3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Daryl_Blonder
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3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

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

I thought the day would never come but it has-- successful queries! I sent out about two dozen a couple weeks ago and received three requests over email. Two agencies wanted to see the whole manuscript, another just the first three chapters. (And of course many, many rejections.)

But perhaps I put so much energy into the queries, I somewhat neglected what comes after, which of course is just as important. I'm always going through my work and making it better; it's a never-ending process. And there is one chapter in particular I am not happy with as it was sent out. It's toward the end, and it's nothing unforgivable, but there was clearly room for improvement. I'm hoping that if someone gets that far they'll stick it out, but I'm just not sure. I thought I had a "final version," but every time I go through it, it seems something always needs to be tweaked here or there.

Either way, I just don't know what sort of reaction to expect from my work. There are various unconventional characteristics to it, and it's also very long, at over 350 pages, pretty hefty for an unknown author.

I'm thankful I followed the advice of another user of the forum, that is, don't send every single query until I could see how this round went. None of my e-queries were sent (all snail mail) and I'm holding off on those at least another week, more likely two or three.

I haven't heard back from anyone since, I would assume I should wait longer before feeling antsy, but I can't help it! The partial was only 22 pages and I would think they would have contacted me again by now if they were interested...

Krista G.
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Re: 3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Post by Krista G. » June 23rd, 2010, 4:20 pm

Hang in there! And don't start worrying about those manuscript requests (yet).

After my latest foray into queryland, I did a little analysis, and this is what my numbers looked like on requested material:

Min: 3 days
Q1: 8 days
Med: 34 days
Q3: 62 days
Max: 120 days

So 50% of the agents who requested either a partial or full got back to me within 34 days, and 75% of agents (Q3) got back to me within 62 days. That max response came after a nudge, and the agent mentioned she thought she'd responded weeks earlier than that. Oh, and I did have one agent who requested more material and never got back to me.

If you're interested in reading the whole post, here's the link: http://motherwrite.blogspot.com/2010/04 ... stics.html

Also, keep in mind that agents have a lot to do (especially this time of year, what with conferences and things), and that their actual clients are always their top priority. Good luck! And I hope your responses are all offers:)
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

bcomet
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Re: 3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Post by bcomet » June 23rd, 2010, 4:30 pm

Congrats. Wow and Good For You!!

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HillaryJ
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Re: 3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Post by HillaryJ » June 23rd, 2010, 6:50 pm

First of all, congratulations Daryl. Second, try not to fixate on the response. Krista's experience looks pretty typical. Some agents will know right away if your ms (full or partial) is not what they are looking for, but I'm seeing a response time on ms requests of up to 60 days. So, try to move on to something else unless you know you have an issue with the ms, in which case you should address that.

Good luck.
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Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hillaryjacques
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as Regan Summers - The Night Runner series from Carina Press

Daryl_Blonder
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Re: 3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Post by Daryl_Blonder » June 23rd, 2010, 11:04 pm

Krista, the graphs on your blog page are quite interesting! :)

I try to keep my chin up with the form rejections. I would imagine that even if you've written the next Don Quixote you're still going to get lots and lots of them. I sent out about 25 and had four requests for more material (another one came today). They were from big agencies with lots of clients, which I suppose is a good thing. 4 out of 25 is a 16% success rate... not bad... it means my query, at least, is effective, and I can reuse it. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed.

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Mira
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Re: 3 requests for manuscript! So nervous...

Post by Mira » June 24th, 2010, 12:30 pm

Darryl - congratulations! That's wonderful.

This is such a hard process. But congrats on writing a killer query letter. And yes, if the partials come back 'no' (that can take months, from what I understand) then I'd go to the writing.

Either way, sounds like you're on your way. Congrats! :)

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