Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lollygagging once again

 I've been waiting 14 months to hear from an agent regarding a full they requested. I'm expecting a, "no, thanks," but this one surprised me because the agent's reputation was solid. I heard from another writer who's been waiting 18 months. As we continue to write other stories, we've politely nudged (a few times) but never get a reply, even on the nudge. It's now embarrassing. Is this length of time waiting for a full an anomaly or becoming an industry norm? And since it's a full manuscript request, should we expect a personal reply?
Yeesh, I thought I was The World's Worst Agent on delayed replies, but while I have mss that have been here for ~cough~ awhile, I have responded to nudges saying I'm a total slacker, it's true, but yes I'm still interested.

I will also tell you that some editors have begun doing this no reply thing and it drives me crazy.

Well, it drives me crazy twice, and then I stop sending them stuff.

We've all heard the truism that you know a person by how they treat the wait staff in a restaurant. Otherwise normal people who become surly and rude when ordering a meal, well, that tells you a lot about their character.

I think it's also an indication of character about how agents treat writers in general. I've been standing on my soapbox, ranting like a crazy person, about this very thing for quite some time.  Sure, we're all behind on our reading but geeze, just let the writer know you're neither dead nor fled!

And I'll tell you another thing that I have found illuminating. It's often the busiest, most successful person who replies to emails with the most alacrity. I've seen that in both agencies where I've worked; I've seen it with many of the editors I've pitched.

Bottom line: I think you should write these agents off. Either they're too busy to take on new work, or they think letting you sit there waiting endlessly is ok.

And I hope this is not an indication of industry norms in the making.
I will stand with you at the barricades should that come to pass.
"ANSWER YOUR DAMN EMAILS" etched on cobblestones.
[ Can a musical be far behind? ]

And as for a personal reply, at this point, any reply would be better than none.
I know some of my more tender-hearted colleagues get all wrapped up in things like "I have to say something, I've had this for so long" but those are good intentions paving the road to hell. Just answer
yes or no and attach a jpg to match the message.

Miles for "YES I LOVE YOUR MS"

Maximus for "No"



Cheyenne Campbell said...

I feel for OP. I'm currently considering what to do about a highly respected agent at a highly respected agency who has had a manuscript of mine for .... drum roll ... 2 years and 2 months.

I've nudged said agent 2 or 3 times, but have recently rewritten the manuscript. I'm considering whether to send it her way. I might, but it's definitely not a breath-holding exercise. It is, however, disheartening to put so much work and time and life into manuscripts to get full requests with either crickets or a form rejection as the response.

I hope OP finds that manuscript a welcome home soon!

Theresa said...

That's big time frustration, OP, and I'm sorry that you're on the receiving end of this unprofessional behavior. Although almost all of us here have probably experienced a NORMAN, having that with a requested full is a real ouch.

Colin Smith said...

Opie: Man oh man oh man this is tough. I know you want to hold out hope that Ms. Respectable Agent is about to respond, and the moment you write her off will be the moment she's about to call. But you have to think--if she takes this long to respond to your ms., what's your working relationship going to be like? What hope is she holding out that her client-agent relationship will be better than this? Will she be as uncommunicative with you over submissions? I hope not, and if she's a successful agent, I would hope she manages her clients better than her inbox. But this kind of lollygagging wouldn't give me a lot of confidence. Move on, Opie. There are plenty more agents out there.

Here's another thought for agents and editors to consider. We've talked recently about the pros and cons of self-publishing. Can I ask agents and editors to consider that this kind of disrespect will drive more writers to take up publishing themselves? You guys need to remember how much your jobs depend on writers querying you. You can't rest on the laurels of your current client list. Clients have fallow periods. They also write books that won't sell, or quit writing, or die. You need that steady stream of potential new clients to keep yourselves financially afloat. If you get a reputation for being slow to respond, or showing contempt for your chum bucket, you'll find that stream running dry.

Not a threat... just a friendly reminder. :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

OP, unless you are waiting to be published posthumously I say move on.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

“Well, it drives me crazy twice and then I stop sending them stuff”

Amen to that. I had a at least a couple of partials and fulls that went unanswered with my last book. I still took the time to withdraw them when I decided to shelve the book in favor of a new shiny book. However, those unanswered requests gnawed at me. I wondered if I had done something wrong.

Still, I feel your pain, OP. Publishing is slow enough process with the most responsive of editors and agents. This, we do not need. I do prefer a curt refusal to an unanswered query or request.
I do wonder if there are some agents who have such a lovely stable of million dollar writers that they are only half-paying attention to their requests the way some men always have a mistress in the background in case the current wife doesn’t work out.

Should million-buck client suffer from one of Colin’s listed curses, then yeah, maybe they will get around to responding to those requests. Maybe. In the meanwhile, the courteous writer has no idea that he or she is being strung along. Frustrating. Best to move on. There are many agents in the sea. They make new ones all the time.

Timothy Lowe said...

Great post. It's a shame, but I think you do have to write the agent off. After all, you'd hate to wind up in a situation where you'd signed with somebody who won't respond. Yuck.

Mister Furkles said...

I think we might buy into 'no reply means no' if (1) the agent/editor sent a form acknowledgement that the item was received and (2) they announced in it the date when 'no reply' would indicate no interest.

Here is a thought: We know Janet wants to know if you receive an offer on a manuscript she has requested. Well, for agents/editors who practice NRMN, don't let them know when you have an offer or have accepted an offer.

"Oh, well, you said no by not replying. I had no idea you might still be interested."

DLM said...

2Ns, GOOD LORD, perfectly put. Colin, this agent doesn't earn the sobriquet "Respectable" by refusing to respect others. :P Your point about refusing to query those who have a reputation for not responding is a good one, but of course it's hard to know. You going to create the NORMAN database now ... ? :)

Freezing poor agents out of business by, as it were, speaking with our spending (we spend time, we invest faith, we even provide the very content that runs the publishing industry) makes a beautiful dream. How to realize that practically, though, is the trick.

This mode of operation is just rudeness AND crappy business (non/mal)practice. Personally, I don't want that agent. Macros are too easy not to employ them, and that is the LEAST an agent can do.

Interesting to note, and it definitely gibes with my own experience when I was querying; the biggest/busiest agents were indeed the most likely to engage properly. Even if that doesn't mean signing with them, it makes clear how these people gained success and fine reputations.

In closing: aww. Miles. A great Valentine from our Queen. Thank you!

abnormalalien (Jamie A. Elias) said...

Mister F, while I agree with the frustration and sentiment, I am compelled to disagree. The old saying: "two wrongs don't make a right," and all. Plus, there seems to be 2 possibles outcomes to that. Either the agent/editor/whomever you reverse Norman will take you for a butthead and possibly spread that new knowledge to his colleagues or he won't care at all and your energy planning the devious reverse Norman had been wasted.

Colin Smith said...

Diane: No need to create a NORMAN database. Most sites that track queries/agents (e.g., QueryTracker) give those interacting with agents the opportunity to comment on their experience. With a little web browsing, it's not hard to find out if the agent you queried has a reputation.

BunnyBear said...

Since when has it become OK for common courtesy to only run in one direction? Agents and editors need to take note. We are watching, too.

Dena Pawling said...

I think I'd try a nudge one more time.


Haven't heard from you in a while. Was thinking about calling your local police and asking them to do a check-the-welfare visit, but I thought I'd give you a chance to avoid that embarrassment with a simple reply. Please copy/paste your status and reply back:

[ ] My dog ate your ms. Please resend.
[ ] Janet Reid sent some scotch. Not yet sober enough to reply coherently.
[ ] Won the lottery. No longer agenting.
[ ] Why do you keep nudging me? This time you pushed me right out of my chair.
[ ] Your ms wears army boots and dresses you funny. Not interested.
[ ] Your ms bored me to death. Beware the zombie apocalypse!
[ ] Send bail money.

If I don't hear from you within the next 30 days, I'll assume you aren't interested.

Thank you for your [lack of] time and consideration.

Megan V said...

Happy Valentines Day all.

And man do I feel for Opie. A few of us were having this discussion on Facebook the other day. Although responses to fulls are worth waiting for, no response to an appropriate nudge--a nudge that is not incessant, and is written with respect--seems unprofessional. And much as I would love a personal response to a full, I'll take a form response and thank you for it. I dislike the practice of NORMAN on a full. (I cross agents who don't respond to a nudge at the sixth month mark off of my query list after a year.)

IMHO if agents do not approve of nudges, they should say so outright. The quickest way to solve that is to either inform everyone on their site or include that information when confirming receipt. (I'd vote for the latter as it's happened more than once that an agent has not received my full when I sent it. That confirmation e-mail is worth buckets. I'm far more inclined to wait when I know my MS has made it safely through cyberspace)

But the thing is, I'm looking for the best match for me and my MS. An agent who won't communicate with me isn't my match.

DLM said...

Colin, it's true, but at the end of the day there'll always be some agents who surprise you (unpleasantly). The agent who requested my full, who wouldn't even acknowledge RECEIPT of my MS, never mind responding to nudges, lost me at six months. I don't need that **** in my life, and she didn't deserve me. At a certain point, the no is OURS to decide upon. In OP's place, I'd be making that decision.

It *is* possible to be passive-aggressive in response to too-little/too-late, but it's very difficult to do in text. The essential requirement is to convey absolute innocence that a NORMAN could possibly have intended anything other than to be a NORMAN. I do this at work proactively - "I know I must have left out something you need, as you have not responded. Please let me know anything I can do and/or provide." Keeps the presumed onus upon oneself, even as it firmly places next-steps on the person you're emailing.

But doing this with an agent ... I probably would not. Sooner or later, I have to expect them to act like grownups and speak. If they don't, they're still responding as far as I'm concerned. And it's far, far too easy for text to come off exactly as passive-aggressive as you think you're trying not to sound.

Amy Johnson said...

OP, Hope you get some good news from an agent (maybe not that agent) soon.

Janet, thank you for standing on a soapbox. I, too, have found that often the busiest people will do even more, whereas those with seemingly less to do are less willing to do more. I've done some ponderin' on it--still not sure why it's so, probably different reasons for different people.

Colin Smith said...

Diane: I agree, we have to make that call ourselves. My warning to agents, however, is that if this practice of NORMAN-ing, especially on partial/full requests, increases, writers are going to become more and more frustrated with traditional publishing. Not only is it common courtesy for agents/editors to respond to mss they requested, it is in their own best interest to do so, lest frustrated writers look elsewhere to get their books published.

Elissa M said...

Personally, I would assume a non-response on a full after a year (including no responses to gentle nudges) means the agent isn't interested. In the meantime, I would be querying, writing new stuff, etc. Nothing would give me greater joy than to alert the non-responders that I've been offered representation. I would give them their two weeks. But the fact that they didn't respond even to nudges in the previous year(s) would have me declining any offer they might make. Life is too short to work with anyone who treats me like an afterthought.

Beth said...

Mister Furkles, I have to agree with Jamie about two wrongs. Besides, who could resist rubbing it in that they might have ended up with your wonderful manuscript if only they'd acted more quickly? Especially when it goes on to become a bestseller. Living well and all that...

BJ Muntain said...

I'd love to see Miles in my inbox...

OP: You say you're writing more stories and nudging, but I hope you're also querying more agents. Maybe this agent is your Agent-of-choice, but that doesn't mean you can't keep querying. After all, if you don't, then you can't get an offer of representation, and then you can't send an e-mail to Agent-of-choice saying, "Hey slowpoke. I got an offer of representation on that manuscript you've been holding forever. Still interested?"

Okay writers. It's time to stop worrying about the driftwood that is the NORMAN agent. You are fishing for agents - good. You can troll in moving water, leaving your line in the water until an agent catches onto your bait. You can fly fish, sending your hook out to the tastiest-looking agents, hoping for a bite. You can even take a net out on the ocean and pull in a bunch of fish, hoping the right fish comes in. But you know what doesn't work? Sitting and watching the water. You have to keep your hook moving, or you'll never catch a fish. Ignore the fish that don't bite. Ignore the fish that nibble then wander away. If you keep that hook moving and loaded with the right bait, you'll catch a fish.

But crying over a lost hook won't feed your family at supper.

Colin Smith said...

BJ: Absolutely. The person who sends out a query has a 100% better chance of getting an agent that the person who doesn't send anything. :)

Craig F said...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone

I don't think there is time in this world for us to sit and wait for an agent to get back to us. I have read a bunch of web sites where they say all kinds of nice things. Then I have found out that politicians tell the truth more often.

I am not going to call it hypocrisy at this point but it might be close. You have a website claim that queries are responded to in two weeks. Right.

You query someone who has, in writing, that they respond to fulls in ninety days. Right.

Same for NORMNs and a few other things it would be nice to count on.

But you have little choice. So query them, wait two weeks, and query some more. If they contact you later it will be a pleasant surprise. Sooner or later you will roll the dice right while the phase of the moon is right, etc.

Don't worry about what you can not affect. Keep your chin up and keep writing and querying. If it starts to look too bad go ahead and self pub. Maybe then the agents will come after you instead of you trying get them to give up their time.

Julie Weathers said...

I don't like it, but I can live with no response if they tell me that's their policy. I just plug it into the spread sheet. After x amount of time that query goes red.

What irks me is the agent with the agency that emphatically states they respond to all queries when Mr. Wonderful obviously does not. When said agency puts up a Q&A session on twitter and you ask if they still have a yes we respond to all queries policy and the answer is, "If you'll read our guidelines it says we respond in 90 days. ALWAYS"

My first inclination is to respond, "Then you better let Mr. Wonderful know because he's had my query for over a year and been nudged twice and I'm not alone."

Take heart. Move on from the agent who refuses to respond. There are others.If he or she can't be bothered at this stage, do you really want them?

Jessica said...

I'm with Elissa 100%. If they made you wait this long and even ignored your nudges, either they lost their email password or they're not interested. It's still phenomenally rude to do that to people. We authors get hit over the head with advice about being respectful--follow submission guidelines, don't call (ever), don't pester the agent, etc., but it seems like a few agents need a course in etiquette too.

Lennon Faris said...

OP I agree with Janet for sure. There are so many great agents and this one is not showing respect/ communicating well. I would say no, no matter how good s/he seems on paper. Now you know differently.

Dena - lol!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Single or not it's always been one of my fav holidays bc of the sheer availability/ excuse of chocolate (BJ?? Aren't you the other chocoholic around here??). Currently sipping a molten chocolate latte.

RosannaM said...

I've been reading a lot about stepping up your game and achieving your goals, and so much of it comes down to a standard that you hold for yourself. And you absolutely can raise that standard. Turn your 'shoulds' into 'musts'. Because we all do our 'musts', but we tend to be slackers with our 'shoulds'.

Holding someone's future in their hands for so long with no response at all is indicative that the agent in question has not learned that lesson. I think, in fact, they don't even have any 'should' piles of manuscripts. I'm afraid that OP's is firmly filed under 'might.'

I vote to send him/her Janet's photos, and move on!

Amy Johnson said...

Something different I've experienced a couple of times: getting a pleasant "no" in response to a query, from an agency with a stated NORMAN policy. Made for a surprise that was nice, even though it was a no. Funny how expectations affect impressions.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Crickets? To a polite nudge? On a requested full an agent has had for over a year? I can't see how that would ever be okay. Nope. I'd say, "see ya." Unless the reason is one of those listed in Dena's Dear Agent letter.(Hilarious, by the way).

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Dena's letter belongs in the Treasure Chest as a form letter for Norman'd requests. Hilarious. Funnier if agents answered it.

Going home sick. I think I have the Martian Death Flu. Ugh!

jenny said...

Last year I had an agent get back to me 12 months (and several unanswered nudges) after a requested full. As a last ditch courtesy, I offered to send a revision I'd done for another agent, only to have her finally write back and ask me to basically talk her into reading what she had requested. She sent an email saying, "I haven't read it yet but what do you think you improved in the revision?" At that point I figured it wasn't really worth explaining. I was already over that story and on to the next and since she hadn't even peeked at the first version of the manuscript I didn't know how to explain what I changed. I didn't send it and I moved her onto my "do not query" list because I couldn't see myself enjoying a long working relationship with someone who was so far off the same page as me at the start.

This is your career and your life and both are way too short to spend with people that give you bad vibes or treat you like soggy toast. I have been writing and querying for 10 years so it's safe to say I want this. Like, really want it. Bad. But I also want peace of mind and self-respect and I can't imagine a scenario in life where I would regret prioritizing those things.

Jen said...

Hi OP.

Sorry you're in this situation. I know it must be frustrating, but believe me when I tell you --if this agent won't communicate when you've nudged him/her on the full, then (s)he probably won't communicate any better when you nudge about submissions. Coming from someone who had trouble communicating with her agent, it is NOT a place you want to be in. Yes, agents fall behind and sometimes things happen in our personal lives where we all drop the ball, but that should be the exception, not the rule.

Good news: an agent loved your stuff enough to request a full. That's awesome! And it means the right agent, one that knows how to type out a sentence and press "send," is out there somewhere. GL! :-)

Cheyenne Campbell said...

As frustrating a situation as this is for OP and everyone who's ever experienced something similar, the comments here today have been really motivating. I personally think I will, in my own situation, let go of the agent who's had my full for 2 years. Despite having written other manuscripts and queried them since, I didn't close this one out due to her responses whenever I'd politely nudge, that she was excited to read and sorry she hadn't yet. But in actual fact, the lovely commenters here have made me see the light. If she were really enthused, she'd have read it by now. Fact.

On a similar note, another agent requested a full of the same older manuscript, after having the query for about 8 months. Then she had the full for about 6, and recently wrote to tell me quite honestly, she had been so backlogged that she was starting fresh, and that if I still wanted her to read it, I should re-send my latest. While this took me by surprise, I found myself pleased to have a straightforward, honest email telling me exactly what was going on.

It seems odd that I should be surprised at such a blunt communication, but I was -- and genuinely appreciated it.

Kregger said...

So, reading another writer's blog today whose topic is almost identical to Opie's question and concerns.

Except, this concerns a writer's agent not responding to repeated contacts.

The advice he gave, as we heard from Ms. Reid, no agent is better than a bad agent.

Of course, it's not that easy.

But, just like when a first date is an unsavory type or bad-boy or Daddy's little girl or a rode-hard, put-away-wet Valley girl--previous behavior predicts future actions.

(At least that is what my previous *starts counting fingers* significant others have said.)

A NoRMAN at the query stage, for whatever reason, may be a NoRMAN as an agent.

As far as I'm concerned, they're all NoRMANs. And that is why I respond pleasantly to all rejections with a thank you.

Funny thing-I received form rejections on my thank you's. Hmmmm, what's up with that?


nightsmusic said...

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! I love this holiday. Chocolate galore and the only time of year I can get Sweettart Heart Lollipops...

I vote for 2N's response for header of the week! Posthumously cracked me up.

I've been MIA due to surgeries (oldest daughter's), taxi driving and maid service but I think I have myself back together enough now. I hope. I've missed the blog and comments!

The Sleepy One said...

Two novels ago, I had three agents ghost me despite requesting my full manuscript. I checked in 4-6 months after sending the full, and then again 9 months after, and didn't hear anything back either time. So I wrote them off. I would have respected a "this is in my queue" email.

I've heard from other writers that this seems to be more common. Which is crazy to me--a simple "no, not for me," is fine. Obviously feedback is great, but it can be hard to quantify why a novel doesn't work and a simple rejection is better than limbo. A simple rejection with a dog photo is even better.

This time around, when querying, I heard back from all of the agents who requested my manuscript . . . including the agent that offered representation.

Donnaeve said...

Have mercy, can we say things have been crazy. Yes. We can.

Anyway, that's a really tough spot to be in OP, and I'm sorry about that. I think 2N's said it best.

"I will also tell you that some editors have begun doing this no reply thing and it drives me crazy."

In "our" case (mine/agent) some have BEEN doing it - at least this is what has happened on almost every sub I've been on. It happened with DIXIE in 2012 - so that's five years ago, and with BLACKWATER back in 2015.

(Lollygagging has always been on my list of fave words, btw.)

Belated CONGRATS to Rosanna and Kate!!! Awesome stuff there you guyz.

Casey Karp said...

Sleepy I wouldn't even insist on the dog photo.

Cheyenne I hear ya: getting an honest email like that would go a long way toward improving my opinion of the agent in question.

We've all had oddball responses--my favorite so far is the agent who sent me a form rejection, and then, a week later, a request for a partial--but even the worst rejection is a half-dozen Mt. Everests above a NORMAN-on-full.

Beth said...

Congratulations, Sleepy One. So glad for you.

Ellie said...

Longtime lurker here... I never comment because I'm never able to make it to the post early in the morning, just like today haha.

I definitely feel this, and feel for the OP. My CPs have done this to me (three times now, all of them different) and it's so discouraging. I start to worry that if I can't handle long-standing CPs disappearing without word or notice, how on earth will I withstand non-responding agents?

Everyone here always gives such good advice. Moving on definitely seems like the preferable option, at least with regards to the OP's sanity.

John Davis Frain said...

"I will stand with you at the barricades should that come to pass.
"ANSWER YOUR DAMN EMAILS" etched on cobblestones.
[ Can a musical be far behind? ]"

Cue writers at the barricade singing
One day more
Another day, another Normaning
This never-ending road to publishing
These agents who asked to see my script
Will surely respond to represent
One day more.

Over to you, Javert...

Kyler said...

Such a valuable post Janet. Thank you. Love your "dead or fled." Yeah, I've written off the ms requests that have been well over a year with no response to nudges. I called one of their clients, someone I know, and he said that working with this person is exactly the same. So I'm the one who's lost interest. And when I do get the agent offer on this one, I'm leaving these guys off my list of agents to alert. So they lose out! Thanks again, always enjoy :)

Lucy Crowe said...

Dena - lol! It looks like so many of us have been in this situation at one time or another, so at least none of have to feel alone. I learned the hard way (which is how I have to learn just about everything!) to keep meticulous record of who and when I have queried. After a year or so goes by, I cross them off my list, lol. Thankfully, however, those who have requested the full have been courteous and communicative - it has to be particularly agonizing not to hear back when so much is riding on a simple "yes" or "no"!

The Sleepy One said...

Thanks, Beth!

It's weird now to see posts and tweets about querying and realize it not longer applies to me. It's still sinking in. Going on submission will soon will help make the whole "being agented" thing feel real, too.

Donnaeve said...

(Obviously I skipped reading comments)

Congrats to The Sleepy One - who was actually awake and coherent and submitted a query! Yay!

Colin Smith said...

OK... altogether everyone...

*click* *click* *click* *click*

How does a bastard, no-good, child of a dog
Spawn of Satan, dropped upon his head in some forgotten hole in a Carkoonian biohazard
Incompetent, inbreeder,
Grow up to be an agent and a reader?
The low-feeder pile of offal from some old brothel
Got my first novel by selling me some twaddle
Pretending he would read it, and making me believe it
Month fourteen, I ain’t heard a word and it’s getting absurd
That every day I’m slaving at my slaughtered and stultified brain
And it’s insane, I struggle and keep my chin up
Inside I am dying ‘cos my book is now a part of
Some shmagent’s digital void, dump, landfill, or graveyard
Like a hurricane I came, and rained on his parade
With my drip, drip nudging, driving him insane
But it didn’t cause a dimple, no connection to his brain
And despite my tired refrain, and my yanking of his chain
No sympathy I found, I said, this jerk is a pain, a fail,
Why won’t he collect his thoughts and send them to my gmail?
Got my education, won’t forget I cried in vain
And the world is gonna know its name
What’s its name, man?

Unrequited manuscript.
It is my unrequited manuscript.
Of all the million things you haven’t done,
There is just one, there’s only one:


Joseph Snoe said...

I’m confused about some of the comments.

I understood OP’s inquiry. Part frustration (understandable) and part trying to understand the industry etiquette (also understandable).

What confuses me is what OP should (or can) do about it. Excuse my naivete, but it seems his or her best option is wait but expect anything. Maybe nudge a few times for the heck of it. Meanwhile, query other agents, and maybe, depending on how he or she feels, not query this agent again. There is still a chance this agent will really like the manuscript, so OP shouldn’t withdraw it.

If the agent offers representation, then ask to contact the agent’s other clients to learn what their experiences have been with the agent.

P.S. Good going, The Sleepy One

The Sleepy One said...

What confuses me is what OP should (or can) do about it. Excuse my naivete, but it seems his or her best option is wait but expect anything.

I agree, Joseph Snoe. But I think the key thing is the "don't expect anything" part of your comment. Plus the OP--or anyone in this situation--should keep querying and working on new projects. Then if something happens, it's a pleasant surprise.

I understand why it can take a while to read manuscripts, especially while juggling a client load the deserves attention. But there's no reason to not carve a few minutes out of a weekly schedule to respond to check-ins when it's been months or even a year. Personally, I'd have faith in someone who responded with an honest "your project is in my list" versus radio silence.

Side note, a few months ago I received a rejection to a query I'd sent over three years before.

BJ Muntain said...

Lennon: Mmmmm... chocolate... Even better than Valentine's Day for chocolate is the day or two after, when it's all on sale...

Sleepy One: Congrats!

Karen McCoy said...

I second the nom for Dena's letter to go into the treasure chest! Brilliant! I like what Elissa said too.

All the oy. Hearing about these delays far too often. Doesn't bode well for one just about to dip a toe into the querying swamp...but thank goodness for Query Tracker (and Colin, for mentioning it.)I also second the nom for Colin's "Get Out of Carkoon Free" card.

Theresa said...

Congratulations Sleepy!

Claire Bobrow said...

That is a frustrating story, Opie. As many Reiders have already said, sounds like it's time to move on.

Following Colin's lead, I'd hum this lyric while drafting the next round of query letters: "I am not throwing away my shot!"

Alex Dook said...

From Colin: "Here's another thought for agents and editors to consider. We've talked recently about the pros and cons of self-publishing. Can I ask agents and editors to consider that this kind of disrespect will drive more writers to take up publishing themselves? You guys need to remember how much your jobs depend on writers querying you."

You are not wrong there, my friend. Even though a lag in replying is because agents are human like everyone else, it's kind of hard to not take it as disrespect. Or even if a writer acknowledges its not disrespectful, it's very easy to see why they'd be frustrated and just go do it themselves.

Alex Dook said...

Also: "We've all heard the truism that you know a person by how they treat the wait staff in a restaurant. Otherwise normal people who become surly and rude when ordering a meal, well, that tells you a lot about their character."

Totally. 100%. People should be made to work in hospitality for two years instead of national service.

AJ Blythe said...

Late to the party and have only had time to skim the comments but it seems it's all been said. Good luck OP!

Second 2Ns posthumous comment for subheader nom =)