So one of the things I used to spend a lot of time on was trying to get a literary agent. (I’ve had a grand total of three over the years, and none of them ever sold a single thing. But that’s a different post …)
Here’s an exchange that’s pretty typical of how my interaction with a literary agent would go. First I would send a query (possibly including sample chapters), and then I would get back something like this:
Hey, wow, cool, they want to see more! So I would package up whatever they asked for (in this case, 50 pages) and ship it out and then wait … and wait … and wait … and then finally I would get back something like this:
Curses! Foiled again! I had all the books that they would recommend for finding literary agents … a new copy of Writer’s Market every year … a new copy of literary agent listings every year … and what did I end up with? A collection of outdated reference books. *SIGH* Now we have the Internets, of course, so I can find literary agents quickly and easily online without sacrificing any shelf space, which makes the whole process of getting rejected go a lot faster. (Or it would, if I were still looking for an agent. Which I’m not.)
Interesting side note: I now live only about twenty-five miles from where this agency is located. If I were a client, I could drop by for lunch from time to time. But, oh well. They’ll have to buy their own pizza, I guess.