Before there was Querytracker, before there was LitMatch, there was the database.
It wasn't anything fancy. No statistics or agent preferences. Just a column of agencies, listed alphabetically, and two adjoining columns for sent and received.
Such was the do-it-yourself world of querying literary agents. The system served its purpose, to keep track of who was queried, who was yet to be queried, and what the results were of the query.
Before I sent a letter to an agent, I would look at the list to see if they'd been queried before. If they had been, and it had been long ago, I'd toss in Title Option 2 into the most recently revised query and there it went.
With on-line sites to do the monitoring, it's easy to lose track of what's been done. With e-mail querying, it's too easy to shoot off a query and forget to check to see if the agent's gotten the letter and already responded.
Which is how I came to send a query to Kathryn Green, two months after she rejected the same letter. She may think I'm an idiot, she may think I'm thick, and she may have added my e-mail addy to her blacklist, but she fired off the standard form rejection and never made an issue of the same thing sent again as if I'd be expecting a different answer because the summer was drawing to a close.
So thanks for not noticing that I screwed that one up. I'll check my hard copy query list next time before I hit send, in search of the next rush of excitement as I wait to see if this one comes up a winner.