Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Querying New Hotness when Old News is still on the reading list

I thought I'd seen this one answered already, but I can't find it on a cruise through the archive.

If you've got an Agent SlowPoke who requested A, but hasn't responded on it when you start querying B, what do you do?

Send her a note that says, "Hey, that thing you asked for two years ago? Old news. Wanna see my latest and greatest?"

Send her a query that starts out, "You requested Old News on (date). Since then, I've finished New Hotness. Would you like to take a look?" (Ooh, personalization!)

Query her just like anybody else, preferably early in the process so if she requests New Hotness, there's a chance she'll read it before you finish Even Newer, Even Hotter?


(Author) who is, yes, almost done with New Hotness (where have I heard that before?)

Why are you querying someone who hasn't responded to your last full?
It seems to me that absent a compelling reason (ie Agent SlowPoke is ME) you'd cross that agent off your list. Or at least put her way way down the priority list.

If she hasn't responded to your nudging, that's a very very bad sign.

If you haven't nudged, well, that funny sound you hear is a wet noodle heading toward your noggin, courtesy of me.  I've found things misfiled, mislaid, mislabled ONLY after an author very politely said "Hey SharkForBrains, what's up with your dawdling??"

If you really want to query her for New Hotness, just go ahead. You don't need to mention Old News.


AJ Blythe said...

Congrats, OP, on having New Hotness to query. Maybe start your subs with other agencies and leave Slowpoke agent until later. Good luck =)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Yes, good job on New Hotness, OP. I have a couple old requests from the book I queried three years ago. I took them as NORMANS after eighteen months, both partial requests so...ah well. Thems the breaks.

I pushed those agents way down my list for the upcoming travails into the query trenches. More because I assume they are desperately pretending I don't exist. Why make things difficult for them? Anyhow, I am sure our queen is steering you in the right direction. Best of luck, OP

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"wet noodle?"
Hell...toss a half a box of lasagna uncooked, broad and brittle ! NUDGE BABY NUDGE !

Kitty said...

Carolynnwith2Ns ... HA HA HA!!!

Janet's wet noodle comment brought back memories of Ann Landers and her "40 lashes with a wet noodle."

MA Hudson said...

We had a Prime Minister once, who declared that having a debate with the opposition leader was 'like being flogged with a warm lettuce.'

John Davis Frain said...

TFW you're calling out the answer to the blog post and then the Shark starts her answer WITH THE VERY SAME WORDS!

Ah, this is going to be a fine day.

But first ... well done, OP. Finishing is tough. You've shown you can do it. Twice (at least). Congratulations are in order. That's a fine feat. You're getting close, so keep writing. And now, keep editing!

Donnaeve said...

I'm commenting simply b/c I love the term, "New Hotness."

It works for me, as does the "voice" of the OP.

BrendaLynn said...

It snowed here today. I could do with any kind of hotness.
Congrats on two finished, queryable manuscripts OP.

Casey Karp said...

Donnaeve, thanks for the compliment on my voice. Yes, I. AM. OPIE! [flash of lightning, crash of thunder, yowl of cat, maniacal laughter]

I have nudged the agent in question a couple of times. Judging by her occasional tweets, there are legitimate reasons for her slow response, so I'm not going to cross her off my list. But, okay, yeah, I'd already decided not to put her in the first batch of queries that go out.

And thanks to everyone for the reminders that just getting to the query stage again is an accomplishment. That's a good pick-me-up on a blah day. (In truth, New Hotness will be my third round of queries. I'm oiling up the wheel and stretching my legs in preparation.)

Eileen said...

Congrats OPIE on all the hotness in your life! Just wondering whether the agent responded in any way to any of your nudges.

I’m in a similar position. I critiqued with an agent who was over-the-top excited about my MS and requested the full. I never got any acknowledgement that Agent Ghost received the MS, so I politely nudged after 3 months of crickets. Now, six weeks later, still crickets. I know agents are really busy, but I guess I wasn’t expecting NORMAN on a full request. I’ll follow up once more just to close the loop in my own mind, but it kind of makes me feel like a stalker. As Janet says, it’s a very, very bad sign when there’s no response to your nudging, but there’s always the small whisper from the hamster wheel… how do you know the agent even got any of your emails? I wish all agents would send an automatic email when you submit… Your manuscript was received. You might not hear from me until four fortnights past the Twelfth of Never, but at least you don’t have to worry about whether I got your awesome manuscript.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to query other agents and happily finishing up my next hot manuscript. Good luck to you OPIE, and here’s to the query trenches!

Casey Karp said...

Eileen, yes, I did get responses when I nudged. And, to expand on what I said earlier, her tweets make it clear that she's got LifeStuff(tm) going on and is prioritizing work for her current clients. So I'm not really bothered by the delay, other than figuring out how to deal with the next query.

But I agree that if you're not getting responses to your nudges, the only thing you can do is treat it as a Norman. Which, yes, really, really sucks on a full.

Hang in there, and if we meet up in the trenches, we can share an MRE and a drink while we commiserate.

Colin Smith said...

I thought I'd seen this one answered already, but I can't find it on a cruise through the archive.

This is one of the main reasons I created the Treasure Chest. But hey, if you prefer wading through the archives, who am I to argue? :)

I'll add this one to be sure the topic's covered.

If you come across other articles in Janet's archive that you think should be included in the Treasure Chest (particularly on the "Gems" page), let me know so I can add it. Thanks!

Megan V said...


I agree with Donna—great voice! Best of luck to you as you query New Hotness.