Author Topic: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???  (Read 13206 times)

Offline AlythiaB

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What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« on: January 09, 2015, 11:18:06 AM »
I had a thought the other day…
 
Do you think the amount of time an agent takes to respond to queries says anything about their agenting skills/style?

Maybe this is an unfair assumption (I'm not behind the scenes on the 'other side'), but I can't help but wonder if the lit agents who can manage to respond to queries within a couple of weeks (or even days!) are more organized and communicative in their practice...

I have to admit, when I review the QT comments on agents and see a ton of 'CNR' from you guys, I tend to shy away from that particular agent. It makes me think 'If you read the query and intend to pass, how hard is it to dump the email into a file that automatically submits a form rejection letter?'

On the flip… Maybe the non-responsive agents spend more time communicating with their clients! And receiving thousands of emails can be daunting.

In general, I research the entire 'package' when forming my query list. But it was an interesting thought and I'm curious what you guys think!     

 
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Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 11:40:46 AM »
I definitely move responsive agents higher up on the list. I don't think a form rejection is too much to ask of anyone, and I do see it as a sign of good organization and professionalism. That said, I did query some no-response-means-no agents, just because they were highly recommended by other writer friends.

And yes, I've also wondered about if responsive agents are more organized, or more actively building their lists, and whether the non-responsive ones are saving their efforts for active clients...but I think in the end it doesn't really matter. Still, it is fun to speculate on!

I'm endlessly boggled by the agents who tweet all day long yet still manage to have tons of sales. HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 11:54:30 AM »
Yes to everything!! The tweeters with tons of sales are especially amazing!!
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Offline B

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 02:31:04 PM »
I remember an agent (can't recall which so I won't name names) saying it's unwise to judge an agent by how s/he treats non-clients, which to a great extent I agree with. I know we all want the special attention of anyone we query, but like with any job application, I'm surprised by how upset people get when agents pass (either too quickly or too slowly) - though I understand the emotion that goes into this entire process/industry. And of course, I prefer agents to respond in one way or another, though it's up to me whether to query non-responders.

OH! Sara Megibow is the culprit I was recalling: http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/05/16/sara-megibow-sells-romance-4-2/
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gckatz

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 02:58:44 PM »
Yeah, how they respond to queries isn't an accurate reflection of anything except how they respond to queries. An agent who never responds to queries unless interested might be the sort who ignores her clients, or it might be the sort who's too busy helping her clients to have much time for queries. You have no way to know.

Offline Thulsa_Doom

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 03:56:03 AM »
I have a notoriously CNR/Non responsive agent

But then again the agency reps the humungously top names. It might just be an agency policy, especially as they don't use assistants (the busy little unpaid oompa-loompas who send the rejection emails) and a really close reltionship with the clients :-/

It never swayed my intention not to sumbit to them, most of my partial/full requests came from the CNR agents, actually!!
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 12:47:13 PM »
I agree with everyone here. Just speculating.

B mentioned Sara Megibow. I have mad respect for her. She's one of the agents who responds to each and every query within a week! So coming from her, especially, I totally get this concept. I wouldn't call an agent good/bad based upon their response time (or lack of response), but it did make me wonder if it showed anything about their communication style, once accepted. Communication is important to me. Thanks for sharing, B!

Thulsa, do you mean to say you're currently rep'd by an agent known for CNR? If so, is she responsive to you as her client?
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Offline catsandstuff

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2015, 12:44:08 AM »
I'd say that there is certainly a correlation between the way agents deal with queries and the way they deal with clients. I'm not saying there is a right and wrong way to deal with queries, but that patterns of behavior are not usually limited to queries. It doesn't matter if an agent doesn't respond to a query as long as she has something that tells you the timeline in which to consider it closed.

Take Victoria Marini for instance. She does not respond super quickly, but she keeps a personal website that tells you exactly what she is looking for, how to query her, and how far into her query inbox she is by date. I'm willing to bet money that she is a great communicator in general and that as a client you would never be left wondering about her communication style or where you stand with her.

Sara Megibow is definitely rad. She made a name for herself from CO (which is no easy feat) and has a good sales record. She is fast to respond to material she likes and also fast to read it. I think her work ethic is reflected in her speed of communication. I'm also willing to bet that she is very much on top of things for her clients and that they hear from her quickly.

My agent was incredibly fast to respond to my query and she offered only four days after receiving my full. She emails me back late at night, over weekends, and during holidays. She is always there when I need her. Her website says that you can consider your query closed if you haven't heard back from her in 2 weeks... because she is on top of her query box and a speedy responder.

An agent can be fast or slow, have a policy of not responding or responding - it really doesn't matter. But how an agent deals with her own rules about queries definitely says something about her. Does she tell you one date and then not live up to her word? Does she clearly define what you can expect from her? 

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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2015, 02:56:25 AM »


An agent can be fast or slow, have a policy of not responding or responding - it really doesn't matter. But how an agent deals with her own rules about queries definitely says something about her. Does she tell you one date and then not live up to her word? Does she clearly define what you can expect from her? 



EXCELLENT point! I've never thought of it that way. Agents are free to set up their own rules. What matters more is their ability to follow through on said guidelines. Thanks for sharing, Cats!
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Offline Thulsa_Doom

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2015, 06:58:42 AM »

Thulsa, do you mean to say you're currently rep'd by an agent known for CNR? If so, is she responsive to you as her client?

Very much so, a LOT of back and forth and a lot of time spent with not just this work, but another novel and even short stories to markets/competitions (I didn't think this was part of the deal, but evidently so.) Incredibly involved. I can sort of see why there's not much space elsewhere. It's rather like moving into the first class after being in the back of the Snowpiercer train, y'know?

I think it might have to do with handling bigger clients there's a sort of house-policy on how to deal with them?
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2015, 01:10:44 PM »
You guys are awesome! Thanks for all of this feedback. I like hearing multiple perspectives/experiences!
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Offline ImwithCoCo

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2015, 01:42:46 PM »
I think it def depends. I had an email from my now-agent to set up a phone call 7 hours after I emailed her the requested first 100 pages of my MS. She is crazy fast at responding to me now as a client as well. (I think the longest I ever waited to hear back on an email was an hour)
I'm not sure about queries since I'm on this side of things now, but I have a feeling she's pretty quick about them. I agree with Cats: An agent can be fast or slow, have a policy of not responding or responding - it really doesn't matter. But how an agent deals with her own rules about queries definitely says something about her. Does she tell you one date and then not live up to her word? Does she clearly define what you can expect from her?
I think this is dead on  :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 01:44:53 PM by ImwithCoCo »
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Offline B

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2015, 04:08:03 PM »

An agent can be fast or slow, have a policy of not responding or responding - it really doesn't matter. But how an agent deals with her own rules about queries definitely says something about her. Does she tell you one date and then not live up to her word? Does she clearly define what you can expect from her? 


In this regard, I agree. This is more to keeping to one's professional word and being consistent, where providence allows, and so yes, I suppose one could potentially see this during the querying process.
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Silence18

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2015, 06:21:03 PM »
B mentioned Sara Megibow. I have mad respect for her. She's one of the agents who responds to each and every query within a week!

I second this whole-heartedly! She just opened up her own agency and I queried her. I got a 30 page request and then a rejection all within the space of two weeks(maybe even a tad bit shorter)! And she emailed to let me know that she had gotten the 30 pages and would be back w/me soon. You hardly ever see that in this biz! Which I'm not saying that to knock how anyone else does it, but she's certainly stuck w/me as a super class act.

Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: What Do You Believe Response Time Says About an Agent???
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2015, 10:14:58 PM »
I do understand agents are super busy people, and I'm actually okay with non-responders, as long as they indicate somewhere on their site at what point I should consider my query closed. I know it's dumb but, when I was was querying, I actually preferred no response to a form reject. I hated reading those rejections. It was easier for me to just close something out after a certain period of time and shrug rather than read a "not for me" email.

That actually makes a lot of sense! No response at all--doesn't hurt at all. (Ooh, it's like a motto. Should we make bumper stickers for these agents?)

But yeah, an auto-response that it was received did wonders for my anxiety.