Wednesday, 25 March 2009

They just keep getting better

Had another… well, let’s call it a rejection. At least I know who the tosser is who scrawled illegibly on my covering letter, because they did it on my covering letter – which had their address on it.

Today I had a submission returned. My covering letter wasn’t in with it. Just my synopsis, writing CV, and sample chapters. No illegible scrawl. No letter saying ‘blah di blah, not right for us in the current climate, cliché cliché etc’. Nothing. The postmark is no use, either. It is the central sorting office in Glasgow. I have not submitted anything to anyone in Glasgow.

That’s me taking the time to print everything up according to the standards expected of a professional. I enclosed the correct postage for return. The envelopes were labelled with printed labels. I took the time and the money.

You, whoever you are, couldn’t even be bothered to make a scrawl on my letter, couldn’t be bothered to check you had put your rejection letter or compliments slip in the envelope (always assuming you had bothered to write one in the first place). You now rate lower than the semi-illiterate who managed the scrawl. I didn’t think there would be anyone lazier, more contemptuous and more contemptible than that. I was wrong.

Ironic really as these last few days I have been saying to myself, ‘you really must post something a bit more positive’. Fat chance.

I really didn’t expect agents to be falling over themselves to take on my book. It falls outside the parameters of safe work in these deeply conservative times (though goodness alone knows it is hardly innovative stuff – how a Beckett or a Robbe-Grillet would fare in these times I dread to think). However, having taken the time to read up on agents and submit only to those who might be interested and submit exactly what they ask for, I do think I have a certain right to expect I will be treated with courtesy.

All I can say to these agents (well, there’s a lot I could say) is get your acts together. Mistakes get made, but never ever forget that you are dealing with people who have put heart, soul, tears, and time into what they have sent you. The very least you can do in return is make sure you let them down easily, politely, legibly, and on a bit of headed notepaper – like the professional agents out there.


liz fenwick said...

Nothing I say. ((()))s

Graeme K Talboys said...

Thanks Liz. I'm battle scarred and fairly hardened to this sort of thing, although it still annoys me intensely [who would have guessed :-)]. I do worry about people starting out if they get this sort of treatment. It doesn't send out a very good signal about the way publishing is conducted.

Pom said...

I'm sorry, Graeme. I really don't know what else to say. You put your best foot forward and they put theirs right in your back... I agree that it's no way to conduct business - not when there is such an unbalanced approach to professionalism (and not unbalanced in the way most would like to think).

Still wishing you the best..

L-Plate Author said...

Oh Graeme,I so feel for you mate. But next week, after you've seethed enough, you'll feel better and able to submit again. And again. And again for how long it takes. We never give up punishing ourselves, do we? x

ChrisH said...

That's one big slap in the face after taking the time and trouble to submit professionally. Rise above it, Graeme and good luck with the next submission.