I am very glad for the responses to my last post, and I can appreciate where everyone is coming from.
But I want to add some more things to chew on, as I'm curious what the responses will be to them:
1. Are people taking into consideration the sheer volume of submissions agents receive now, in comparison to when agents first started? Our agency receives up to 150-200 per DAY via email; four years ago, paper only, my old agency received up to 100 per WEEK.
2. Are people also taking into consideration that agents are paid on commission? Which means that to answer all those submissions, roughly 1,000-1,400 per week, is unpaid time?
3. AND, that of those 1,400 submissions...almost half aren't even things we'd represent, i.e., things sent without reading our guidelines and interests?
I know how much time I spend per week answering unsolicited queries - about 5 hours, and personally, I don't mind. I'm a younger agent; I have the time to do it, and I believe in our agency's policy to do it. But...does everybody?
4. Many agents are working two, if not THREE jobs, to be able to keep agenting - because commission takes a few years to start paying any bills. We work 24 hours a day - no joke. Reading, reading, reading at night - pitching, editing, negotiating, taking calls back and forth, smoothing bumps and feathers and possibly even stuffing a Happy Meal or two during the day.
Some agents just may not HAVE that extra 5 hours. Doesn't seem like much, I know...except, keep in mind that that is the time spent ANSWERING only - not including all the reading. Life as an agent isn't really all that glamorous. It's full of rejection, stress, and lack of sleep.
But...I posted this, and my last post, because I'm honestly curious to know the responses to these things (and I should add: I'm directly debating the no response=no policy to unsolicited submissions; I do think requested submissions deserve a response).
Do any of these points justify the action? At least make it more understandable? Enough not to throw insults, at least, while entering the debate?
And, whether they do or not: IS there a happy medium to be made...or is there just no pleasing everybody? (Because trust me, even though we respond, THAT is not even enough for some people).
Like I said before: I'm an agent. I'm biased. I'm going to defend the agent side. None of this will change our current policy at the Bradford Agency; this is all on me, not representative of my agency or employer at all.
The reason I'm still prodding this snarling beast of an argument is the same reason I blog: to provide more dimension to this side of the fence. And if I'm going to do that, only fair to open up the floor for others to provide more dimension for me as well.