Slow-ass query response?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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ddegreeff
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Slow-ass query response?

Post by ddegreeff » June 15th, 2010, 3:53 pm

Is there some industry-wide slowdown I'm not aware of going on right now? About a month ago I got my query to a much stronger place and sent it out to six different agents. Other than a couple "we've received your query" responses, I haven't heard a peep, not even a form rejection. As sucky as it was, at least when my query was poor and I got rejected within a day it was some sort of closure. Now I don't know what to think. Is anyone else seeing a big delay in query responses right now, positive or negative?
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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by CafeCliche » June 15th, 2010, 3:58 pm

There have been a ton of conferences recently, and agent responses tend to slow down in general this time of year: the queries build up while the agent is at the conference, for one, and they have the material they requested from pitch sessions to read through as well. I'm sure you'll get some responses soon.

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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by HillaryJ » June 15th, 2010, 5:13 pm

This is convention season, which could account for it. Also, established clients come first. So, if you've aimed at agents with active client lists, they might be working their behinds off - which is a good thing if you end up signing with them.

Do double-check the agency websites or the agent blogs, if they have them. I've noticed that a lot more agents are only responding if interested than in years past. And, a month isn't that long. I know it's agonizing to wait, and with e-queries you expect a response right away, but this isn't a quick industry. Give an agent at least 6 weeks before following up, unless their website specifically states otherwise.
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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 15th, 2010, 11:56 pm

I have to say, there has been a HUGE increase in the number of submissions in the last few weeks. Summer is here and it seems like everyone is now sending out their queries. So I'd imagine this is a factor.

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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by February » June 16th, 2010, 12:01 am

Could it have something to do with the fact I remember Eric at PMN posting a little while back that summer was slower in publishing and it might be a good time to query (or something to that effect...)

I remember reading recently that at least one agent recently lost a bunch of queries to an email disaster- she was asking people to resub if they'd sent in the past month. You might want to look at the blogs of the people you submitted to and see if that was one of them- might account for at least one...

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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by ddegreeff » June 16th, 2010, 10:37 am

Thanks for the responses, folks. And February, what I've always read is that the industry pretty much shuts down in August, which is why I really worked to have everything finished by early May so I could hopefully get in two rounds of queries before we hit radio silence (of course, I was hoping to only need the first round, but that's neither here nor there...). And I think the agent you're talking about is Janet Reid, or at least I know all of her QueryShark emails were lost.
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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by February » June 16th, 2010, 11:06 am

If it 'shuts down' in August does anyone know when it officially reopens so to speak?

I didn't know the etiquette for posting about other agents/agencies by name here since I'm a newbie so I omitted the agent's name figuring you'd know who it was if you had queried her and then checked her blog- I mentioned it in case you might have missed it somehow...hope you hear back on those outstanding queries soon and it's good news for you!

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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by Krista G. » June 16th, 2010, 12:19 pm

I would say the real shutdown is around the holidays, late November to after New Year's. Most agencies completely close from mid-December until after the start of the year, and a lot of agents (Nathan being the exception) don't take queries during those weeks. And although I don't know for certain, I suspect very few book deals are negotiated during that time of year, too.

As for August, I went back and looked at my records from last year (when I was querying my second book). I actually didn't send out any queries in August (I was taking a bit of a break), but I did receive query responses from from six agents (five rejections, one partial request) and partial responses from two agents (both rejections). So I'd say the industry - at least the query end of it - is alive and kicking during the month of August.
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Re: Slow-ass query response?

Post by pensees » June 23rd, 2010, 2:22 pm

I don't understand why agents wouldn't have an auto-reply on their email to at least let you know it had been received. It's one thing to not reply if not interested (which I actually don't get, since templates are easy enough to set up), but an auto-response takes no effort at all. Once it's set up, it's done.

Should I send a query again to an agent if I emailed them before and got no response (not even the auto-reply)?

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