Janet Reid has an excellent post concerning queries. She gives her opinion of Rachelle Gardner and Jill Corcoran and their method of ‘no response means no’.
Far be it from me to get in the middle of this discussion but maybe a sidebar is in order.
After researching an agent and agency, employing hours and days of work, please Mr. or Ms Agent let me know if you’ve received my query. It can be an auto-reply or a rejection.
(At this point in my writing career, if a rejection pinches my ego, I figure that is MY problem not yours.)
Have a website or a Publisher’s Marketplace page. This seems rudimentary but I see this often. If you don’t market yourself, how can you market my manuscript?
Keep your site updated. Come on, are you really so busy that you can’t take ten minutes to post something more current than 2009?
List your preferences. Again, this seems like a ‘duh’ but sadly it isn’t. Tell me exactly what you do not want. This saves us both time and work.
If you are not taking new clients and routinely deleting/shredding queries, please let me know. Don’t coast.
I realize you receive queries that don’t follow the rules and that you must wade through the mucky ones to find the gems. But I’ve taken the time, Mr. or Mrs. Agent, to research and read your submission guidelines line by line, Google all your interviews, study your blog and website. Please respond in some fashion even if it is with a ‘no’, a form letter, or an auto-response that you received the query.
Believe me, the phrase "no news is good news" is a horrible way to conduct business.