Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Agent Slackerpuss

I received a non-exclusive R&R from an agent and emailed agents with fulls and partials to ask if they wanted to wait for the revision before considering it. I heard back from all, but one. It's already been almost a year with no response on it. Should I assume that this is a pass and not contact again? It’s sort of drilled into writers that they should never bother agents, so I don’t want to do more harm by contacting again. It seems like no response means no is becoming more and more common experience for writers with fulls out. I also don't know if I still owe the agent an update if I receive an offer of representation. But I do know that's the standard etiquette and I don't want to be that writer that does the bad thing.

Thanks so much!
The "don't bother the agent" warning deflects the wrong writers; writers like you who are afraid of making a mistake. It never seems to deflect the writers letting their inner toddler out to play "are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet. Now? NOW??" and "what do you mean I'm not the most important thing in your world?"

It's entirely correct to update an agent who has a requested full, even in the face of her silence on your status. Since you do not know what she has decided, don't assume she's passed.

I will tell you (from my shame-laden hidey hole under the duvet) that I have requested fulls here that are more than a year old. Some of them have undergone substantial revisions in that time; some have just had to wait for me to have a block of uninterrupted time.

That said, if you email me, I'll tell you what a laggard I am. But then, I went to Agent Finishing School and had to pass a test on civility.

If When you receive an offer of rep, do let Agent Slackerpuss know. Give her some time to read as you would anyone else. It's entirely possible that, like me, she's behind, and unlike me, did not pass Civility 101. (Now, I'm not saying I passed with flying colors, but I did manage to move ahead to Civility 102. Those results are better left to bar chat.)


Sherry Howard said...

Bucket list addition: Bar chat with QOTKU!

Kitty said...

You really do have a way with words, Janet. You should write a book.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I would like to know what (besides you) is in your "...hidey hole under the duvet."

I checked mine: a Writer's Digest with a picture of George Saunders on the cover, a popsicle stick, and what I thought was a dead mouse but was actually a sock the size of a small rodent. I think I need to change my sheets more often.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

Ramona is under the duvet. Nice to have a warm furry body to snuggle with since we have 4 inches of hard packed snow already.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Your majesty, if you ever do write a book, it will be a hit. You have a way with the words. Even when ill, your posts make me smile and shiver in fear all at once.

Colin Smith said...

Bother an agent who hasn't responded to a query? Nah. Move on. But an agent who is dragging their heels with a requested full? Definitely check in. The query was unsolicited, so while we hope for the best and at least a form rejection, it's not unexpected to hear crickets. But a requested full is just that: requested. I would expect to hear something one way or the other.

All the best to you, Opie! I hope you have to write Agent Tardy soon to let them know you have offers. :)

Sherry: Bar chat with QOTKU is worthy of anyone's bucket list. :)

Karen McCoy said...

Excellent advice, per usual. My husband is still under the duvet, because I had book ideas amid a case of insomnia (5:30 here on the West Coast--sun hasn't even thought about getting up yet).

A question: How many nudges (at what kinds of intervals) are appropriate with an agent with a full request? I've talked to other writers in private Facebook groups, and some of them have given up, thinking that NORMANS with fulls is becoming some sort of norm...

NLiu said...

Agent Slackerpuss! Snerk.

In my imagination she is half-cat, half-human. She languishes on a sunny windowsill waving her cigarette holder at the pigeons.

DoY would certainly do a better job.

RosannaM said...

OP, best of luck with your fulls! I will send good thoughts your way for Agent Right to say yes.

OT, I missed another contest (boo!) But I get to settle in with a nice cuppa later today and read all the entries. Congrats to NLiu. What an imaginative adaptation!

I got zero writing done on our trip to Laughlin, NV, but a lot of people watching (and eavesdropping) and unfortunately developed a penchant for drinking in the middle of the day while putting round, plastic objects on a felt colored table. I miss it already!

Amy Johnson said...

OP: Congratulations on the requestS! I hope all goes well.

OT: The Queen's vocabulary inspires wordplay. The rhyming kind! A word from yesterday contributed to much fun, including "grass flattery" (when your neighbor compliments you about your lawn before asking you to bring another one of your coconut custard pies to this year's block party). Hmmm ... what fun can I have with "slackerpuss"?

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

One day I'll have much ducks in a row, my werewolves will be published, probably more cyberpunk novellas will be published, and I'll have a finished polished novel that I'm querying again. Right now, though, I don't have anything DONE enough and don't have the time to do it, and my current 12 (!) novella sales won't woo the big houses. I'm pretty pleased, though, and am starting to get stars and reviews on GoodReads and Amazon ^^

In other news, I wanted to share with the Reef and Reiders that I'm now an Associate member of the SFWA!!!

John Davis Frain said...

Colin, that's a fantastic, succinct explanation on why a nudge should be expected on a full request. Well done.

It's writing weather, folks. Delve into your WIPs. May the words flow and the readers come a callin'.

MA Hudson said...

An agent that hasn’t responded after a year with a requested full... I don’t know... I kinda feel like they must have their hands full already. And if they did pep up and make an offer of representation (after hearing that another agent is interested) would they really have enough time to devote to you as a new client?