Author Topic: No responses at all to queries  (Read 529 times)

Offline Onmyway

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No responses at all to queries
« on: March 16, 2021, 12:37:21 PM »
Hi all, I'm new to this forum, but wanted to get a general sense check from you if possible! I have now sent out about 15 queries - I sent five about four weeks ago, then five the following week etc. I got one form rejection a week in, and after that, no responses at all. I'm guessing that's not a good sign, but wondering how it compares with others' experience?

Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2021, 02:30:34 PM »
The bad news/good news is that it's way too soon for you to have heard back on those last 10 queries, as a general rule. Publishing is slow, and agents are very busy. While some agents get back in days, it usually takes about 4-6 weeks for a response - if they respond at all.

Personally, I've sent 17 queries as of since* (whoops) October 2020. I've gotten responses for 7 of them. All rejections in the end, although one was a full request that ended in a referral for another agent...who never responded to me, and I sent the email on November 25th. I finally got a reply last Thursday on a query I sent on November 1st. lol It's very frustrating, but it is what it is.

In case you don't know (and you probably do), agencies usually give a timeline on responses on their submission pages. "If we haven't replied in X weeks, consider that we have passed." I appreciate that. It helps me feels less lost. Even when an agency gives a timeline, I like to compare response times on an agent's comment page on QT for extra info too.

Also, after the first 10-ish rejections, I revamped my query on here. And in the last couple weeks, I decided to do some revision on my opening pages too. A lot of people choose to do that just to make sure that their query/pages aren't doing them a disservice. Even if you don't get much in the way of criticism and you're told that what you're sending out is good, it helps. It lets you know that the writing quality probably isn't the problem, and that's encouraging.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 03:37:16 PM by MKWrites_318 »

Offline mesmer7

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2021, 02:50:28 PM »
I've sent out 112 queries in the last 6 months. About 1/3 of them have responded with form letter rejections. Most will probably never respond. Although I'm proposing a non-fiction book on an unusual topic. So I'm not sure my experience is directly relevant to you.

Offline Onmyway

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 03:03:45 PM »
Thank you both very much for these really helpful responses. I have found it a bit unnerving that while lots of agents state a response time on their websites, there seem to be stories about people receiving positive responses quickly and negative ones slowly. I think it would help me manage myself better to know that, say, by four weeks the chances of a positive response are quite slim. But that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case! Thanks again for your replies.

Offline littlewritings

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2021, 02:01:14 AM »
I would also say that 4-6 weeks is a pretty normal response time (I've also seen agents who stated a response time of 4 months though), so I wouldn't worry yet if I were you. Do check their website to see if they gave a response time/if they said that they reply to all queries.

There are a lot of reasons why agents sometimes request faster than they reject, like pitch contests and offer of rep nudges, so often those queries will be pulled up. Although I can assure you that many agents just work their way through their query inbox chronologically and that they request at the same speed that they reject.

I also second the advice about reworking your query/opening: If a bunch of rejections/no responses have piled up, rework it all, show it to new people. On top of that, make sure you've been querying the right agents. Do they represent your genre and did they have whatever you wrote on their MSWL? Maybe even find some agents who have fast response times if one of the agents reps your genre (some agents reply within a week, there are a few agencies that come to mind that have response times of under 4 weeks). Good luck!

Offline Onmyway

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2021, 03:59:25 AM »
I hadn't thought of the point about pitch contests so thank you! All very useful and much appreciated.

Offline AVA_writing

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Re: No responses at all to queries
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 11:46:48 AM »
So, I just started querying a month ago on my manuscript. I started on query tracker first with those with the highest response rates in my category (women's fiction). I started with those with at least an 80% response and got quick rejections. At least it was feedback. For the handful I sent directly with email, it has been radio silence.