Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Check, Recheck, Double-check, Fail

To quote Robert Burns: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." (You know the translation there, folks.)

I sent my query letter out on Monday. I admit, it was a longshot, but the agent in question says she'll look at works that aren't on her preferred genre list, if they grab her. So I took a shot.

Mine didn't grab her.

She was very nice about it. She's trying to keep her focus on her main genres right now... yada yada yada... It was a form letter, which is just fine with me. However, as a PS at the bottom of the letter, she was extremely helpful by pointing out a gaff I made in my query letter. I misspelled a name I used as a reference point. Specifically I spelled the Roe in 'Roe vs Wade' as ROWE.


and arrgghh.

Good thing I only sent one letter out with that on it, but one was enough. I don't think that one mistake was enough to kick me to the reject pile, but it couldn't have helped. (Which sucks because I think this particular agent and I could've been awesome together.)

Truth be told, I honestly thought it was Rowe. I was absolutely positive it was Rowe, which made me absolutely positive I didn't need to verify my spelling. I had several people look the letter over, and all of them must have thought it was right because no one said anything about it. (Including my very detail-oriented husband - I don't know who feels worse about screwing that up, me or him.)

If you were one of the many people who looked it over and missed it, don't feel bad. I googled Rowe vs Wade and came up with +20K hits. A whole bunch of people are in the same boat. (And now if someone else googles the phrase, this'll make one more hit.)

I guess the point I'm trying to make is you can check and recheck and double-check. You can have a dozen eyes look at your stuff. And you can still fail to catch it. Until the one pair of eyes that matters catches it and kicks it back to you.

If that one agent is somehow reading this post, thank you. You've done me a very great service by pointing that bone-head play out. (And she didn't even point out how stupid it was. Like I said, she was very nice - even though she didn't have to be.) Now I can move forward sans misspelling, and hopefully not booby-trap myself into a rejection.

Live and learn. (And if you can learn from my mistake, that'll make two of us.) ;o)

Now, I'm off to do some agent research and see if I can get this puppy sold.