I sent out more than 2000 queries to agents. I know, there probably aren't that many agents, but I did resend every three months, so it does add up.
Finally, I got one positive response. "Send me the first three chapters." Cool, methinks (I read a lot of lit from the 18th Century, so 'methinks' is a perfectly valid dialog tag).
Since my book is 451,293 words long and has only five chapters, I sent off the 349,459 words comprising chapters 1 through 3 (notice that I know how to use the word 'comprising'). Since I have a pretty old computer, I sent the files in the original WordStar.
Eighteen months, three weeks, two days, and fourteen hours later, I received a note from the agent: "Send me the full, but use Word, okay?"
Since she specified Word, I had to go find a version of Word so I could convert my WordStar files. I finally found a free copy of Word 95. I had to copy and paste, but that took a long time since my computer only has 8MB memory. That doesn't hold a lot of text. Still, I perservered (notice that I use the word 'perservered' correctly), and attached the file to an email.
Fourteen months, two weeks, five days, and 13 hours later, I received an answer from the agent: "Not for me."
I really appreciated the thought and effort she made to give me specifics. Next time, I'll just send the entire manuscript as a text document. Maybe her computer doesn't use Word 95.
Oh, yeah. This is How I Got My Agent, so I need to answer that. I'll ask her next time I go up to the attic to feed her. She gets cranky when I don't give her any food for a couple of days. Still, she's really good about sending my manuscript to publishers. Starvation is an excellent motivator.