Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cleaning Out The In Box

When Joanne Brownstein at Brandt & Hochman didn't respond to the query sent in April, I figured she was either not going to respond, or she had already left the agenting business after less than six months. Might as well fire off a query to someone else at the agency, if that's how it's going to be.

Two rejections from two different Brandt & Hochman agents turned up in the mail. Nice little personalized billet deux from Ms. Brownstein, by the way. And a photocopied, standard issue, lack of interest rejection letter as well. Some summer intern or other must have been put to the task of tackling the query letters and they went at their project with glee and the intense desire to please that is the hallmark of the eager intern. So he or she or they managed to clear out the entire in-box, down to the most recently received, and they'll earn a dash of gratitude for their time. The agents will send them off with a wish of good luck at university and assurances of a bright tomorrow in their future career as a literary agent.

Can't say the same for the folks at Curtis Brown. Maureen Walters was quick to send off the rejection, within a week of the snail-mail query arriving. Haven't heard from Mitchell Waters, who is pondering over a query sent in early June, for a different manuscript. That doesn't count, does it? I know it's bad form to query two agents at the same agency at the same time, but if it's different genres and all, will they care? Or will the assistants even notice? Somehow I doubt it.

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