I thought of this post last night while Samir and I were scarfing down take-out pasta. When many writers are sending out queries, partials, and fulls, they're encouraged to be respectful. Fair, right? This busy person is taking out time to consider your work.
But the reverse is also true.
I remembered one particular agent who asked for a partial, then a full. 5 months later, I heard nothing from her, so I assumed that was probably a "no" but just wanted to make sure. I had other offers and learned it was polite to let anyone who had the manuscript know.
I wrote a short e-mail and got this response:
"I haven't read it and you can't bother me with your question. I'll get to it when I feel like it."
A week later, I had some mail from this agent. My manuscript? No.
A suggestion to attend a $300 conference and watch her speak? Yes.
The point is, I know we're all eager to get our work out there but respect should always be a two way street. Everyone is trying to get to a partnership, not a dictatorship. Anyone who doesn't give you or your treasured work courtesy is not someone you need!