Hello all, this is my very first post here: Is it normal for agents to reject your work without so much as looking at the materials you send with your query letter? I've written a 4 part illustrated humor book series, and because it's illustrated (this is not the typical book proposal, I suppose), I thought it would be important to include a dozen sample pages from each book to give the agent an idea of the skill level I have as the illustrator as well as the author -- and the vast majority of the agents are sending me rejections without even looking at the work (I can tell they aren't reviewing them, since I place the paper clips in a very strategic pattern on the sample material -- and they're almost all being returned with the paper clips in the exact same spot). Is this normal? Also, one agent who did review my work (her return letter stated that she read it "with great interest") even stated that it was "hilarious" (her exact word) -- yet still rejected it. So, I'm wondering: 1. Is any of this normal? 2. Is there something especially difficult about getting published in the "humor" and/or "illustrated" book market(s)? I'm a little frustrated and feel like I'm still a bit "green" when it comes to the whole publishing industry. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!