There's been a lot of buzz in the cybersphere lately over the issue of The Form Rejection vs. The Silent Rejection.
It started with agents Rachelle Gardner and Jill Corcoran giving their reasons for NOT responding, which you can read here and here.
Then the ever-fabulous Janet Reid shot back with reasons why these ladies had the wrong idea, prompting Nathan Bransford to ask his readers to give their opinions, and did they ever.
I recently had two queries that never made it to the intended recipients. Both agents were kind enough to ask me to re-send when I followed up, and one of those wound up being my full request - a request I would have missed out on if I'd assumed her lack of response translated to lack of interest in my project.
So here's what I think: if an agent wants to adopt the "no response means no" policy, that's fine. But at the very least, they need to give a time frame in which we can assume they've passed, and have an auto-response in place to let queriers know their e-mail was received. There's simply too much uncertainty (and anxiety) otherwise.
In all honesty, we as queriers are expected to do our homework on these agents. We're expected to flatter them, to demonstrate knowledge of their client list. And since professionalism is a two-way street, I do think writer's are at least owed the peace of mind to know their query made it safely into the agent's inbox in return.
That said, I don't hate the Silent No policy, not after all the rejections I've received. Having a heart attack every time a new e-mail pops up in my inbox isn't fun, and neither is having yet another agent tell me that my dream agent is out there somewhere... but it's just not them. With the no-response-means-no policy, you'd automatically know the e-mail contained good news, because they wouldn't be contacting you otherwise. Then again, I have received some personalized feedback with my non-silent rejections, and I do get a certain sense of closure from knowing the reason behind the "no."
So what say you, peeps? Is silence better than the impersonal words of a form rejection? Or are empty words better than no words at all?