Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Response

I've been through the query ringer before.  Now, as I dive back through, and conduct my research yet again, I find a good deal of agents these days subscribing to the non-response method of rejection.  While I can fully appreciate the amount of work these folks do, and reading hundreds of queries per week, in addition to any manuscripts they have, plus editing, and actually selling these projects, certainly counts as busy work, I can't for the life of me understand this non-repsonse.

How hard can it be to set up an automatic I DON'T LIKE IT email.  Heck, just have your interns do it.   I've been scouring the threads on Absolute Write and by gum, some folks are complaining they even get no response to fulls and partials.  Seriously, what gives?  You mean to say you're going to take the time to read something that you requested knowing full well that author is biting their nails just waiting to know what you think, and then...nothing.

But we, the querying writers, are expected to maintain professionalism at all costs.

Now, this may seem like an angry rant, and I suppose it is, but it's something of a two way street.  When I see that no response is a no, I lean toward no query.  Of course, leaning is still going, it only results in a more crooked path.  In other words, I still query, because I still want that agent, and lets face it, if we think we're good enough to query, we certainly don't expect rejection.

Except that we do.  And that part really sucks.  In the land of the query, a ten percent request rate is pretty good.  Without trying too hard, I can't think of too many other circumstances where abysmal failure is considered success.  But I suppose that's something to write about.

8 comments:

Traci said...

I completely agree - I know the agents are swamped with more queries than ever before, but really, how long does it take to send out a form email rejection?

And especially on partials/fulls - those should always, always be responded to, imo.

Though I love the convenience (and no-cost!) of email queries, I'm afraid the "cost" is that we get treated this way (no-responses). *sigh*

Matt said...

I'm down with you on cost. I only send email queries anymore, although it's rare to find anyone who won't accept email queries.

Traci said...

It's weird - two of the agents who've shown me the most interest so far have requested SNAIL mail on their submissions (even though I originally e-queried them!).

In fact, one asked me to FedEx the manuscript (which I did) overnight, costing a whopping $80!! I think that's ridiculous, as it would've taken 10 seconds (and not a single dime) for me to email it even faster.

Still, I have to say, if they're a solid agency and they're showing interest, I'll do whatever they want me to do, in terms of snail mail vs. email. But it's surprising how many are still requiring their requested material that way...

Traci said...

Question - are you putting your blog link into your query letter? I finally decided to include mine after my signature, just thinking it might show agents I was serious about the writing process. Not sure if any of them have visited, though...

Matt said...

I finally did put my blog link in. I actually included it as a line in my bio. Silly I know, but it goes something like this...

I am the author of the wildly popular (okay, that may be a bit of a stretch) blog, Pensive Sarcasm.

No way of knowing if they are reading.

Oh, and get this. I just re-queried someone I never heard from, using the previous address from my sent folder. It came back as undeliverable. I had left out one letter in their address. Explains that non-response.

Traci said...

LOL - love the way you included it. I think it'll make them smile.

Yep, I've gotten addresses wrong before - and - accidentally queried agents more than once, only hours or days apart, lol. Umm, not good.... That might explain those no-responses. :-)

Ted Cross said...

I only do email. Heck, this is modern times. An agent who does snail mail is not the right agent for me.

I fully agree that it is unprofessional for agents to have a non-response policy.

Travener said...

I have ranted on this subject myself -- in my last blog post, actually.

I understand that agents don't want to get follow-up rants from angry writers, but there are ways around that.

It's just ridiculous for them not to respond. Only takes a second to say, "Frak off, loser."