Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, April 13, 2009

Be An Agent for a Day: Query #30

This query is part of the Be an Agent for a Day contest. Rules and Regulations here

Please post your rejection or manuscript request in the comment section!



Good Day, Agent for a Day,

Based on the quirky sense of humor with which the articles on your blog are written, I think you might be interested in my novel, XLI. I would like to invite you to review the manuscript for my novel and hope you will consider representing me.

Monk and warrior, knight-errant and priest, policeman and philosopher, Bertram Do'Shire (Tram) is a Protector of Astori. He will give everything he has and is to save his people from the pirates who have conquered them. Nomads and storytellers, refugees and dream weavers, The People of the Ships will do anything to escape the ancient threat that has pursued them since the dawn of their history. Assassin and hedonist, Tenly is the self proclaimed most feared woman in known space. She would do anyone, pirates and ancient threats included, for a decent cheese steak.

XLI is the story of Tram, a Protector from the world of Astori, who has come to the world of Penance, where anything can be had for a price, seeking mercenaries to liberate his world from a brutal band of pirates. While on Penance, he is manipulated into hiring Tenly, an assassin, thinking that she is a mercenary captain. Tenly insists on Tram himself as part of her price for liberating Penance, a price to which he reluctantly agrees. During the voyage back to Astori, Tram begins to notice unusual things about Tenly and begins to have a series of strange dreams. On their return to Astori, they gather the dregs of Astori society and form them into a force to defeat the invaders.

XLI is written as an action adventure, but the technical elements contained in the book are based loosely on currently held scientific theories. The future history has been plotted out from the present time to the time at which the story starts. In short, it's hard science fiction candy with a swashbuckling chocolate coating and a creamy nougat center of romance and just a bit of nutty philosophy. XLI is a complete 136 KWord novel intended to be the first in a five book series. The second book in the series is my current work in progress, and is roughly 1/2 complete at 86 KWords. While XLI is my first novel, I have already received very positive feedback from Pamela Uphoff at Baen books, who recommended I rewrite it and find an agent. The rewrite completed, I am now looking for an agent. She also said very plainly that she wouldn't mind seeing the novel again, but hinted that it might stand a better chance if represented by a professional agent.

I'd be glad to send you a complete copy of the manuscript for review. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Author

Sample Pages follow:
***
XLI
By
Author

Chapter One
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi

Tram closed his eyes leaned his head back against the smooth, cool tiles of the wall. The tile felt strange against his close cropped sandy hair, strange because of the unfamiliar lack of texture in the ceramic, but mainly strange from most of his hair being gone. He rolled his head gently back and forth, the chill easing the ache even as the motion and the gentle bumping caused a faint nausea.

After a few moments, he opened his eyes and looked toward the receptionist. By that gentleman's collar tabs' insignia, Tram supposed the man had a job title that sounded a bit grander and far more militant, but to Tram, anyone sitting at a waiting room desk greeting visitors was, by definition, a receptionist. Tram took himself to task briefly for allowing his thoughts to wander, then realized that the middle-aged man behind the desk was trying, subtly, to get his attention.

Tram made eye contact, then glanced at the mans hands, which had been raised above the desk as if he were about to rest his chin on them. One finger pointed to the timepiece on his wrist, then the opposite hand flashed three fingers then clenched. A ghost of a smile, a ghost of a nod, and the man behind the desk went back to being a study in attentive non-communication.

Tram tried not to sigh gratefully as he digested the information. Unless he completely misread the man, he had roughly thirty minutes further to wait. Not enough to get the real sleep he so desperately needed, but perhaps enough to rest his eyes and take stock of how close to the edge he had pushed himself. He closed his eyes, folded his legs up under him on the chair, and laid his hands across his knees. The position wasn't the most comfortable, especially on the hard plastic chair, but hed learned the hard way that one didnt sit on the floor anywhere on the world of Penance, and despite extensive practice hed never quite mastered the skill of meditating in any position he found himself.

He brought his breathing under control then relaxed all but those muscles holding him in his chair. Next he began a count of heartbeats, and let a corner of his mind keep count. All of it was both difficult, due to the distractions of his failing body, and frighteningly easy, perhaps due to the same cause. In the privacy of his mind, he took stock of his situation. Hed had no food since his first day on Penance, which his faltering time sense told him was some six days ago. More pressing, hed had no water since two days before. Worst of all was the lack of sleep. Since he left Astori, hed not truly had any sleep, although during the transit there was ample time to meditate.

Hed meditated expecting to sleep once he arrived on Penance. Even if he couldn't afford a temporary residence, as a wandering Protector hed often enough slept on the ground. His surprise at the ordnances forbidding any such activity was only equaled by his surprise at the fact that they were quite strictly enforced, and transient lodgings on Penance went at rates that made Tram's eyes widen quite abruptly. Given the nature of his business, he carried as much portable wealth as could be secreted on a human body, but Penance was not a world that catered to visitors. More accurately, it catered to them quite thoroughly, and based on the advertisements he had seen, in any fashion they so desired, so long as they no lack of funds to spare.

Despite his hidden wealth, Tram didnt have any to spare. He knew that what he carried would only be a down payment, and that a fairly small one, for the services he looked to purchase here. So he did without sleep, catching short rests like this one while awaiting meetings with the companies he sought to employ.

The same thing held true for sustenance, only more so. Thus far only the first company Tram visited had actually supplied their prospective customer with a meal during negotiations. He suspected that after that first meeting, word had been spread in advance of his arrival that he wasnt a well-funded customer, and no more meals were forthcoming. Three companies since then had at least been polite or generous enough to provide water at the meetings, but not all had, and walking, even in Penance's generally cool evenings and mornings, hadnt been without its cost in sweat.

Things were looking up, though. After the first few meetings, which Tram had arranged with companies with enough fame to have been heard of even back on Astori, his tactics had changed. Instead of negotiating directly and ardently for the services he was seeking, he instead made a polite inquiry as to the cost of those services and then, when the answer inevitably came up higher than any amount his people could afford, he had asked if the company could recommend someone more suited to his budget. Twice that had gotten him ejected forcefully from the compounds, and more often than not, his request for information was denied. But for whatever reason some of the company representatives felt his question was worth answering. Hed gradually moved down the list, from the famous, through the infamous, and on down until he hit the level he had privately labeled 'just competent enough to remain alive in a deadly profession'. Thus far he had spoken with two such companies, neither of whom had quoted prices far out of his budget. Unfortunately, while neither company flat refused to work for the prices he mentioned, or with the conditions his situation required, neither had the resources available to assist him.

Both of them had recommended a third, however, and that third was where he now waited, hovering on the edge of starvation, dehydration, and well beyond the edge of sleep deprivation.

A nagging thought caught his attention, and his eyes snapped open on the thirteen-hundredth heart beat since he began. The receptionist, who had just opened his mouth to speak, was unable to stifle a slight grin as Tram unfolded himself and stood a moment before he was prompted.

"The Captain will see you now, Mr. Do-Shire."

"Thank you. You have been a most gracious host."

***

Tram strode past the amused receptionist and through the indicated door. He stumbled slightly as he caught sight of his reflection in the door. His normally sandy hair had been bleached by Penance's harsh sun, and his skin, normally the color of wild clover honey, had been tanned to the color of age darkened amber. The contrast with his pale green eyes was shocking. He adjusted his clothing to cover his delay then continued through the door.

The reception area had been, compared to most hed been in recently, quite Spartan. The conference room continued the theme, but with more of an air of practical reuse than simple frugality. The long table in the center of the room quite obviously did double duty as a desk, and from faint smells in the air, conferences frequently included food or the room doubled as a dining room. Well cushioned, equally well worn chairs were rolled back against the walls on all sides of the room, and a quick glance upward showed the ceiling to have the telltale marks of a recessed projector. Given the lack of any corresponding marks for a screen, Tram assumed the whiteboard at one end of the room was the typical projection surface.

The man seated on the far side of the table was of a piece with the rest of the room, attired in a uniform that was well cared for and clean, but obviously not new or expensive, with hair graying at more than the temples, and a face worn by responsibility and time. As Tram entered, he looked up from signing the last of a stack of paper documents.

All of this registered in a flash, and if Tram felt dismay at how primitive the equipment appeared to be compared to the truly amazing multimedia setups hed been exposed to recently, an equally strong feeling of relief hit as he realized that here he had found a company which might be employed without beggaring his people.

His quick survey of the room had not, however, gone unnoticed by the man on the far side of the room.

"Good day, son. I'm Captain Olton. I hear you have a proposal for OMalley's Company. I also have heard through the grapevine that you're polite to a fault, but Im not the sort with time to be complimented by every potential client who walks in off the street. Either well take your work or we won't, just spit it out."

Tram swallowed the greeting hed been about to reply with. After a moment to gather his thoughts, he decided that simplicity was his best option.

"Captain Olton, I wish to employ OMalley's company to defend my people from invaders and, if possible, drive them from my world."

"Well. You can follow orders if they're clear. That's good." Olton snorted, as if suddenly amused by something. "On the other hand, 'if possible? Son, thats got to be the oddest request Ive heard in a while. For one thing, most requests I hear of put the driving off first and the protection second, at least in cases where the opponents are already on the ground. For another, we work in absolutes. Do or do not. People don't pay mercenaries for a good effort."

"So I have been given to understand. My first priority must be to the defense of my people, however. Goods can be replaced, homes can be rebuilt, and if need be, new neighbors can be tolerated. My people have done all of these things and more in the past. They cannot, however, bring the dead back to life."

Embarrassingly, Trams voice failed on the last word. The Captain looked at him a moment, then pressed a button on the phone on his desk.

"Canteen, send a cadet up to my office with a pitcher of water. The negotiations are making me thirsty." He nodded to Tram. "Go on."

"Thank you sir," said Tram hoarsely, "but if I could wait until the water arrives, I will be much more able to continue."

"Didn't say it was for you, did I now? In fact, Im betting that cadet only brings up one glass. Course, if youre rude enough and desperate enough to drink straight from the pitcher, I'm probably not going to be all that offended, seeing how trying to sort out what youre saying is causing undue strain on my poor old ears."

Tram stood stunned for just a moment then forced his face to stillness. Shock at the implied insult gave way to curiosity as to the odd generosity of his host. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which that it had actually become slightly painful to talk, Tram held his peace until the pitcher arrived. Once the cadet had poured a glass, set it in front of the Captain, and left the room, Tram waited for the Captain to raise his glass.

"Negotiating sure is thirsty work, no? I imagine youre quite familiar with that phenomenon by now."

Upon seeing the Captain drink, Tram reached across the table with deliberate slowness to lift the pitcher. Somewhat to his surprise, he needed both hands, as it was a rather large pitcher, obviously designed to provide water for a full conference room at need, and it was near full of iced water. He lifted it to his lips, drank a small amount, and pulled an ice cube into his mouth. For a moment, both the slight at being forced to drink from a pitcher and the embarrassment of being forced to attend to his physical condition were forgotten in the combined shock and pleasure of the cold, clear water and the crunch of the ice.

Refreshed, at least to some small degree, he carefully set the pitcher back down on the table in front of himself.

The Captain smiled. "Cocky, but not so full of yourself that you cant suck down your pride rather than dropping from dehydration. Son, let me ask you a few things, just to make sure Im sure of what youre asking. That will save your voice and, if Im right, save us both some time."

Tram nodded his assent, still not quite sure of his voice.

"Well then. First, I've heard through the grapevine that there is a young man traveling about Penance alone and on foot looking for a mercenary company to defend his home world from an unspecified invading force. That would be you, correct?"

Tram nodded, then, out of ingrained impulse, said "To the best of my knowledge there are no others that fit that description." His voice was a bit scratchy, but coming back nicely. He lifted the pitcher again for another sip and another cube of ice.

"Second, based on those same inquiries, that force has already landed, controls the only spaceport on the planet, and instead of following normal operational patterns for raiders, has emplaced a permanent garrison?"

Tram nodded again, and again spoke to clarify. "There have already been multiple ships sent off world with a variety of goods. It is possible troops were rotated as well."

"Meaning?"

Tram realized hed fallen into a position of parade rest while addressing the Captain. He shrugged and continued, suddenly not caring if it made him appear the supplicant. The display fit the reality, and that fit his basic, truthful nature.

"We're uncertain how stable the garrison size is, only that there are always troops on the surface holding the port."

"Ah. Understood. Now, third, you understand that OMalley's is not an assault unit? In point of fact, were not even really what you might call combat troops. We can and have stood off pirates before, but our specialty is and has always been low-risk protective details. Going in to that kind of mission isnt something were terribly well equipped for."

Tram began to feel the first tendrils of despair reaching up from his gut. Despite his attempt at control, something must have shown through on his face, because the old man on the far side of the table relented.

"Son, Im going to level with you. I know how much youve offered other units to try this, and I know how much it would cost us to ensure we could liberate your world from what youve described there. We could do it, although it would be right on that fuzzy borderline of profitable. But weve done charity work before too." At this point the Captains face, previously quite animated for a negotiator, had simply closed off. "But due to considerations entirely separate from economics or merit, I cannot commit men under my command to this task."

The Captains face softened slightly and a wry grin tilted one corner of his mouth. "Tell you what, son. You can't help your people back home. Not here, not now. Maybe not anywhere, maybe not ever. Certainly not with the pittance youre carrying on you. But Im impressed with what Ive heard about you over the past week, and Im even more impressed by what Ive seen today. Answer a few simple questions for me, and maybe I can do something for you."

"I shall endeavor to answer any questions to the best of my ability, as any aid you can provide is more than I have received from most of the Companies I have visited."

"Height? Weight?"

Tram paused, confused momentarily by the questions. Cursing his condition mentally when he understood the simple nature of what the Captain was asking him, he spoke while calculating rapidly. "I am six feet tall and weigh one hundred seventy five pounds." As the Captain looked at him quizzically, he finished his rapid conversions and spoke again. "That would be roughly one hundred eighty four centimeters in height and roughly eighty kilos. The weight may be off slightly, I have not been able to work out since I left Astori, and have had little food since then."

The Captain made a few notes, and then continued, "Any combat experience?"

"I have been trained in several forms of combat, and have had reason to use most of the particulars of my training at one time or another."

Olton set down his pen and gave Tram a wry look. "Son, I gotta tell you, Im a mustang myself, came up through the ranks. You used one too many oblique references in that answer for me to follow. Care to try again?"

Tram blushed at the older mans tone, took a moment to think then replied. "I have been trained to use man portable linear accelerators, to fight with knives, and to fight without weapons. I have used that training in life threatening situations against both men and animals. I have not taken part in large unit actions, so I cannot honestly say I have battlefield experience."

"Ever killed someone with that training of yours?"

STATS: 3% request rate






327 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 327   Newer›   Newest»
Sophie W. said...

Dear Author of XLI,

Although your work shows merit, I cannot request further materials at this time. Keep in mind that this business is terribly subjective, and you'll probably get the chance to thumb your nose at me in the future.

Love,

Sophie

Laura said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but the subject is not right for me.

Best of luck,

Agent Laura

Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in my agency. Unfortunately, I do not feel I am the right agent for you at this time. Best wishes as you continue your search.

Sincerely yours,

:)Ash

Laurie said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. While your premise sounds intriguing, I'm going to have to pass at this time.

All the best,
Laurie

Jenn Johansson said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Best of luck!
JJ

Derek said...

Dear Author,

I'm sorry, but I've already used up 4 out of my 5 manuscript requests, so I'm having to be more selective. I'll pass on this one.

Agent For A Day.

:)Ash said...

Oops... posted as anonymous, accidentally.

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in my agency. Unfortunately, I do not feel I am the right agent for you at this time. Best wishes as you continue your search.

Sincerely yours,

:)Ash

Agent X said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to query. I'm afraid this isn't the right piece for me. I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

Agent X

suki said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this project isn't right for me. I wish you luck in your search for representation.

Regards,
Suki


Reasoning: The query itself was somewhat difficult to ready and overly complex. And the pages didn't hook me, in voice or substance.

sirayn said...

Not going to insert an email response, because this is PHONE CALL FULL REQUEST time. The query I'm 50-50 on. The pages? YES.

Today's Agent

beth said...

Dear Author,

Although I appreciate your submission, I'm sorry but it just isn't for me. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

Sincerely,
beth

(Reasoning: I was hooked enough to read the sample pages, but already pretty doubtful of my interest. The first two paragraphs didn't grab me enough, so I was out. I didn't have a clear concept as why I should care about what was going on.)

Kitti said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I am going to have to pass on this, but please keep me in mind for your future projects.

Best of luck,
Kitti

JSB said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but XLI is not right for me at this time.

Thanks,
JSB

(The query feels discombobulated to me and the writing repeats itself. I can see why the folks in Baen would have an interest, but it feels like the work needs another editing pass to tighten the flow before it's publishable.)

Colorado Writer said...

Dear Author,
Sorry, but I am not the right agent for your work. Best of luck.
Warmly,
Agent Name

Bane of Anubis said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission, but it isn't right for me. Best of luck,

Bane

(reasoning: I need more forest and fewer trees here, as well. The positive feedback from someone at Baen is excellent and gives me pause, but I'd liked for the query to have grabbed me more - and 136K is long for a debut novel, even SF/F)

selestial-owg said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Though the premise shows merit, I'm afraid it isn't right for me at this time. I wish you the best of luck in your quest.

Selestial



The query repeated itself. Tighten and condense. Try to inject some of the book's tone into the query. And too long. Over 100k is a hard sell even if it sounds amazing.

Chanelley said...

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not what I’m looking for at this time. However, do continue to query widely. After all, it does only take one agent to say yes!
All the best,
Agent for the day

thelifter said...

Dear Author:

The idea sounds okay, but your style comes across as trying a little too hard, at least to me, and maybe even a little corny (you lost me at creamy nougat). Loosen your style up and get to the point sooner.

Regards,

Mr. Snark

DeadlyAccurate said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your query and I apologize for this form reply.

I regret I have to pass on many interesting projects due to time constraints. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.


Sincerely,

DeadlyAccurate

Melissa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I don't think I'm the right agent for your book. I wish you best of luck in placing it elsewhere.

Melissa

Jand Doherty said...

Please refer to our submission guidelines. We do not accept partially complete projects.

Lisa R said...

Dear XLI:

While you are clearly a good writer, your work is just not a good fit for me personally. I am certain that another agent will feel differently. Best of luck,

Lisa R

Anonymous said...

Just a small piece of advice: change the repetative pattern in the query.

"Monk and warrior, knight-errant and priest, policeman and philosopher, Bertram Do'Shire (Tram) is a Protector of Astori. He will give everything he has and is to save his people from the pirates who have conquered them. Nomads and storytellers, refugees and dream weavers, The People of the Ships will do anything to escape the ancient threat that has pursued them since the dawn of their history. Assassin and hedonist, Tenly is the self proclaimed most feared woman in known space. She would do anyone, pirates and ancient threats included, for a decent cheese steak."

Brigita said...

Thank you for sending me your query. Unfortunately, this project is not right for me. I wish you the best of luck in securing representation elsewhere.

KC in SF said...

Thank you for your query. While you have an interesting premise, I do not represent science fiction.

best wishes,

KC in SF

Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission. I am afraid that it is not a good fit for me. Best of luck with your project.

Agent99

Comments: I can't pronounce the title. Some cutting, pruning, and proofreading would strengthen this submission.

Cindy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, however this project does not fit what I am looking for at the time.

All the best,
Cindy

sraasch said...

Dear Author,

Didn't spark enough for me. Sorry!

Thanks!

Keri Ford said...

Thank you for submitting, but unfortunately I didn’t connect with this story idea.

Good Luck,
Keri

<><><><>

This was confusing. I think in part becuase your story seems very involved and there's lots of layers and things going on that I didn't understand. Try to be very clear in your query. Delete anything that can go.

EJ Lange said...

Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, it is not right for me at this time. Good luck in your search for representation.

Agent Erin

Caroline said...

Dear Author:

I don't think your manuscript is for me, but I encourage you to seek representation elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Agent Caroline

David de Beer said...

Dear Author,

your enthusiasm for your book is obvious but I'm afraid it's not the right fit for me. Best of luck placing it elsewhere,

Sincerely,
David de Beer

Anonymous said...

Dear Author:

Thank you considering our agency for your work. However, at this time I must pass. Good luck with your future work.

Sincerely,

Agent

(The query was overwritten and repetitive without giving a sense of the heart of the sorty -- too much plot detail, not enough story/character. The pages were well written, but extremely passive, and not in the sense of verb tense. The opening reads like backstory and set up. I strongly suspect the actual beginning of this work is 3-6 chapters in. Please keep working on this!)

Rick said...

Author-

Sorry, but I don't represent Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

If you have not already, you may want to check out AgentQuery. It can help you find an Agent who best suits your needs.

http://www.agentquery.com/

Sincerely,
Rick O

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,

I'm afraid I'll have to pass. Though I really don't want to. You've got something here, as evident by the strong writing in the sample pages. Please re-submit once this has been edited.

Agent XXX

**I really enjoyed this, and the sample pages are great. There are a few little things like run on sentences and repetition, but this author is close. I think once it's edited, requests for fulls will come.

The info on the hero shouldn't be broken up, it should be shortened and then the info on the strong female character comes next.

David said...

Dear Author:

Thanks for your query and pages, which I enjoyed. Please send me the first 100 pages as a Word attachment, and I will be happy to take a look at them.

Sincerely,
David

hannah said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but it's not right for me at this time.

Best,
hannah

Ello said...

Dear Author,
thank you for your submission and although your premise is very intriguing, I have to pass at this time.

Thank you

on a side note - I really do the think the premise is great - although a bit hard to follow, but you could see from the query and partial that the author is wordy - then you see the word count and it just comfirms it.

Author - you have a great idea, but if I were you, I'd get some great beta readers to help you really trim the story down and help you proof read it because even the best of us can't catch all the small errors. And there are a few. So be careful. Don't hang yourself in this really tight market with huge word counts and editing mistakes when you've got a novel premise that I'm sure some agent out there will be intrigued by.

Good luck!

Casey said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your time and consideration. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m not the right agent to represent XLI and your career as a writer.

The genre doesn't interest me. Of note: Your pages are definitely stronger than your query.

Best wishes,

Casey

jjdebenedictis said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent query; discovering new talent is one of the joys of being a literary agent, and I am always honoured to have the opportunity to read a writer's best work.

Please accept my regrets, however, as I won't be offering to represent this novel. I apologize for informing you of this using a form letter, but the volume of mail I receive makes it impractical for me to give personalized rejections.

I wish you the very best luck in finding a literary agent whose enthusiasm will bring your book the success it deserves!

Sincerely,
J. J. DeGoblin

~~~~~~~
For your reference, here are the most common reasons why I decline certain queries. Please note that if your submission was very good, my reasons for rejecting it were probably much subtler than the items on this list and cannot be put quickly into words. Again, I apologize for this form letter, but I cannot invest the time to critique those submissions I have chosen to not represent. Thank you for your understanding.


Most common reasons why I decline manuscripts:

[ ]--The manuscript is in a genre which I don't represent

[ ]--The query appears to be a non-personalized mass mailing

[ ]--The query/manuscript's presentation was worryingly unpolished
(E.g. Many spelling, grammar, punctuation or homophone errors; a non-standard format)

[ ]--The writing doesn't seem polished enough
(This improves with practice; your next novel may be excellent)

[ ]--The plot doesn't sound compelling enough
(Again, this improves with practice and self-education)

[ ]--The plot sounds too similar to something book-buyers have already seen


Comments, if any:
The query didn't outline the plot sufficiently, but more worryingly, your pages are extremely wordy. I would suggest you edit heavily to reduce word count and tighten the story's pacing.

jimnduncan said...

Thank you for querying me, but I'm afraid I must pass on your story. While your writing shows promise, I didn't feel strongly enough about the story to ask for more. Best of luck in your continued writing endeavors.

(reason: not enough story here, and while there was enough hint of something in the query to have me peek at the pages, I wasn't grabbed by the writing either.)

romoak said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. While aspects of this story are intriguing, this story is not right for me at this time. Best of luck to you in your continued efforts. Please keep in mind that other agents are different.

-- You lost me in the query. There is too much information. I'm realizing I favor the shorter queries. ***Your writing is really great though.

brian_ohio said...

Thank you for your query. I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Best,

Brian

K. Andrew Smith said...

Dear author,

Thank you for your submission, XLI. Unfortunately, it's not quite right for me. I wish you good fortune in your quest for an agent.

Sincerely,

K. Andrew Smith

Rick Daley said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Authors Write Literary Agency. I have reviewed your query for XLI, and I’m sorry to say that I do not feel that I am the best agent to represent your work at this time.

Please keep in mind that there are many talented agents out there, and opinions are subjective based on individual preferences, workload, and market climate.

Don’t be afraid to research other agents and query those that you feel are best suited to represent your work. Best of luck!

Regards,

Daley Agent for a Day

Libby Martin said...

Dear Author,
Although the writing of XLI appears solid, I feel that this book has too much going on at once. It's also not at all the type of book I could become passionate about. Thank you for querying me.
Best of luck,
Libbby

Onovello said...

Dear Author:

Many thanks for your query. Unfortunately, I am not the best agent for this work.

With all best wishes,
Onovello

Bija Andrew Wright said...

Thanks for your query, but I'm afraid I have to pass. Best of luck.

Rachel said...

Dear Author,

Thank you very much for your submission. Unfortunately, I am going to pass. I wish you success with your project.

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, this project is not right for me at this time.

Sincerely,
Amy

quixotic said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, however, I do not feel excited enough about, XLI to request anything further.

Good luck in your search for an agent.

Quixotic

scj said...

Sorry, but this isn't right for me. The query didn't give enough details of the plot to make it sound different from other books out there, and the word count is awfully high. The sample pages did not grab my attention either, as it starts with the character just sitting around. Best of luck.

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Your query interested me, but not enough to request a manuscript. I was not able to get a good sense of what makes this story unique and interesting. I would suggest you rewrite your query and resubmit.

Best,

Meg Spencer

Lois Lavrisa said...

Dear Author,

While I appreciate your consideration of our agency, I will have to pass on your project.
I am sorry to say I did not have the passionate response to it that I would need to request more or offer you representation. Obviously you want an agent who will stand enthusiastically behind your work.

Additionally, given today’s publishing climate I do not believe I would be able to get you the attention from a publisher that your book deserves.

Publishing is very subjective, though, and another agent may well feel differently.

I do wish you success in finding representation and, once again, thank you for the opportunity to consider your work.

Sincerely,

Lois Lavrisa
Agent for a day

Anonymous said...

The first sentence of CH 1 is messed up!

Cat said...

Dear Author,

thank you for submitting but it's not right for me.

Sincerely,
Cat

form rejection because I'm tired. Also, it is way too long.

I now know what great job you are doing, Nathan an I will never again complain about the reaction times of agents (well, I never did before so that's ok).

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your book isn't right for me. Agenting is subjective, though, and I wish you the best of luck!

Sincerely,
Megan

Christine Rose said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck,
Agent for a Day

kaseee said...

Dear Author,

Your project is not without merit, but it isn't right for us at this time. Keep in mind this is a subjective business and another agent may feel differently.

Best of luck,

Agent

AgentMan said...

Not right for us. Thanks anyway.

AgentMan

The Writers Canvas said...

Thanks for your query, but it's not right for me at this time. Best of luck to you in your writing endeavors!

Elaine

(would recommend not using as many names in your query. It got confusing and I think a high-level approach of the conflict might work better. I did like your writing voice, but this book wasn't for me. Thanks and good luck!)

Superfast said...

Thank you so much for your submission. Unfortunately, I don't feel I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Good luck and keep writing!

Nixy Valentine said...

Dear Author:

Although the query itself was wordy, I really loved the concept and the voice, and your sample pages drew me in.

I would request more pages based on this, so yes, this makes my top 5.

Notes: I would really work on the wordiness of the query letter though. It felt ... thick. Smooth it out and make it simpler to read quickly, and I'm sure you'll have success with it.

Ramen with cheese said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for allowing RJM Agency to consider your work, but I’m afraid it’s not a good fit for our list. We wish you every bit of luck in your search for representation.

RJM

Madison said...

Dear Author,

Thank you so much for submitting your work and considering me to represent it. While the story sounds quite interesting, I am afraid it does not fit my list at this point in time and I must regretfully pass. I know rejections can be hard to take, but please keep submitting and following your dream.

Best of luck in your agent hunt!

Sincerely,

Madison

Reason for rejection: "Will do anyone for a decent cheese steak"? This confused me. Doesn't sound very evil.

Steve Axelrod said...

This is not for me, but keep on trying. If my tastes ruled the world half the books published every week would never see the light of day. I'm a crank and you deserve a more open-minded agent. Keep looking!

Jeni said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to review your proposal, and found the premise for your manuscript intriguing. However, I’m afraid that the manuscript does not meet my needs at this time. Please do continue to send your work to other agents, as someone else may feel differently.
Best of luck in your publishing endeavors,
Jeni

DCS said...

The word count is too high for me to consider your proposal. Good luck.

Harsh Critic said...

The query confused me with all the names in it, and the sample had a grammatical error in the first sentence.

Sorry, not for me.

PurpleClover said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for considering me for representation. At this time I don't think this is the right fit for me.

Regards,
PC

Ethan Rose said...

Too much for me. I need something with a tighter focus. Give me the elevator pitch. I did not get past the first paragraph.

lesleylsmith said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query letter.
Unfortunately, your novel is not a good fit for me.
Good luck!
-Lesley
p.s. While this is promising and the humor in the letter was enjoyable, I did not see humor in the writing sample. The talk of previous submissions was a bit of a red flag.

Barb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but this is not for me. I wish you luck in finding a home for your manuscript.

All the best,
Barb

dhole said...

Dear Author, thanks for your query. Unfortunately, it's not right for my list, best of luck, etc.

Karen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I'm sorry, but this just doesn't seem like a good fit right now. I wish you luck in your pursuits.

Karen

Monika said...

Thank you for your submission, but I do not think this project is right us. This is a subjective business and other agencies will feel differently. We wish you every success with your project.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author,
I received and read your query. I'm going to pass.
I was overwhelmed with names and terms. What's your elevator pitch?

I wish you the best,
Agent SCL

Eva Ulian said...

Unfortunately, I am not the right agent for adventure and will pass.

Other Lisa said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately it's not what I'm looking for. Best of luck in your search for representation, and keep writing!

Best,

Agent X

Lucy A muse ision said...

Thanks. Sorry.

Lucy A muse ision
Fictitious Agent

TheDivaAgent said...

Dear Author,

Every submission is important to us. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new clients. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent to represent your work.

Yours,

The Diva Agent

Cassandra said...

Dear Author,

I'm afraid that at this time I am unable to offer representation for your novel. This is purely a business decision, and unfortunately means that I must turn away many talented individuals. I encourage you to continue querying agents you think might be interested.

I appreciate your interest in Agent for A Day, and wish you every success in your writing career.



Regards,
Cassandra

Vicky said...

Thank you for querying our agency. Unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Best of luck finding representation for your work.

All best.

Scott said...

Dear Author,

While I have faith in your voice and ability from your query, I have to decline to represent this work on the basis that it's not exactly my area of interest. But best of luck to you, although I'm sure you'll find a fit soon.

Thanks for considering me,

Scott

Jean said...

Thanks for your submission. I'm sorry, but it's just not what I'm looking for at this time.

Dawn G. said...

Dear Author,

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer you representation at this time. Thank you for submitting your work for consideration. Please keep me in mind for future projects.

Kindest Regards,

D. Agent

Craven said...

Thank you for your consideration, but this isn't right for me at this time.

Best of luck, Craven

Heather said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but it's not for me.

Good luck!
Heather

Endless Secrets said...

Dear Author,

Thank your for your query but your project is not right for this agency. I would encourage you to continue writing.

-Lea

Dorine White said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I find your work interesting, however not right for me at this time.

Regards,
Agent for a day

Anonymous said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your recent query. Unfortunately we do not feel strongly enough about your work to pursue it further.

We wish you the best of luck in finding suitable representation.

Sincerely
The Fake Agency

SammyStewart said...

Form Rejection

Annalee said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your manuscript. I'm afraid it isn't right for me.

Regards,
-Annalee

-----------
Reason: I got lost somewhere in the second paragraph of the query, and the pages didn't grab me. Find the main thread of this story and simplify the heck out of the query.

Gwen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, this project is not a good fit for me at the present time.

Regards,

Gwen

***

(Side note: the excerpt itself did not grab me, and so I must pass.)

Nik said...

Thank you for your query, but I'm going to pass at this time.

Reasoning: There were so many descriptions of different characters that I had a difficult time getting a grasp for the story.

Regarding the sample pages, I'm sad to say I didn't get past the first paragraph. I'm a fiend with punctuation and rooting the reader into the person deeply rather than telling the story and that felt too much like telling to me. It could have been the confusion from the query bleeding over, but I wasn't captivated. Could be just me.

Agent KES said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer you representation at this time. Best of luck,

Agent KES

Cary Louisa said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission, but I don't feel the project is right for me.

Thanks,
Cary

Sasha said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the best agent to represent your manuscript.

Good luck and yours truly,
AftD

ccallicotte4 said...

Thank you for sending me your query. I appreciate you considering me.

I reviewed your proposal and unfortunately am going to pass on representing it. Please keep in mind that this is a subjective business, and another agent may feel differently. I encourage you to query widely.

Best of luck to you.

Megan said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit.

I regret to inform you that at this time I would like to pass on your book.

Best of luck in the future,

Regards,
Agent for a Day, Bookworm Megs

Kristi said...

Thank you for your query. I don't feel this is right for me but I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
Kristi

bookshop said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent submission. I regret that I am unable to offer you representation at this time. I wish you luck in your search for representation.

Regards,

Bookshop

_________


(Hi! I hesitate to leave any type of negative feedback, because the last thing I want to do is discourage you at the stage when it seems like you're really pulling everything together here in terms of your plot and your voice.

However - huge huge HUGE dealbreaker for me in the first paragraph.

He will give everything he has ... The People of the Ships will do anything ... She would do anyone, pirates and ancient threats included, for a decent cheese steak.

Because you use give instead of "do" in the first sentence, the rhetorical structure you were going for here failed to come through clearly.

The result was that I was left with a blatantly sexist reference to the only female character in the query. You really don't want to offend your potential agent in the first sentence. And this female agent was offended. You can't run the risk that agents will laugh the way you laugh. Obviously I know you're going for humor, here, but since today I'm an agent, I get to commit to progressive characterizations. And this opening gambit makes me think of gaming and comic book fantasies where the lusty pirate captain swoops around in a tight corset with her bust heaving and her sword flying. It didn't work for me, and so put me off the rest of the query.

But I do wish you luck. I imagine that what fazed me in this query would not faze all agents; but I do encourage you to treat all your non-white-male characters with respect, especially because diversity is so greatly lacking in SFF.

Good luck!)

Jen C said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for submitting your query to the Most Awesome Literary Agency Ever. I regret that, at this time, your project is not quite what I’m looking for. I wish you the best of luck in your continuing search for representation.
Sincerely,
Jen C.

Mystery Robin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission, but I am not the right agent for this book. Best of luck!

Robin

Reasoning - the query felt very overwritten. Most of the first paragraph could be cut. I like the idea of pirates, though, so keep working on it!

bridge said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for your query. I'm going to pass.
Best,
Bridge
On a personal note, this is interesting, it is too wordy, too many unneeded details, less sense of the character and his story. I don't need to know details, I need to know him. And ax the last paragraph you can discuss that when sending sample pages.
Hope this helps,
BRidge

StrugglingToMakeIt said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the right agent to represent your work.

Best,

Agent

Anonymous said...

No thank you. Best of luck in your endeavors.

-Agent Pro Tempore

Kavanaugh and Byrne's LA said...

Dear Author

Thank you opportunity to consider your work at Kavanaugh and Byrne’s Literary Agency.

We do not feel that are the best match with this project.
We wish you every success with this and other ventures

Flower Kavanaugh

Tara Ryan said...

Dear Author,
Thank you so much for submitting your work to me. Unfortunately, XLI is not a good fit for me at this time. I wish you much luck in your writing endeavors.
Agent-for-a-day

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thank you for querying me. Unfortunately I am going to have to pass at this time.
I wish you the best of luck with another agent.

Sincerely,
Agent

ikmar said...

Dear Author

Thank you for your query. Sorry, but it is not for me.

Sincerely,
Agent for the Day

Anonymous said...

I would like to see more, please send me full manuscript.

Marie

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Form rejection

ai-hua said...

Query was a little overblown, did not read sample pages. Form rejection.

Pap said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in my agency. However, I will not be requesting any further materials from you at this time. Please note that submissions are a very subjective business and my comments are not a critique on your writing ability. I strongly encourage you to continue your search for an agent and wish you all the best.

Your sincerely,

Make-believe Agency

Katy said...

This is an interesting premise, but I don't feel it is the right fit for me.
Best of luck,
Katy

Leslie said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. Although the story was interesting I am afraid I am not the right agent for this book.

Best wishes, Leslie

Adam Heine said...

Some good ideas, but I was confused by the plot, as written in the query. Also, the book seems long (136k words) and with all the extra description in the sample, I think I know why. (Note: The description and exposition wasn't bad, necessarily, just too much of it).

I'm sorry, but this isn't right for me. Thank you for submitting and good luck.

KathyF said...

Dear Author of Query #30,

Thank you for your query, but XLI isn't right for me.

KathyF

Cat Hellisen said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.  Your proposal is interesting, but I don't feel that the project is quite right for me. I wish you the best of luck in finding representation elsewhere.

Best,
Cat.

Merry Monteleone said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your interest in The Only Literary Agency Insane Enough To Trust Me With Queries. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pass.

Best of luck,

Merry

Eden said...

Thanks for the opportunity but I'm afraid I'll have to pass on representing this piece.

Best of luck with your writing.

~Eden

Thomas said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not appropriate for my current needs. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,
Tally

The Classic Carol said...

Thank you for your query. Although ripe with complexity and treading new ground, I'm unable to gain enthusiasm for it. Best wishes as you pursue an agent better suited to your work.

CJK said...

Thank you for your query. I am not interested in further materials on this work. Good luck with your search for representation. CJK

Amy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for thinking of me, your novel sounds interesting but it's not for me at this time.

Good luck with your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

amyandnick

(PS - the query had too many descriptions/details for my personal taste. Good luck with your novel.)

Melinda said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, but unfortunately this project isn't right for me. Best of luck in your search for representation.

Sincerely,

Melinda

P.S. Proofread your sample pages - lots of typos, especially missing apostrophes.

Gregory said...

Dear Author;

Form rejection.

Cordially,

Agent Gregory

[I'm a SciFi buff, but many of the comments here are apropos. The query and the work need considerable tightening. The dialog needs to be punchier as well, although it has some good moments. Recommend Sol Stein, "Stein on Writing" for some excellent advice on dialog.]

Renee Collins said...

Dear XLI,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, the story is not quite right for me.

Best of luck,

Renee

donnas said...

Thank you for your submission but we are currently not in the market for new authors.

MK said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your submission. After careful consideration, I've decided this manuscript isn't for us at this time.

Good luck with your search.

Best,
Agent For a Day

PPP said...

Dear Author,

This sounds like it could be fun. But I have to pass. I just don't have room on my list.

Signed,
PPP

PS I've nicknamed this manuscript "Zelly" even though I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be pronounced "Ex Ell Eye."

Krista said...

Sorry, form rejection.

Space pirates does sound fun, but I wasn't hooked.

Sage said...

Dear XLI,

While I believe this has promise, I didn't get into the writing as much as I had hoped. I am sure that some other agent will snatch it up, however.

Thanks,
Sage

P.S. You were a Z away from having a Pirates of Penzance reference in there. I would have been amused.

Selene said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for contacting Selene Literary. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that this project is not right for us. We wish you the best of luck in finding an agent that is as enthusiastic about this book as it deserves.

Best regards,
Selene Da Agent
Selene Literary

Nay said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query.
I will have to pass on this project, but best of luck to you.

-Nay

Annie said...

I'd pass.

Reason: although the voice is quite original and the subject matter sounds fun, I don't get a good feel for what the story is about.

Sol said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I appreciate the overview you have provided, along with the inclusion of sample pages. Unfortunately your manuscript is of a genre I don't typically represent. At this time I am unable to request a partial.

Best of luck in your search for an agent.

Kind regards,

Sol Nima

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Weathers said...

Dear Author,

There were interesting points in your submission, but I’m afraid I can’t offer representation. This is a subjective business, and what appeals to one reader doesn’t always appeal to another. With my current workload, I have to be very discriminating and take on only projects I am passionate about.

I urge you to continue your quest to be published and wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,

J.M. Agent

(The inexhaustible lists grew old in a hurry. I skimmed further and the lists continue.

Queries have to be tight.

The second book is half done at 86,000 words. It should be done or very close to it at that word count. Your main, the one should should be concentrating on, should be done, proofed, simmered, proofed again, revised about seven times and then sent to beta readers and polished before you query.)

Jessumby said...

Dear Author

Thank you for sending me your query. I regret to inform you that it does not suit the needs of my list at this time.

Regards, Jessumby

theflightytemptress said...

Dear XLI,

Thank you for your submission, but unfortunately it’s not for me. Publishing is a very subjective business, though, and another agent may feel differently. Best of luck in your continued search.

Yours,

Kat Brauer

Ulysses said...

Thanks for submitting your query. Unfortunately, I don't feel I am the agent to represent this work.

thin said...

Dear Author,
While it seems like an interesting premise for a book, I'm sorry to say that I cannot take on the project. Thank you for considering me, and best of luck in the future.
Sincerely,
Thin

RW said...

Dear Author:

Thank you very much for your query. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to consider your work for representation. As you know, it’s a competitive market these days, and I don’t believe I have the right relationships to sell this project successfully. I do wish you luck in finding an agent and thank you for considering me.

Yours truly,

RW

Polenth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. As your story didn't resonate with me, I'm going to have to pass.

--
Polenth

kdrausin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I was intrigued by your query however at this time my client list is full. Please continue to seek representation. You are on the right track.

I wish you luck on your writing journey.

Sincerely,

KDrausin

wickerman said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I am passing on XLI at this time.

Best of Luck,

The Wickerman

Senior Origami Instructor, Bransford Lit

Poppy said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I am afraid that your work is not right for me at this time, however I would urge you to continue to submit to other agents: this is a subjective business.

Agent

Dara said...

Dear XLI,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately I do not think I am the right person for this book. I wish you success in your search for representation.

Best,

Dara

Specifics: The query was a little too long and complicated. The sample pages had some promise, but the voice was not strong enough for me.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you for your query, but I wouldn't be the right agent in this instance.
I wish you luck finding the right home for your work.
Sincerely,
Ms Agent Agency

kdrausin said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. I was intrigued by your query however at this time my client list is full.

I wish you luck on your writing journey.

Sincerely,

KDrausin

Dale - Las Vegas said...

No thanks

Jabez said...

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, I do not believe I am the best agent to represent your manuscript. Best of luck in your quest for publication.

Patti K. said...

Thank you for your submission but I do not believe it is right for me at this time. Good luck on your quest for the perfect agent.

Patti K.

Soratian said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for your query but I'm afraid I'll be passing on this one as I'm not quite the right fit for it. I wish you all the best in your search for an agent.

Good luck!
Soratian

(comments: I'm afraid the characters didn't really grab me as charming. Pitch also seems disconnected. What do the weird dreams have to do with anything? And it leads right into recruiting an army?

I did go on to the read the opening pages which were competently written, but weren't really interesting enough for me to read on.)

JuJu said...

Dear Author,

Though your project shows some promise and sounds interesting, unfortunately it is just not the right one for me. Please keep in mind that appeal as a novel is entirely subjective – so keep at it!

Sincerely,
JuJu


(Jesus Christ the word count is high! But like I said: keep at it!)

Sherry Ficklin said...

Dear Author,
Thank you for thinking of me, but I'm going to have to pass. Best of luck finding another agent!

Sincerely, Agent Faux

Sarah Laurenson said...

Form rejection.


There's a hint of humor in the query that's very nicely done. I left the query in the middle to start reading the pages as I was getting bogged down in the query. The writing is good. However there are typos sprinkled throughout and way too many words in both the query and the pages.

John said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for giving me the chance to consider your work. Unfortunately, it's not something I think I can sell at present. I wish you the best of luck in your writing career.

educlaytion said...

Thank you for your submission, but your book is not for me. Good luck in the future.

CarrieK said...

Dear Author of XLI,

Thank you for your query. I would like to see more of XLI. Please send me the first 30 pages of your manuscript -- this is an approximation, I leave it to you to find a reasonable stopping point -- and a synopsis.

Also, please note that there was a formatting error of some kind in the pages you submitted with your query, and the vast majority of apostrophes are missing from your text. Please fix this error before submitting your partial, it will make it MUCH easier for me to read.

Thank you, and I look forward to reading more.

CarrieK

Kats said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, unfortunately this is not the right project for me.

Best,
Agent for a Day, Kats

Tree said...

Dear Author:
I want to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, I did not connect well enough with your project to pursue it further. As I'm sure you know, agenting is a very subjective business. Although your project didn't fit with my particular list, another agent may respond very differently.
Please accept my best wishes for success in your writing career and finding the perfect advocate for your work.
Sincerely,
Tree

Sun Up said...

Not a genre I'm familiar or particularly interested in. But, well written and a good read all the same.

Good luck

Alicia

lucy in the sky said...

Although your query didn't completely capture my interest, your sample pages did. Please send the first 50 pages.

Heather Harper said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission. After careful consideration, I regret that I’m unable to request your manuscript at this time.

Best,
Agent for a day

Lipstick Lizzie said...

Dear Author,

Thanks for the chance to look at your work. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the right agent for this project.

Best of luck,
Lizzie

Janeal C. Falor said...

Thank you for the opportunity to look at you work. Unfortunately, I don't feel this is the right project for me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Author

Thanks for querying us. I regret I have to pass on this one, but wish you every success in finding representation.

Cordially Yours,
Agent

Fairduncan said...

Dear Author

Thanks for querying us. I regret I have to pass on this one, but wish you every success in finding representation.

Cordially Yours,
Agent

Savannah Pens said...

Dear Author: Thank you for your query. While the premise is interesting and your writing shows promise, I must pass at this time. Best wishes. Savannah Pens Agent

Amethyst Greye Alexander said...

Dear Author,

I've reviewed your query but am afraid your project isn't a good fit with the works I represent. I hope you won't let this discourage you, however, as every agent has different tastes and you're sure to find representation that will better suit your needs.

Thank you for considering me.
Amethyst Adams

Anonymous said...

Form Rejection.

Agent DC

Wandering Spirit said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query. Unfortunately your book is not of a genre that I am best suited to represent. However, all writing is of value and I wish you the best in your endeavours.

Best wishes

Agent for a Day

Venus Vaughn said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query, your project doesn't meet my needs at this time.
Best of luck to you in your writing career.

~Venus Vaughn

Tamara said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your query. I wish you the best of luck finding a home for this project, but after consideration, I have to say it's not for me.

Agent for a Day
(Tamara)

Getabo Publishing said...

I like the general storyline, the character outlines and that you give your protagonist motivation.

It sounds very detailed, and has an obvious quest and potential resolution. Something like the Dune series springs to mind.

Suggestions:
The query is a little too long for my quick reading taste and I get lost. I think you could take elements of both first and second paras and make it half the length without losing anything.

But I'm afraid what decided it for me, was the repetition in the opening paragraphs.I'm sure you could get someone fresh to read it who hasn't spent all the time and hard work you have on it, just to iron out those bumps.

1. Tram closed his eyes leaned his head back against the smooth, cool tiles of the wall. (Is there an 'and' missing, or is it deliberately awkward?)

2. After a few moments, he opened his eyes

3. Tram made eye contact, then glanced at the mans hands (missing apostrophe - man's)

4. but perhaps enough to rest his eyes...

5. He closed his eyes, folded...

Get me faster into the action, the swash-buckling chocolate coating and a creamy nougat center of romance - I think then I'd be hooked!

Good Luck!

***
Thank you for your query. Unfortunately we do not think that your book would be a likely prospect for our list.

We regret that the large number of submissions we receive makes it impossible to offer individual comment. We believe it is more important to read and evaluate every query / submission we receive with due consideration.

We appreciate you thinking of Getabo Creative Publishing, and wish you the best of luck with your manuscript and future writing endeavors.

Sincerely.
The Editors
Getabo Creative Publishing

lilianamama said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for your interest in the "Be An Agent For a Day" contest. I'm afraid your query's language does not display a degree of writing finesse and/or polish that is necessary for publication. For instance, is your character a monk, warrior, knight-errant or policeman? Choose one for your query as they each imply a different time frame. Use as few words as possible to say as much as possible. Tram will give everything to save his people from their conquerors. I suggest you start your query with XLI is the story of Tram.... If possible fit in the line about the cheese steak. It shows you're using humor. 1. Attempt to use text from your story that displays your humor, "quirky philosophy" and skill as a fiction author. 3. Show tension, arc, resolution and conclusion and if at all possible, how your main character changes throughout the book. 4. Only use the story's major characters.

If you take out all of your extraneous paragraphs and add what I've suggested, your letter won't have changed much in length.

I wish you all the best.

Maryann Miller said...

So sorry, but this is not right for us. Good luck placing it elsewhere.

Meggrs said...

No.

It has all the newbie earmarks: "136,000 words and the first of 5," followed by "someone sorta important in the publishing world said it could possibly maybe be good someday," etc.

The query itself is overwritten and even redundant in places. Telling me that your fantasy is based in "actual science" is a giant eyeroller as well.

Sample pages: It's a fantasy/sci-fi novel, so opening it with a quote from a real-life, very significant historical figure immediate distorts my sense of tone.

Rejection.

Horserider said...

Dear Author:

Thank you for allowing us to consider your work. I’m sorry to say that this is not something we are interested in at this time. We receive hundreds of submissions every week and, unfortunately, cannot take them all on. This is a very subjective business and I wish you luck on your journey to publication.

Sincerely,

Horserider Literary Agency

Lupina said...

Thank you but it's not for me at this time.

The Lupina Agency

Marilyn Peake said...

Dear Author of XLI:

Thank you for your query. I regret to inform you that I cannot offer you representation at this time. Please do not in any way interpret this as meaning that your book doesn’t have merit or that you should give up on writing. Follow your dreams. I wish you all the best in your search for a literary agent.

Sincerely,
Writerly Angst Literary Agent

Jenn said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. While your story sounds interesting, I do not believe it is appropriate for my needs at this time.

Sincerely,
Fake Agent

Elizabeth said...

Dear Author,

Interesting premise, but the pages did not capture my attention. Less narrative, more action.

Best Regards,

Agent Elizabeth

Barbara Webb said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for sharing XLI, but I am going to pass. While your premise is interesting, the pages didn't grab me.

Best of luck!

Barbara

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Dear Author,
I received and read your query. I'm going to pass.
I was overwhelmed with terms and characters. Could you reword tighter?
Best to you,
Agent SCL

Lucy said...

Dear Author: Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we do not feel that we are a suitable agency to represent your work. We wish you every success in your search for an agent. Sincerely, L. C.

Moth said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query to Moth's Literary Agency. While your story sounds interesting, I'm afraid it's just not right for us. Best of luck in your writing career.

Sincerely,
Moth

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, this project is not a good fit for me. I appreciate your time and consideration, and wish you luck in finding representation.
Best,

Agent M

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your query, but I'm afraid this isn't right for me.

Raven56 said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying "Agent for a Day" Agency. Unfortunately, we do not feel this story is a good fit for our list at this time. We encourage you to continue querying other agents.

Best of luck,

Raven56

KareFree Kennels said...

XLI

Sorry, not for me.

Best of luck,
Sheryl

PCB said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for submitting your query. We are not in a position to represent you at this time, but wish you all the very best in your writing endeavors.

Sincerely,
PCB

Bekkoni said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submisson. Unfortunately, this is not right for me at this time.

Best wishes,
Bekkoni

(reason: way too confusing. I can't figure out how the plot fits together.)

Audrey E said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for query. I'm afraid that this piece isn't right for me and I will have to pass at this time.

Yours,
Audrey

Janny said...

Dear Author,

Thank you for querying me with XLI. While your query shows some spunk and a great touch of humor, and the premise sounds like it has a lot of potential, the story as you're describing it now is not something I would want to take on. However, keep in mind that publishing is subjective--and something that doesn't move me might well be just what another agent is looking for.

Best of luck in your writing endeavors!

Sincerely,
Janny

Just_Me said...

Dear Author,
While I feel your manuscript has a great deal of potential, I am not sure it is ready for publication yet. After reviewing the first few pages I feel that work could be done in editing. Possibly with the help of a critique group.
After you have edited and revised your novel and query I encourage you to query again.

Sincerely,
Agent

Note: Seriously, time to take out the hedge clippers and trim. It looks good, but you need to lose the fat. Hunt down some beta-readers and set them loose.

super agent nicole said...

Thank you for taking the time to submit your query. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer representation at this time.

Thank you,
Nicole

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