I will be the first to admit that, while I read everyone's guidelines I submit to, I read them quickly. I take brief, illegible notes and submit based on my chicken scratches. This doesn't always work out for me. I am sure I have messed up formatting, especially those clearly outside of the norm. With agents it is worse. I have been subbing to agents looking for a taker on my MG book. It has a couple of things going against it. It is short (although just right for the standard MG book at 26K) and it contains no supernatural elements. My characters aren't witches or vampires. They don't go hunting zombies or try to save the world. They are kids who have an adventure. Just like any kid could. It is the kind of book I read when I was ten. Just before I found my dad's copy of Robert Bloch's Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper.
My query has gotten some responses. A partial, quite a few flat out rejections and some very nice personal rejections. Yesterday I found out that my speed reading of guidelines got me in a bit of trouble. If I had been the agent I would have given me a Rejection on the spot. I didn't follow the guidelines. I sent my query and I, even after re-reading the guidelines, missed the part about the first ten pages. I was lucky enough that she invited me to re-submit (with emphasis on ACCORDING TO OUR GUIDELINES). I don't know if my query caught her eye or she is a nice agent who believes in second chances. Either way I am thankful for the second chance.
That is all. Have a nice weekend.
Sherlock Holmes's School for Detection
2 weeks ago