My Take

August 8, 2017

“Getting My ‘Pigs’ Book Published Is A Sloppy Job”
The catchy title of my new book of essays, “The Day the Pigs Ate Uncle Harry’s Fingers,” has yet to catch on with the nine literary agents I queried. But there’s plenty of time. The replies I received, all of which were auto-replies, stated that if there was interest in the book, I would be notified anywhere within two weeks to 12 weeks. That’s a bunch of slop!
One agent wrote, “Because of the hundreds of queries I receive each month, I am not able to send a personal reply. If you don’t hear from me within two weeks, you should assume I have determined your project would not be a good fit for my strengths and that I have declined the opportunity to consider it further.”
But she left the door cracked. “If you receive an offer of representation during the two-week window, please send a second email to let me know.”
Translated: “I receive hundreds of query letters each month and I don’t have time to fool with you. However, if another agent makes an offer to represent you, contact me and I will find time to fool with you.”
I can’t reply to an automated reply, but if I could, here’s what I would say: “Please remove my query, although you don’t even know you have it. That’s how auto replies work. Too bad you literary agents are so self-absorbed and important that you don’t have time to address a person by name. Rest assured, if I do receive an offer of representation from another agent, you will be the last to know. I am proceeding to take you off my list of prospective agents. That means you wont’ have a shot at representing my next book, ‘My Mother Was a Teetotaler (Almost).’”
I hope I live long enough to see my latest manuscripts in print. And thanks to coffee, maybe I will. According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who drank two to four cups of coffee a day had an 18 percent lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee at all. That’s a good omen for my five cups a day.
It should give me a couple of extra years to finish, “My Ex-Wife’s Coffee Was Grounds For Divorce.”
Raymond Reid can be contacted at rreid7@triad.rr.com.

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