Agents are necessary, for the most part, to get your book sold. And when dealing with agents they are very explicit with how they want to be communicated with regarding submissions. Their websites go through great detail in telling you how to query them or specifically what to send them and how to send it to them. They are clear, adamant and non-bending. They tell you the time frame in which you will be communicated with regarding your material.
So, here is where I share my pet peeve. When you do everything an agent asks AND follow their instructions to the letter and then wait for a response – good or bad – it irks me to no end when these same people who are a stickler for the rules do not follow or adhere to their own rules when they do not only NOT REPLY but do not do so in the time frame THEY set forth. These agents set up the expectation and do not live up to it.
I find this disappointing and it seems to be more pervasive with agent submissions and in general with people. There is a lack of professional courtesy that I view as rampant in today’s environment and it will only get worse unless we change things and enforce expectations and live up to those expectations.
Please agents, practice what you preach. I know you are swamped and flooded with submissions, but you chose to enter this business and reading submissions is how you find clients.
Many agents feel that if they don’t reply then this is a response. Whereas not preferable, at least it provides the parameters of a response. But, to not respond where YOUR clear instructions say you will, is just plain rude. At least have the courtesy for an expectant writer to send an acknowledgement even if it is a “No, Thanks.”