Monday, January 18, 2010

Auto-responders

I sure as heck don't need a calender to know when holidays roll around.
The query replies let me know.

As in, I reply to your query, and receive an auto-responder saying you're out of the office.

Stop this.

Get a dedicated email for querying and don't engage the auto-reply.

19 comments:

The Rejection Queen said...

haha, that's hilarious. Too bad I'm at work right now.

Travener said...

Oh, c'mon, Janet -- you WANT to know I'm in St. Bart's enjoying the beach while you're stuck in NYC going through the slush. So you can live vicariously.

Kristi said...

HA! The spectacular auto-reply must be filling up your inbox as you constantly hit delete, delete, delete. Sorry for that - frustrating I'm sure.

I too am at work today...otherwise, unfortunately, I would never know today was a holiday. Maybe I need to email a few people to be sure...

Courtney Price said...

Ouch, that's bad! :)

Furious D said...

Auto responders are kind of obsolete in this age of iPhones, Blackberries, and other high tech doodads that make sure you don't miss one e-mail promising you the untold riches of Nigeria if you'd just send in some money.

agoraphob said...

doh!

My auto reply would say,

Sorry, I am out of the office. But if you are a literary agent, no worries as I am checking my email obsessively 150 times a day waiting for you to say you love it and send more or for your big,fat form rejection. For everyone else, I will answer your email when I get back. Writing is my first love, not this job I have to haul myself to everyday until I make it big. Thanks and have a great day.

Leona said...

I would never engage my auto responder if waiting for replies from queries. LOL

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

What Furious D said ... where could you possibly go during a one day holiday that could put you out of email contact long enough to warrant a special message?

Karen C said...

Thank you for your blog post.
Unfortunately, I am out of my mind today and unable to respond.
I will get back to you as soon as the youngest child gets a job and leaves home.

sylvia said...

It's a wide-spread problem. I received a request for a partial (*SQUEEEEE*) which I sent the same day. I received an autoresponder saying she was out of the office until the day previous. :)

mallard said...

I'm sorry, but I cannot read your blog post because I am currently out of the office. I will return on Tuesday, January 19th at which time I will respond promptly to what you have chosen to write about. Thank-you for your patience and have a good holiday.

Robert Kent, of Robertkent.net fame said...

I don't understand. Shouldn't we writers be building up our own webpages and blogs to establish a platform for when we sell our books to publishers so that we can then work to sell our books? Why not use your platform’s email address as your query address? And it can't hurt to let an agent know you're building a platform unless your site really sucks. And even then it shows some effort, right? Right?

Rhys Milner said...

We're any of these out of office replies to requests for pages? Because that's both horrible and hillarious.

Horribly hillarious even.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Nothing says "Querying you was an afterthought" like an auto-responder that tells an agent you sent the letter off on your way out the door.

Rowenna said...

Hmmm...I have a dedicated email address for writer-stuff...but when I am going to be gone for, say, more than a couple days without internet access, I put on a friendly auto-respond with my expected return date. I thought this was a courtesy (blushing at own ignorance). Should I quit doing this and just go AWOL? Not everyone carries a Blackberry (especially when camping).

pegasus358 said...

...and what about the ones that require you to click the link to verify you are not spam? Those drive me crazy!

Morgan Dempsey said...

I'm kind of confused by this because from your blog you seem to be really on the author's side...

If an author queries you (or any agent), and six months down the line gets a request for pages during the ONE week the author is in Europe (not everyone is rich enough to own a Blackberry and pay those international data rates)...

Would you rather they take a week to get back to you, or would you rather a "I'm in Europe right now, I'll get back to you when I'm in town"? I'm confused.

It just seems really inconsistent with what you blog about, to demand an author be persistently at your beck-and-call from the moment they query, and put their life on hold for an indeterminate (and usually long) period of time.

I'd just like some clarification here.

DeadlyAccurate said...

I'm sure it's quite frustrating to get one auto-responder email after another in your already busy inbox, but no serious writer wants to risk an agent thinking they weren't ready to submit their full or partial immediately. You know one day doesn't make a difference, but we writers spend weeks/months/years querying without success, and the fear of losing that one opportunity has us going to lengths to avoid it. It's hard to explain how badly we want to be published, but that desire is the reason we're sometimes annoying.

Caroline said...

Okay, I understand what you're saying, and I wouldn't activate an auto-responder just after sending out queries. Some agents don't reply as quickly as you do, though, and I sometimes go on trips where I'm completely out of touch for a week, even two. (Hey, we writers are supposed to get out into the world, aren't we?)

I worry that if I don't use an auto-responder in that case, the agent will wonder why I have gone so long without answering. I could come off as rude.

Sorry, but I don't completely agree with you on this.

Caroline