Author Topic: Cutting nose off to spite my face?  (Read 118 times)

Offline chellebelle24

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Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« on: January 13, 2022, 03:48:28 AM »
Hi all,

First time poster but long-time lurker here. I sent my partial manuscript off to a handful of agents at the beginning of July and was thrilled when my first-choice agent requested the full three weeks later. I sent it to her the same day but since then I've heard nothing from her. She didn't acknowledge receipt of the full. I emailed her the following week asking if she'd received it because I was genuinely worried it had got lost in the ether, and received an automatic response that she was on holiday. I then waited until three months had passed before emailing again asking if she'd had a chance to read it and if not, if she had an idea of when she was likely to be able to get her thoughts to me. I received another automatic response that she was out of the office that day. She's now had it just shy of six months, and I emailed again this Monday with the same polite email asking if she'd had a chance to read it yet. Again, nothing (although the lack of automatic response this time lets me know she's actually in the office working, so less chance that it's been missed). In the meantime, I've been lucky enough to receive two other full requests that both unfortunately were passed on but were really encouraging nonetheless. I've submitted to the last batch of agents the book would be suitable for and if nothing comes of it then I'm going to shelve it and move on, but the original agent's silence is really bugging me. She's from one of the UK's top literary agencies and has an amazing reputation both personally as well as professionally, and she just doesn't come across as someone who would ghost an author. I'm really tempted to email her withdrawing my submission, just so I can rid myself of that faint glimmer of pointless hope that she hasn't ghosted me, but I don't know if that would be a case of me cutting off my nose to spite my face! Any advice would be gratefully received :-)

Offline susan-louise

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 07:02:49 AM »
First of all, solidarity!

Hi all,

First time poster but long-time lurker here. I sent my partial manuscript off to a handful of agents at the beginning of July and was thrilled when my first-choice agent requested the full three weeks later. I sent it to her the same day but since then I've heard nothing from her. She didn't acknowledge receipt of the full. I emailed her the following week asking if she'd received it because I was genuinely worried it had got lost in the ether, and received an automatic response that she was on holiday. I then waited until three months had passed before emailing again asking if she'd had a chance to read it and if not, if she had an idea of when she was likely to be able to get her thoughts to me. I received another automatic response that she was out of the office that day. She's now had it just shy of six months, and I emailed again this Monday with the same polite email asking if she'd had a chance to read it yet. Again, nothing (although the lack of automatic response this time lets me know she's actually in the office working, so less chance that it's been missed).  In my experience, most agents do acknowledge receipt, whether they're using QM or their own inhouse submission forms.  But I agree: this does all sound odd and off.

 In the meantime, I've been lucky enough to receive two other full requests that both unfortunately were passed on but were really encouraging nonetheless. (That's wonderful and you can build on your success from that feedback) I've submitted to the last batch of agents the book would be suitable for and if nothing comes of it then I'm going to shelve it and move on, but the original agent's silence is really bugging me.   She's from one of the UK's top literary agencies and has an amazing reputation both personally as well as professionally, and she just doesn't come across as someone who would ghost an author. I'm really tempted to email her withdrawing my submission, just so I can rid myself of that faint glimmer of pointless hope that she hasn't ghosted me, but I don't know if that would be a case of me cutting off my nose to spite my face! Any advice would be gratefully received   

(Personally, as you're asking.. there's nothing to be achieved by this, other than short-lived satisfaction as you press "send", then lingering irritation when perhaps there's no response.  She sounds most unprofessional, although it must be said, some UK agencies do make it clear that "no response is a no". I'm wondering if it is the leading UK agency I think it is.  In which case the lack of follow up is very surprising indeed.  In the meantime, move on with all your other queries.  And then, when you're in the delightful position of receiving an offer of representation, tell her you are withdrawing your query!  Best of luck and don't let it drag you down.  There are many more wonderful agents out there, it's just a matter of finding the right one for your work.)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 07:12:06 AM by susan-louise »

Offline chellebelle24

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 07:59:12 AM »
Thanks Susan-Louise - I think you're right. I'd achieve nothing but even more irritation when she fails to respond to even that. Onwards and upwards!

Offline Tabris

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 03:45:48 PM »
Leave it moldering in her to-read pile, but write it off in your heart. At the very least, it should stay around in her inbox, making her feel guilty for a while to come.  >:D

Offline chellebelle24

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 03:09:56 AM »
Leave it moldering in her to-read pile, but write it off in your heart. At the very least, it should stay around in her inbox, making her feel guilty for a while to come.  >:D

I like your thinking  ;D

Offline 217mom

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 06:37:12 PM »
A writing colleague had this sort of experience of a request for full and then, seven months later, (when she considered the sub to likely be a CNR) had an offer from the "ghost."
My friend accepted the offer.
The thing is, the agent turned out to be *this sort of agent.* She took forever and a day to read anything from my friend who was by then her client. She barely submitted the manuscript for which she signed my friend. My writing friend wound up leaving this agent, and is now looking for another.
These are first-hand clues as to how well agents connect and communicate. It is decent to let a full sit there for as long as six months (in the extreme end) but you don't want an agent who would take longer.

Offline JeanneG

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Re: Cutting nose off to spite my face?
« Reply #6 on: Today at 04:57:43 PM »
 :agree: If the agent communicates this poorly from the beginning, it's a big red flag for a business relationship.

JeanneG
Debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) released in March 2015; winner of IPPY in national category of religious fiction and currently a finalist for IAN Book of the Year. My work-in-progress: THE DOUBLE SUN.
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