Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Monday, January 05, 2009

so if you REALLY want to annoy me

Include a pre-printed response card with an EMAIL saying something akin to "I may be making a big mistake here, but no thanks" along with ten other options.

For starters, my responses to queries are automated. If I wanted to cut and paste text from your email and send it back to you, I'd have more staff.

Next, "I may be making a big mistake" can be very funny, but it's the kind of humor that can backfire easily. All it did was annoy me.

I know how annoying it is not to get a response to your queries.
I know this better than you might suspect cause it happens on my side of the submissions desk as well (and makes me NUTS)

However, you can not solve the no-response thing with a response card in either a snail mail or an email query. Don't do it. It's tacky. Not as tacky as not responding, but I DO respond to ALL queries and I did to this one as well: form rejection.


BJ said...

Dear Ms. Reid;

In order to make your job easier for you, I have included a form for your use. All you need to do is print it out, fill it out, and send it back to me via courier.

Please check your response:

-- Yes! Send me the next 30 pages!
-- Yes! Yes! Send me the next 100 pages!
-- Yes! Yes! Yes! Send me the rest of the manuscript!
-- No! Don't wait! Send me the rest of the manuscript NOW!

Margaret Yang said...

Janet, can you elaborate on that part about not getting a response from your side of the desk as well?

Does that mean that you send things to editors who then do not respond, or do you mean that you ask for partials/fulls from writers who do not repsond, or both?

I'm guessing that if a writer does not respond, it is because she found other representation in the meantime. Editors? Who knows what they are thinking. Who ever knows?

Janet Reid said...

Margaret, I mean editors who don't respond. It's more common than you'd think, and it makes me NUTS.

It's one of the things agents complain about to each other at local watering hole.

Of course, an editor who won't respond is pretty much off my list pretty quickly but it's still crazy making.

Queriers who don't reply get two more emails from me, then I move them to the "no response" file.

Oddly enough I got a new query from one of those people last month. I mentioned the old ms. He ended up sending it to me and I've got it in my reading stack.

Bill Cameron said...

Back in 1983 or thereabouts when I was submitting my first "fiction novel" entitled THE HUNTER OF FISHES, I included a card like this in my many queries. Only one of them ever came back, from an agent who scrawled across the bottom, "Did you mean to submit a 50,000 word science-fiction version of Moby Dick to me, or is this a prank?"

In retrospect, that response was far kinder than the manuscript deserved.

Margaret Yang said...

Janet, I never knew agents were also victims of the "only responds if interested" problem. Just, wow.