Best Phone Call of the Day

I get many goofy phone calls from people who don't read the text on our website that says "Don't Call" and in fact most of them are people asking for advice on how to query an agent, information which is readily available online, but today, I got one that takes the cake.

CALLER: Is this [literary agency]?

YOURS TRULY: Yes, it is. How can I help you?

C: Well, um, I queried an agent there.


YT: Have you heard back?

C: Yes, I got a letter saying that my book isn't right for [Agent].

YT: How can I help you?

C: I was wondering who [Agent] thought would be right for my project.

YT: I'm not sure. [Agent] gets a lot of query letters each day and doesn't always have a colleague in mind for every project. Have you checked some of the online resources that list agents and what they're interested in?

C: But [Agent] didn't send back my materials.

YT: Your materials?

C: I sent a proposal with my query, and I didn't get it back.

YT: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. (About to say something else, but fumbling for the right words...)

C: Maybe my envelop wasn't big enough.

YT: Oh, well yes, if the postage didn't look like it was enough, we probably wouldn't have returned it.

C: Could you send them to me?

YT: Your materials?

C: Yes, I don't have any more copies at home.

YT: I'm so sorry but we recycle query letters and proposals if we aren't considering them for representation.

C: You recycle them?

YT: Yes.

C: So what should I do?

YT: Um, did you save it on your computer?

C: Maybe, I'll have to check.


C: I don't think I saved it.

YT: I'm really sorry about that, but as I said, we don't hold onto those materials if it isn't for us.

C: Well, I don't know what I'm going to do if I don't have a copy of it.


After going back and forth for several more minutes of this, I finally had to politely extricate myself from the conversation. Who are these people who write proposals, query an agent, and don't SAVE the proposal on their computer?

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Steph said...

Somewhere, deep deep down, I feel bad for this person.

But also? In this day and age there's no excuse to not have at least one backup of your work.

But still, I can't help taking pity on them. It's sad.


suzie said...

On some level, I do too. I usually feel bad for the people who call, and despite the agents who tell me just to cut the calls short and hang up, I try to make an effort to make sure I'm polite and talk through whatever problem they're having. But I start to go a little crazy. And I just start to wonder What do they expect me to do?

Rabid Fox said...

Good gravy! I will never chastise myself for wanting to e-mail an editor for an update on a query. I have yet to follow through with that impulse, but at least I won't feel guilty ... because there's no way I'll ever be as bad as that writer. :)