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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Query Advice Please

   
Author Topic: Query Advice Please
Meredith
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Okay, last September I had a phone call from an agent I had queried. She requested the full ms on BLOOD WILL TELL. She actually sounded pretty excited. I haven't heard anything since.

Last week, I sent an email asking if they'd recieved the ms. This is the email I sent:

quote:
I submitted the full manuscript of BLOOD WILL TELL to you as requested on September 21, 2011. Could you verify that it was recieved?

I have sent this to both e-mail addresses in case I had gotten the e-mail address for submission of the full manuscript wrong.

Thank you.


It's been a week today and I still haven't heard anything.

How long should I wait?

If she's not interested in offering representation, I've decided to e-pub this one. I'd just like to know where I stand.

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MartinV
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Give them a time you've chosen, then phone them. If there's no response, I say self-pub it. If they decide to buy it after all, you can still take it off Smashwords. I think Dean Wesley Smith actually says this is the best course of action because it shows the publisher if the book is selling before they actually buy it.
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mrmeadors
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I think I agree with Martin on this one. I can understand them taking a while to get back to you as far as your manuscript goes, but a query as to its status should have gotten a reply by now. I would give it the rest of the week, and if you still haven't heard from anyone there, you can either bug them one for time just in case (though I would say the result will probably be the same) or make a decision to do something else with it (or, I suppose, just let it ride for a while longer).

I have known agents to take a long time, months and even a year, with manuscripts. So that in itself is normal. But I think you should have gotten a response to your question about it right away. Good luck.

Melanie

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Tiergan
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I would give it another week, then call. My reason is pretty simple, it takes a week, sometimes two for me to get back in the rhythm after the holiday season. I am just now beginning to get caught up.

Good luck.

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KayTi
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Follow Miss Manners on this one - inquire in the same manner in which you were originally contacted. You were called on the phone to request the full. You should call the agent on the phone to request a quick status.

Your email may have fallen into the Pit of Post Holiday Email Doom. Phone calls don't tend to do the same, at least not to upstanding businesses.

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MartinV
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quote:
I have known agents to take a long time, months and even a year, with manuscripts. So that in itself is normal.
Normal, yes. It's also a bad way to make business.
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Robert Nowall
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If they're not responding within six months, if you plan to e-publish, send them a note withdrawing the MS from consideration.

Or if you don't want to burn your bridges with the agent, send them a note just asking what happened to your MS.

I once had three-chapters-and-an-outline sit with a major publisher---all right, it was Del Rey Books---for over a year. When I queried, it came back with a quick rejection [deservedly so, in my 2012 eyes] and a comment that it had been misfiled.

Your MS could just be mislaid in their files...and a quick rejection at least will clear your work for submission elsewhere, or, as you say, e-publishing.

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mrmeadors
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quote:
Originally posted by MartinV:
quote:
I have known agents to take a long time, months and even a year, with manuscripts. So that in itself is normal.
Normal, yes. It's also a bad way to make business.
Yes, I certainly agree with you on that one, Martin, especially when they are the ones who request them. I think some agents, and I'm not saying all, but some have embraced their positions as gatekeepers and seem to think it's OK to sit on things, because the writers don't have a choice but to sit and wait...right? [Wink]
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genevive42
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I'd give at least two weeks from your e-mail query. Consider the enormous amounts of e-mail they receive and a week seems like a short time.
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MartinV
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But they are not the gatekeepers anymore. Not the agents nor the editors or the publishers. They have power to make you miserable only if you give it to them.
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mrmeadors
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quote:
Originally posted by MartinV:
But they are not the gatekeepers anymore. Not the agents nor the editors or the publishers. They have power to make you miserable only if you give it to them.

LOL That's why the wink.
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KayTi
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2 weeks on email replies? My goodness, if a business email of mine goes more than two business days without a reply, I send a reminder or send the request again.

Does anyone ever actually work back two weeks in their inboxes? Not anyone in my life, anyway. They work in the last 48 hrs max, and for someone like me that gets a ton of email, above the scroll line. When something falls below the scroll line on my inbox it enters that Pit of Holiday Doom I mentioned previously.

I think that writers in general are permitting this weird culture of agents holding all the keys to the kingdom right now - it's not invasive or obnoxious to request a status on something you sent MONTHS ago. So long as you remain professional in your communication and keep an upbeat tone even if it's the fifth or sixth time you've asked, I don't see any issues.

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