Saturday, July 05, 2014

Query Question: did my query get lost?

This is one of those neurotic writer questions(1), but . . .

I queried a brand-new agent the day she announced she joined her agency. This was almost three months ago now. I never heard anything back and assumed she had a "no response means no" policy.

Except then I was reading her blog today and saw that she promises a response to every query. Is it realistic for someone to be backlogged for three months on one day's worth of queries? (2)  Or is it common to answer them out of order? (3)

This is further complicated by the fact that we know each other personally - we live in the same city and attend the same writer's group. We don't know each other well, but well enough to say hi at meetings and whatnot. I haven't been to a meeting since (for other reasons), but I'm dithering about what to do.

Do I wait longer? (4) Say something next time I see her in person? (5) Email her and ask if she hates me so much she broke her "always respond" policy for me? (Just kidding on that last one.) (6) What do I say? (7)

(1) This is not a neurotic question. Trust me. At this point in my career I can spot a neuroses at 20 paces in .5 font.

(4) No
(5) NO
(6) NOOO (I know you said you are kidding, but all jokes are based on truth!)
(7) here's what you say:

Dear Agent (please put her name here)

I queried you on (date) I appreciate your commitment to answering all your queries. I haven't heard back so I'm resending my query now.


Thank you for your time and consideration.

Bonus content:  here's where you make sure that you don't have any weird things in your email like fancy sig lines that often convert to jpgs and thus get flagged as spam, or that you're sending from an email that doesn't sound like an invitation to a more intimate encounter than you intended.

I too am committed to replying to every query but there are some exceptions.  Here's my list.  I'm about ready to add another item:

11. Did you call  me on the telephone because you'd been "referred" by another agent, and when told you needed to query, sent an email saying "you sound like a fantastic prick" on the phone, thinking, I'm sure that it was a compliment?

Yes? Your query was deleted and your email address marked as spam.
No? Go to #12


Terri Lynn Coop said...

I see this discussion a lot on querytracker. It often comes up when everyone else is reporting back form rejections from an agent and you are sitting on *crickets*


Lance said...

Great information. Thank you. Could sending a query on an agent's first day risk your query being lost in the tubes before the new agent's e-mail account has dried out and solidified?

Ilex said...

Last month I received two rejections for 6-month-old queries -- both agents mentioned that they've been absolutely overwhelmed with submissions.

And for anyone wondering, even though I'd gotten an agent since then -- the rejections still stung a bit.