Top critical review
on 12 July 2013
The contents are not always relevant, like with the section on magazines, but the section on literary agents is really helpful, the publishers less so. I have tried contacting several of both types, but they often cannot be bothered to reply until the day cometh...or not. Ignorance is widespread, as is the reluctance to consider more than a few chapters. I can understand why they behave like this, but sometimes suspect that their behaviour is a herd instinct that is actually an ignorance barrier. I reckon I could lift passages from a published work by a famous author and they would reject it out of hand irrespective. Today,one agency, Ampersand, rewrote the submission criteria and stated that I needed to grab the readers attention in the opening few lines, let alone the first few chapters! This was after prefixing the replying email by stating "We are not ageist here!" and concluding that he'd never seen so bad a market in 40 years. Another wants the authors to state all the agents they have already approached, presumably because he's missed his chances before through taking so long to reply. Anyway, I am continuing to plough through the book, in waves, but it seems to be a futile job and therefore a book of limited value. A very demoralising experience.