I sent a query letter for my Civil War history book, To Take St. Louis: The Confederacy's Last Gamble in the West, to an agent yesterday. He replied the same day saying he didn't feel he was the "most appropriate agent" for the work, meaning he either didn't like it, didn't think it would sell, didn't think it would sell for high enough, or didn't think he knew enough about the market to sell it effectively. Take your pick. He did wish me luck seeking representation. That's always nice. Here's the reply I sent:
"Dear Mr. xxxxxx,
Thank you for your prompt reply, even if it was a "no". In a business rife with slow responses and unanswered emails, writers truly appreciate a quick turnaround. I'm off to pitch the next agent on my list.
It's always good to thank an agent or editor when they do their job well. It builds up goodwill and encourages them to continue along the right path. Now if I could only get a certain magazine to reply to my pitches. . .