It's been said that elephants have long memories. Perhaps they do, but an elephant's memory is as nothing compared with the memory of a literary agent.
A Deed of Dreadful Note, the book I just POD self-published and began flogging in my last post is, as I've indicated, an old ms; some 12 years old, to be more exact. At that time, the ms made the standard lit agent and small-press publisher rounds (major houses were out of the question for direct submission by me as they all required that submissions come from established lit agents only), and was actually picked up for representation by a series of three lit agents — one after the other, not at the same time, of course — who then attempted to find a publisher for it, but met with no success.
A fourth, who chose not to represent the ms, was bluntly truthful about why she declined. She liked the ms, but held out little hope of its ever being sold. It was, she told me straightforwardly, simply out of synch and out of sympathy with the times, book-market-wise. Worse, it was a small-niche genre piece that didn't really fit its declared genre; didn't meet the genre "specs," so to speak, its worst crime being that it had a male protagonist. It in fact didn't really fit any genre, but sort of fell between the genre "cracks" with the result that she couldn't quite make out just who the finished book's audience would be. That's a virtual Kiss of Death for any work of genre fiction.
Part of my flogging of the current POD self-published A Deed of Dreadful Note involved posts on several writers forums. Lo and behold, who should contact me by eMail in response to one of those posts but that very same agent. Her entire message, which was sans salutation:
Persistent little devil, aren't you. Good for you!