I received an email this morning which looked like a reply from an literary agent. Surprised to hear from her after so long an interval, I opened the message with my heart aflutter.
“Hello,” the greeting began. That no name was appended to the salutation was a clue this was a piece of junk mail. Still, I read on, hoping.
“I’m sorry,” the note continued, as if providing an apology, “but my client list is full.’’
As I’d already received one rejection from her, I was confused about a second. Fortunately, the woman wasted no time in explaining. The publishing world was in a state of flux, she informed me. Writers needed help and she was creating a newsletter for that purpose. She invited me to sign on and promised I’d receive eye-opening information on a regular basis. As proof of that promise, she provided a link where I could read a sample.
What I found at the site was a short paragraph about George Orwell and his many rejections before he published Animal Farm. The information was history and nothing to do with current trends in publishing, so I decided to go to her website. I admit what I saw there was eye-opening. Contrary to what she’d said in her email, she wasn’t closed to queries but wide open for business.
I scratched my head. What was I to make of this discrepancy? Then the obvious occurred to me. She was trawling among the bones of her rejects to generate numbers for her newsletter. In advertising, numbers mean money and this agent, locked in a dying profession, had decided to diversify.
To be fair, the agent who contacted me had done anything illegal, though I question her ethics. She wasn’t truthful about being closed to queries. What’s more, for personal gain she was willing to manipulate the hopes of those whose hopes she had already dashed. My advice, if she sends you an email, is to hit the delete button and move on.
(Courtesy of www.freecomputermaintenance.com)