asked for a partial. Others I let fall by the wayside. I should have been persistent. It works.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I misspelled my first name on a proposal that an agent requested, but she still liked the ms. Not sure if she noticed it or not. But I did, after it was too late!! :)

I think we need to laugh a little at our mistakes. Because like you said, we're human!

Kaylee Baldwin said...

I had an agent write "Dear Meg," and then continued with my rejection letter. Since I mentioned my book, Meg's Melody, in the query, I think he just got the names mixed up.

Otherwise, I've just made small mistakes like forgetting to change the subject heading to requested mats and other small things like that.

Deborah A. said...

What a good attitude you have about it! Sometimes I decide not to query because in my mind, they've already rejected me. :)

Melanie Jacobson said...

Man, the double rejection is one of those stories you'll get to stick in your back pocket and trot out to entertain people when you DO hit it big.