I had a pretty good Thanksgiving week last week. I received an acceptance, a request for more material, and two rejections. The acceptance was for an anthology Sonar 4 Publications is putting out, and I'm very excited about it. The request was for a nonfiction book I am working on, and the rejections were from agents. One of them was pretty bizarre. Here is what the email said:
Thanks so such for querying us, but we are unsure that this premise would work in this tight market. All said we would encourage you to do what many of our clients have done prior and self- publish with a reputable, and recommended, publisher. This is a new age in publishing, and as evidenced time and time again, neither The New York Times bestsellers list nor major booksellers discriminate against the self published. Oftentimes, authors choose to get proactive in order to build a sales record and boost their chances of being picked up.
I would like your permission to pass along your information to someone who can help you get started on your path towards getting published. If you are ready to become proactive about your career we will let them know more details about your manuscript and how to get into contact with you. There are a lot of publishers that seem to have gotten the better of new authors, the two that we refer you to are not of that ilk, they have had a number of successes.
I was a little flabbergasted when I read that, and I couldn't understand why an agent would recommend being self-published. I do not necessarily think self-publishing is bad, but I don't need an agent to send my stuff to a self-publisher. I can send my own stuff. Are they getting kick-backs from the companies? I didn't request any more info, so I don't who they would have recommended. And why wouldn't they have recommended an independent/small publishing house? They are probably even more reputable/acceptable in the publishing world than a self-publisher. It's strange.
Plus, if they had even bothered to read my query, they would have found that I already have a small/independent publisher. Why the hell would I need a self-publisher? Besides, I'm not looking for a PUBLISHER, I'm looking for an AGENT. Oh, well. I just cut my losses and moved on.