1. Literary agents are intimidatingly well-read.
2. They are very busy people.
3. You’re lucky to get any sort of response from them at all.
4. In order to save time, before reading your query they have to assume that what you have just sent them sucks.
5. U.S. agents want email submissions. Any letters sent will be immediately tossed.
6. U.K. agents want paper submissions. Any emails sent will be immediately deleted.
7. There are four literary agents here in New Zealand. And two of them will represent only sheep.
8. Literary agents tend to have rather boring names: Jenny Brown, Mary Evans, Greg Johnson.
9. They have excellent punctuation.
10. They generally don’t give out much information about themselves. Especially their astrological sign.
11. To find out about an agent’s literary preferences, you usually have to look at the titles they’ve helped publish.
12. Some agents have very poor taste.
13. The agents who would really be the best matches for you are now accepting submissions by referral only.
14. An agent’s ability to recognize a bestseller from a short submission is about as good as the average person’s ability to recognize from a sip of a latte that the coffee beans it’s made from are Jamaican Blue Mountain.
15. A surprising number of literary agents ask that your query letter include market research into your intended audience. To them I say, I write. What do you do?