Author Topic: Where's My Reply???  (Read 11308 times)

Offline EmmieMears

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2015, 10:49:03 AM »
AAAHHHHH this is crazy making. *hands you a drink*

Also, I have never met anyone who did macrame and now I'm really excited.
Author of STORM IN A TEACUP (February 2015: http://amzn.to/1KkV9kS), ANY PORT IN A STORM (June 2015: http://amzn.to/1F4hZ9d), and SHRIKE: THE MASKED SONGBIRD (July 2014/April 2015: http://amzn.to/1HX1iPd)

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Offline bswb97

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2015, 12:18:24 PM »
This thread is super helpful. I just started querying my light SF manuscript -- one that my three beta readers (one who's a pubbed YA SF author, one who works at a romance/WF small press) told me was THE ONE. And the copyeditor I had clean up typos and word stupidity told me it was one of the best things she's ever worked on. So I queried with confidence, figuring I would do a slow rollout just to gauge the reaction. I picked agents that have a track record of fast (1-2 day) turnarounds so I could test the waters.

One expected form rejection came (he was more literary, just curious about turnaround time). The others are...radio silence. Which is odd for these agents. And of course, I've checked and re-checked QT comments at a furious rate. Did NONE of my queries go through? Is my email dead? Maybe my work is just so terrible that the mail server thought it was spam? Maybe they're all on vacation because it's spring break week?

Writer neuroses, you know? When I stare at my inbox, time goes by suuuuuuuuuuuper slow. Then I deal with my 7-month-old or work tasks and then it goes normal again. Then I look at my inbox and time slows down again. Or as one very wise soul once said, "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but, actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff."

So hearing that interns and junior staff often filter through the slush into a Maybe pile makes a lot of sense and has talked me off the edge. For now. :)

Offline SamIAm

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2015, 12:47:06 PM »
There is most definitely a maybe pile! And the one time I knew I was in one for sure resulted in a full. Hopefully you get the same result.

When I wondered if I was in a maybe pile and started to go crazy, I just took a deep breath and let it give me hope. Cause it meant a "no" hadn't happened yet.

Good luck, everyone!

Offline W.E.Kelpie

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2015, 11:20:34 PM »
Do you guys ever read the comments on the main site and wonder why writers who submitted queries on the exact same date as you already received a reply from that agent? Is this because agents read out of order? Is there a 'maybe' pile? Do they deem some queries worthy of a form rejection while others get silence??? HELP ME UNDERSTAND!!!  :'(

*Tries not to obsess over the inbox*
*Takes up bracelet making*
*Thinks about cleaning something*
*Drinks a little more than usual*

I don't know, but it's happened to me enough times since I've started this process (in Early Jan), that I worry there's something I'm doing wrong. Seems like mine is always one of the few that gets skipped if the agent is at all prone to skipping. Frustrating, because I got two partials that turned to full requests in the first batch I sent early on (though the agents eventually passed), but with compliments on the query and opening pages themselves. So I was all chuffed, thinking that at least I had a good query and opening pages/chapters. 30 queries later, a handful of form rejects, but otherwise ... crickets. :'(

I assume agents have reasons for doing things the way they do, including skipping a few here and there when they send rejections for most. But it's happened to mine often enough it makes me wonder if some of them didn't get mine at all for some reason, like there's possibly something funky about my email to make the query (or their reply) hit spam filters, or if there's something about my query letter or opening pages that is so bad it makes them delete them without replying (but if this is true, why did I get requests and compliments from two agent in the first batch of five I sent)?

No idea how to find out why. It's my nature to assume it's something I did wrong and not to hope that it's being skipped for a good reason (like they sent it to one of the other agents in their agency or it's in a maybe pile).



 I just hope my fairy godmother isn't drinking in a tavern somewhere--too drunk to bedazzle agents for me. That's probably the kind of fairy I have...  Lol

Lol, thanks for making me laugh! I know that if I have a fairy godmother, this would be her exactly. ;D

« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 11:25:04 PM by elwagner »

Offline jldelozier

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2015, 08:48:51 AM »
W.E. Kelpie,
I don't have any words of wisdom, but I can sympathize and relate because it has happened to me as well, and with none other than the indomitable L. Langlie herself. You know, the agent with, like, 30 second response times?! I sent her 2 queries and heard NOTHING, which seems to be very weird for her. My query has gotten full requests from other agents, so I don't think it is something wrong with the query, but I do wonder about the spam filter.
The bottom line - since phone calls are discouraged, there's nothing you can do but move on. Somewhere, several months ago, I saw a helpful list of words NOT to include in a subject line because they often triggered spam filters. Unfortunately, I did not save the list, but I'm sure you can easily find something similar on the web. Might want to check it out to make sure your subject line is not getting you booted.  Good luck and keep the faith!
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Offline W.E.Kelpie

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2015, 10:59:57 PM »
Well, if the agent or their agency has specific instructions on their submission page for what to put in a subject line, I follow it to a tee. If not, I write the words Query: fiction NOVEL TITLE. I've checked, and my novel title does not contain any of the "spam filter" words. I have read somewhere that capitalization is a spam filter trigger, but agents generally express a preference for the title of the novel being in caps.

So  ???

Offline InvisibleInk

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 08:37:17 PM »
I can so relate to this right now. I've only sent out a handful of queries, and I wanted to wait to get responses back before sending out more so I could judge general reactions, and I have TWO agents that have rejected people all above and below me and still.....nothing.

The two agents that have responded have both been requests, so I'm assuming something is working, which means maybe I'm in the elusive maybe pile for these other two, but I'm also afraid I'm caught in a spam filter or something! Especially since one of the agents is usually a quick responder (though conf season..I know...) Ugh. Querying is the worst! I'm going to go write myself into oblivion.

Offline W.E.Kelpie

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2015, 09:47:05 PM »
Yeah, I figured some of the non responders were because of book fairs in early April (though some have had my queries since Jan or Feb, and their response times seem slower overall this year than last). Agents are individual people with variations in their workloads, so I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons. I don't hold it against them, but it's still hard not knowing when I have enough information about whether or not there's a problem with my query or the writing on my opening pages.

Seems like the non responders fall into three camps: 1. The ones who pretty much never respond to anyone unless they want more materials. If they have an auto response to say they've received and have a stated response time for requests posted on their site, at least I know when to assume no news means no. 2. The ones who are usually prompt responders one way or the other but haven't been since the new year, and they haven't rejected or requested materials from anyone lately. Assume they're busy with something else besides their slush pile right now. 3. The ones who are sort of all over the place, letting them pile up, then rejecting/requesting in blocks, but randomly skipping some queries. Mine seems to be one of the ones that get skipped with many of these.

Or maybe it's a selection effect, because I probably only peruse the pattern with agents I haven't heard from after a few weeks. But it's been well over a month since I've gotten even a form rejection, so  :sad2:



Offline InvisibleInk

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2015, 10:34:03 AM »
I totally agree. And if I'm being honest, I'd rather agents direct more of their time toward their clients and their books than queries, so I certainly don't get mad at all.  It's more of a 'put me out of my misery' type situation!  ;D  I'm trying to see it as a positive -- my query is not so horrible that they immediately reject before they've reached the end of the second sentence.  Unless, of course, my query never made it there....  Ah well, such is the nature of publishing, right?


Offline bswb97

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2015, 10:49:58 AM »
Is it out of line to ask via Twitter if they are behind on queries or have changed to CNR? I don't want to be rude, but there are other people at some agencies that I'd like to move to and these agents don't have a timeline stated on their submission guidelines.

Offline boxofredpens

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2015, 12:43:01 PM »
bswb97, I don't think it's rude. I've seen other writers ask agents for their query status/timeline/etc or "are you still responding to unsolicited material" etc and agents seem to respond favorably. Just my two cents!

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2015, 03:51:24 PM »
I've read on agent blogs that it's not a great thing to do, but it probably depends on the agent
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Offline InvisibleInk

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2015, 06:01:55 PM »
I've read on agent blogs that it's not a great thing to do, but it probably depends on the agent

Same here. And I'm not sure I'd be able to come up with a way to ask that didn't sound like you're sort of calling them out for being behind, especially since twitter is so public. But who knows, they may not mind.

Offline W.E.Kelpie

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Re: Where's My Reply???
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2015, 01:09:43 AM »
Yeah. I teach at a college, and while I never get as far behind in grading as agents do with queries and manuscript readings (seeing that we have to work inside the framework of a semester and I definitely need to get the old assignments graded before the next one is due), it is annoying if students start asking me when the exams will be back before I've even had a chance to look at them. It's like they think we don't have a lot of other things we're doing, both for the classes we're teaching and in our own lives.

So I totally get why nudges could be irritating, especially if an agent really is feeling overwhelmed by both professional and personal obligations and has put queries on the back burner for the time being.