I've been noticing a trend in the agents blogs that I've been reading lately. Many of them are complaining that writers who submit are not reading their submission guidelines closely enough.
Naw, we wouldn't do that, would we? Well, in the past I have been guilty of this myself. I got to the point where I was submitting to too many agents and wasn't thoroughly reading through their guidelines. Then I realized I was wasting both their time and mine by doing this because if you don't meet the guidelines they immediately reject you. No questions asked, no materials read, into the shredder!
Considering that many agents get hundreds of queries a week this doesn't seem like a harsh response. They barely have time to read those that do meet their guidelines because they're lost amidst a pile of those that don't! And I contributed to that, argh!
Save yourself time and a few horrible form rejections and be sure to read the guidelines of each agent very carefully before submitting. Not only will you save time this way, you'll ensure that you get the best agent for your work.