Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ten left

Out of my 100 queries, there remain ten that there is still time for the agent/agency to contact me before they "time out." What that means is, many agents/agencies have a "no response from me means I'm not interested" policy. After the standard waiting period of 8 weeks--which seems short but most people agree that's a good period to wait--the queries "time out," indicating that the rule ("no response equals 'no'") is in effect. At that point, I call it "dead" and I go to the next queryable agent.

Simple process. There is a flaw: if the agent didn't get the query, for instance it came in and was--for some reason--marked SPAM and deleted; or their email server crashed--any number of possible technological glitches. End result is they didn't get my query, and I have no way to know it. However, I'm sort of unwilling to "ping" them again and say, "Hey, did you get that query or were you just not interested?" (I would, no doubt, be far more eloquent than that.)

This is why I really, REALLY, REALLY appreciate agents that have either an auto-responder set up to say "We got it, dude!" or they take some of their valuable personal time to write an email saying the same thing--or have a lackey do it. At least then I know and don't have to wonder what the heck may have happened.

Such is life of an aspiring author.

In case you're wondering: of the 100 agents/agencies I queried, only ONE agent ever asked for a partial manuscript. Only one. That sounds about right--based on odds--but others are telling me that for every 20 queries, there should be at least one request. I find that hard to believe. Of all the people I am vaguely knowledgeable about none of them have a 5% request rate.

Could be me, however. Perhaps I'm just "special," in the wish-I-wasn't-special-like-that sort of way.


  1. Hey Phil! Keep your chin up. :) I'm finally getting my life organized, so hopefully I'll be able to start reading your story again soon. And it could be just that you need to wait awhile before trying this MS again - but that doesn't mean give up on it. :)
    Also, I can't remember if it was Nathan Bransford or Janet Reid who said this - it may've been both - but I'm pretty sure one of them said that if you've waited the designated response time and haven't gotten a response, don't send an email asking about your query, just resend your query. Unless, probably (this is just me now) the agent specifies that it's a no-response-not-interested kind of deal.

  2. Oh, I haven't given up yet, Bethany...I'm still slugging away on Book #2 (~38000 words so end in sight, lol.) When I say "the end" it isn't of the dream--rather the dream as it pertains to this particular story...sequel and all (and, yeah, I know what happens after the "THE END" part. It's just that there's a chance nobody will ever find out.)

    I'm glad you're organization is coming along--I don't think I'll ever be organized. I am sort of a fickle mess of a person sometimes. But it's my life, weird and wonderful, strange and stupid, all at the same time.

    My next story is a contemporary cop/thriller/torture concept. Very different from "Memories of the Dead," that's for sure!

    After that...I have ideas. Many, in fact. If only I could type as fast as I think!