So I’m getting ready to send my book proposal for The Seven Creations around to some literary agents. One possibility I’m looking at is the Brandt & Hochman Agency in New York. So and I’m looking for info about this agency on the internet and I come across a discussion on WritersNet. Somebody says this about Brandt & Hochman:
One of its agent wrote me a rejection, thus:
Thank you for sending the pages to your novel. I read them with interest. But I must admit I was not fully drawn to the material. My personal feeling is that the storytelling seemed weaker than I usually like, and to my mind the characters felt underdeveloped. I never really felt I knew them. Without being passionate and with so many personal reservations I would not have the right instincts for selling it. I'm sorry I can't help more. I hope you will get other readings and I wish you success with your writing.
Brandt & Hochman
A courteous enough reply, I thought. Then comes the next comment in the string:
Thank you so much for that! Just last night I received the identical, word-for-word rejection from you-know-who! This really helps me in my understanding of these rejections, because I thought that the wording applied directly to my novel - and I did find it hard to believe that he found my storytelling weak, which is usually what I get most praised on. Jeez, I thought I could tell whether I was getting a form letter or not, but this time, they really pulled the wool over my eyes! As usual, I'm grateful to Writers Net - and all you wonderful folks! Thanks!
Then, awhile later, the first guy again:
And my writer friend, quoted above, send him a non-fiction proposal, and she got the same identical rejection, which caused her to laugh. It's amazing how they attempt to masquerade in such lazy fashion!
A third commenter summarizes his thoughts on the matter:
Well, I guess they feel that if a form letter works, why not work it? LOL Maybe they want to be seen as benevolent and pro-writer but don't want to take the time to actually read the material so they crank out a standard form letter and never stop to think that any two rejectees might compare notes.
Finally there’s a fourth guy, who got a personalized rejection letter from B&H:
Whether a rejection is personal or form, all rejection letters are REAL rejections. I wasn't flattered that it was a personal letter. Bottom line it's yes or no, you're thrilled or pissed or whatever.
So, in dealing with a literary agency would I rather: (a) get no reply at all; (b) have them tell me my book sucks in very specific ways; or (c) get a form rejection letter tempered with encouragement that’s automatically generated without anyone ever having read what I sent them? (BTW, I’m not sending my stuff to Brandt & Hochman.)