Agent Jonathon Lyons has an entry here describing an author he had an interaction with this week, and can I just say WOW.
I mean, I understand being annoyed or hurt by rejection. It sucks. It sucks when you don't get the job you want, or the guy you ask out says "no thanks", or when the agent you're dying to get says "not for me." And I understand the impulse to say, "you're WRONG!"
But it's really not a good idea. It's like that scene in A Few Good Men when Demi Moore objects to a ruling by the judge. The judge overrules her. This is where it should end. But instead, Demi Moore asks for reconsideration. "We strenuously object, your Honor!" she says. Oh, you strenuously object? Well, then, you must be right! Or, I'm totally right and you should sit down, Demi. Thanks.
I'm assuming that an author's strenuous objection to rejection engenders a similar response in an agent. "Oh, you think I'm wrong to reject you? Whatever was I thinking by rejecting you, you lunatic? Please let me form a relationship with you that will last for years and directly impact my financial future! That sounds great! Whee!"
What, exactly, do authors think they are gaining by responding to agent rejections in this way? Because I can tell you that, if I were an agent, all an author like this would gain is a permanent place on my List Of Crazies I Will Never Deal With Again, No Matter How Awesome Their Writing Is.
Also, I'm a little confused by some comments on some author blogs that indicate that authors are responding to rejections at all. Do people do this? I would respond to a rejection that had specific advice for me, or to a rejection to a partial, because the agent has spent time, even though she (or he) isn't interested in the book. That means that the agent spent time he (or she) could have used for existing clients on my work, which has no financial return. That is a generosity that deserves thanks.
But should I be saying thank you for the form response that says "dear author"? Why? Doesn't it just clutter up the agent's inbox with something that takes up her already limited time?
I think this issue is complicated by the wide use of email for queries. Think about it. If I send a physical letter, and the agent sends a physical letter back saying "no, thanks", do I send another physical letter saying "thanks for rejecting me. Good luck." No. That seems silly, doesn't it? So why would I send an email that's essentially the same thing? I don't get it.
ETA: Oh my God! Agent Rachel Vater also got an email from an author complaining about rejection this week! Is it an epidemic? Is there Crazy in the water? What is wrong with people?