Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by gilesth » October 26th, 2010, 10:27 am

So, I sent out a query, took the effort to research the agent's client list, learned his likes and dislikes for submissions, and I took the time to research what kinds of authors he wanted to add to his client list. I think it's safe to assume I got his name right, though for some unfathomable reason many authors don't. I followed his guidelines, did everything he asked in a professional, polite manner. In return, he took the time to read everything I sent him, even crafted a polite, personal rejection. All very nice, and I would recommend this agent except for one small detail: he got my name wrong. A name that's in my email address, and more importantly a name that's properly spelled out in at the end of my letter (after I said "Sincerely").

Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? Of course I'm not going to write back, that would be rude. But it's still weird. I mean, my name is kinda unique. It's Giles...not Glenn.

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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by cheekychook » October 26th, 2010, 11:28 am

Yep, it's happened to me, twice.

Once on a personalized and very complimentary rejection on a partial----completely botched my last name (which was clearly written all over the previous emails and at the top of every page of my partial).

Other time was in a form rejection.

Still better to have the misspelled name than the "Dear Author" response. Everyone makes mistakes---but to just address someone as "author" and not even take the time to glance at their name and type it in when the person has spent hours personalizing a letter to you and following your exact submission guidelines just adds a little extra sting to an already painful process.

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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by Mira » October 26th, 2010, 4:35 pm

I would personally find this irritating, but I also completely understand how it can happen. Agents get hundreds of queries a week. For an agent to respond even by name is more than many of them do. They are completely swamped - it really is just a reality.

On the other hand, there is a silver lining. If you ever re-write this book and the query, you could probably safely submit to this agent again - they won't recognize your name. ;)

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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by Truth and Fiction » October 27th, 2010, 12:58 pm

Honestly, until you become a client (or the agent has at least expressed interest in representing you), I don't think there's much to complain about. Yes, it's a little annoying, and would make anyone feel overlooked, but he did his job in responding to your query/manuscript -- and even with a personal rejection. I'd consider it a slip of a busy professional juggling all sorts of correspondence. Since the rejection was a good, personal one, I'd give him a pass and not think about it again.

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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by Nathan Bransford » October 28th, 2010, 8:14 pm

As someone who is really horrible about mixing up names, I'd suggest patience and understanding! I've even messed up clients names in e-mails. It's not personal, I wouldn't take it as such.

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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by HillaryJ » October 29th, 2010, 1:12 am

Anyone who corresponds with many individuals a day, say in your paperful day job, will do this occasionally. It's nothing worth dwelling on, though when it happens to you on a rejection, it's just that little bit of unintentional insult added to the unfortunate injury.
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Re: Has an agent gotten your name wrong?

Post by dgaughran » November 3rd, 2010, 7:57 am

It happens. No big deal.

Now, when they get the title of your manuscript wrong, that leads to some questions...
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