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Literary Agents / Re: Query Out Of Order (Timeline peeking)
« Last post by anwynnauthor on October 19, 2020, 08:36:52 AM »
If it's an agent who replies to all queries, it probably means they put you in their maybe pile! (QueryManager actually has that as an option for agents.) They probably read your query and wanted to think about it a little more.

There are also agents who don't reply to queries in order and sort them by genre, so (for example) they'll reply to twenty fantasy queries, but if you didn't write fantasy, your query is skipped for now.

Sweet Lord, you have rocked my world! I had no idea about these QueryManager options, and it makes the response order stuff make so much more sense! Agents who do email could even do the same thing, or have interns do the same for them...  Wow. Thanks, littlewritings!
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I do feel better to think that it's not the majority of agents who do this, and I do agree that it does seem like you'd miss out on some great manuscripts by working this way... I just get worried, because in the few years since the last time I queried, it all feels so different! I've never had so many CNRs or waited so long for manuscript responses before. Of course, I'm querying in a new genre and the U.S. has been under a cloud of constant doom and destruction during the time I've been querying...  :clap:  :up:
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Welcome New Users / Hello from France :)
« Last post by FredG on October 19, 2020, 07:24:30 AM »
Hello!

I'm a French LGBT author and I have just translated one of my books into English. I'm here to find an agent to publish it.
It's really new for me as we don't have agents in France, so I really hope to be able to find one.
I also hope to find some help about my query letter and synopsis (once I figure out what's the difference between the 2 ;D)

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There was one particular agent when I was querying who had (briefly) the highest request rate on the site and never responded to anything unless prompted with "OFFER RECEIVED" in the subject line, so I don't think it's entirely made up. She had mine for way longer than six months and didn't respond to nudges. Some agents will mention this too.

When I did get an offer and started nudging agents, btw, I didn't nudge that agent. I withdrew the manuscript from consideration but didn't tell her why.
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Literary Agents / Re: A FEW REFLECTIONS CONCERNING LITARARY AGENTS--PART 3
« Last post by littlewritings on October 19, 2020, 04:33:45 AM »
I agree with Tabris. An agent doesn't need have written a book to work in publishing. (And how do you know they haven't? They might have and it never got published or it got published under a pen name.) When I look for an agent, I'm not looking to hire a ghostwriter, I'm looking to hire someone who understands the market, who knows which editors my book should be sent to and knows how to negotiate a contract. My agent needs to know what is going to sell.

I don't think agents owe anyone a reply. When an agent says "no reply means no" I know exactly where I'm at. Often they'll even say "If you don't hear back within 8 weeks, it's a no" so after 8 weeks I know it's a pass. I don't see the point in querying agents with that policy and then complaining that you didn't get a reply. You knew what you were getting into. Many agents switched to that policy because querying authors sent them rude emails because they didn't like getting form rejections and wanted feedback. It's not always about not having the time. It's because entitled writers ruined the process for the rest of us. Agents are people, too. I understand it's frustrating and I've also sent full manuscripts and never got a reply to those, but then that agent wasn't the right one for me anyway. If something an agent does enrages you like this, they weren't the right advocate for you in the first place.

I suppose you might be querying a different genre than I did, because I would say that 99% of all the agents I dealt with were polite and kind people. I got requests even with typos in my material and even though I didn't usually personalize my queries. I understand some agents would like to hear why you're sending them a query, but they do not want their ass to be kissed. They want to know if you've maybe met before or if they've requested material from you in the past. There's no need to fabricate a connection when there is none and there is no need to sing an agent's praises if you don't want to. (Although, if you don't like the work an agent is doing, why are you querying them in the first place?)

The system, the market, the querying process and publishing as a whole are extremely frustrating to deal with. There are many things wrong with how the system works, it's rigged against marginalized creators and it most certainly doesn't open up opportunities for every kind of story, but that's not necessarily the fault of agents. Agents don't control the market, but they need to sign authors according to trends that are currently developing. It's their job. They often don't make money until a book sells.

I don't have any advice for you on where to go from here, since I'm not even sure if you want an agent, considering that you don't speak highly of them. Some big publishing houses and some smaller publishers do accept unagented submissions and there's always self-publishing if you want to get your book out there without an agent.
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Literary Agents / Re: Query Out Of Order (Timeline peeking)
« Last post by littlewritings on October 19, 2020, 03:30:12 AM »
If it's an agent who replies to all queries, it probably means they put you in their maybe pile! (QueryManager actually has that as an option for agents.) They probably read your query and wanted to think about it a little more.

There are also agents who don't reply to queries in order and sort them by genre, so (for example) they'll reply to twenty fantasy queries, but if you didn't write fantasy, your query is skipped for now.
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I agree, I don't think this is common. While I've queried in a completely different genre, I don't believe it's in an agent's best interest to have a manuscript lying around and to wait for someone else to make an offer. When an author does get an offer, they'll give a limited time frame for other agents to reply and make offers themselves. Often this will be a week or two. If the agent who had the manuscript lying around doesn't have time to read the book within a week or two, they automatically lose out.

I think this whole thing about agents sitting on manuscripts is a rumor that was started by people who are impatient. Since you've had an agent before, you know how busy they get. They have clients they have to put first (and often they have a second job), so they can't just drop everything to read a manuscript they requested. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes it even takes a year. Keep in mind that your manuscript might not be the only one they've requested either. I get that it's frustrating to wait and it's even more frustrating when it turns out that an agent will probably never reply to the request or to your nudges and that they've already silently passed (I've been there), but then that's not someone I would have wanted to work with anyway.
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Literary Agents / Re: "Rejection from one = rejection from all" agency list?
« Last post by littlewritings on October 19, 2020, 03:08:50 AM »
I made a list of agencies with that policy when I started querying (YA contemporary), but it's by no means exhaustive! (And keep in mind that some of these might have changed, so double-check the agency website before you submit!):

Andrea Brown (but you're allowed to resubmit after 6 months if your work is heavily revised)
Dystel (allowed to resubmit after revisions)
Belcastro
PS Literary
Sandra Dijkstra
Root
Stonesong
Brower
Jill Grinberg
Stimola
Jane Rotrosen
Howard Morhaim
Levine Greenberg
Sterling Lord
New Leaf
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Query Help / Re: Is this a good time to query?
« Last post by littlewritings on October 19, 2020, 02:58:41 AM »
I honestly think that there's never actually a "good" time to query. Is your book/query/synopsis ready? I'd say go for it. (Unless you've written something related to the pandemic. I've heard that agents aren't too keen on reading books about deadly viruses at the moment.)

If you're planning on querying in batches (which I would highly recommend), it'll take weeks or even months for you to get them all out there, and you'll hit a time when things are busier than usual no matter what. A lot of agents will close to queries in December, but many also close in July/August, and some close at random times during the year when they get too many submissions, and four times a year you have a heavy influx of queries because of PitMad requests (plus tons of other Twitter pitch events sprinkled throughout the year), then you have conferences and book fairs and you never know when agents get busy with client work either. The most important thing is that the book is query-ready.

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Query Help / Re: Is this a good time to query?
« Last post by mikepellegrini on October 18, 2020, 04:30:26 PM »
Yeah, mine too.  Sadly.
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