Dear Agent
Unfortunately, we are unable to represent your work.  Please note that all queries/manuscripts/proposals received are recycled.  
Well, at least they’re environmentally conscious.

I found your material well-structured and engaging.  However, I am not enthused enough about it to take it on.  Talk about your
mixed messages.

Not for us, but do try publishers directly, and if you need help negotiating a contract, our legal staff can help you.  May as well cover
all your bases.

The concept just didn’t grab me.  I guess that’s another way to put it.

I have read the attachment but felt your novel was unlikely to thrive in such a competitive market.  Nice way of saying we think your
work stinks.

I am not currently accepting queries from prospective clients. If you and your work are what I typically look for, then your query
will be welcomed during the month of July. Only queries received during the July annual "submission period" will be considered.
Unfortunately, any correspondence from writers seeking representation who do not already have my attention will be discarded
unanswered if received at any other time.

I doubt that we could sell this book at the present time.  "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require
of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8  
honesty followed by a scripture.

Due to the overwhelming volume of queries I receive and the number of rude responses when I politely decline to review work, I
no longer reply to them.
  Could have saved us both time if that statement was posted on his/her website.

We are eager to find new books and writers, and we love to get excited about them. But the only way we can make a living is by
selling books to big and midsize publishers, and selling small books by new writers is becoming more difficult. Now is the best
time ever to be a writer, but finding new writers is the hardest part of our job, and it's getting harder.
 Okay . . . but are you interested
in representing me?

I wish I could include one that said, "I love your book and definitely want to represent you. When can we start?" However, I never did
receive one like that, but I'm not complaining because self-publishing worked out for the best.

While most agents accept and even prefer electronic queries, some still require a hard copy query via the U.S. Mail service and a SASE if
you want a response.  I’m not sure why any writer would send out a query letter and NOT want a response.  Anyway I found it interesting
that 28% of such agents never responded to my queries.  Could they be that hard up for stamps?

Before I decided to self-publish, I sent query letters to hundreds of agents. I didn't end up going that route, but
maybe you will.
Click here for some resources for finding an agent and a basic understanding on what to
include in your query letter.

Not all agents responded to my query letter, and in fact most of them state on their website that they will not
respond unless they are interested. The ones I did receive ran the gamut.  Most of them were polite and to the
point. Some I found amusing. Others were confusing. Here is a smattering of them.

Thank you for your query, but I don’t believe I would be the right agent for your work at this time.  Be
aware that publishing is a subjective business, and other agents may feel differently. We wish you all the
best in your search for representation and publication.
 This, by far, was the most frequent response to my
query letters.  It must be what's taught in Literary  Agent 101.

Alas – and as much as I hate to relay the news thru this form response – the query was not quite
intriguing enough to inspire me to offer representation or further consideration of your project.
message, just a lot wordier.

Thanks, but you can’t sell a mainstream novel unless you’ve been published before.  Oh, really? Just watch

Not for me.  Good luck.  Short and sweet.

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