In the course of pitch sessions today, I met a lovely and talented woman who told me about a book I was
Snarl! Foiled in my quest to grab The Next Big Thing.
Well, said I, who are these evil usurpers?
She named names.
Fortunately I knew them both. Quite well.
I fired off an email saying "I hope you haven't read this cause I'm about to scoop her out from under your slacker noses, ha!"
In short order I heard back from both. They did not HAVE the manuscripts, but remembered both the writer and the ms quite well. They had never received the fulls the writer had sent.
I fixed my evil eye and formidable fin on the writer. Had she followed up? Confirmed receipt? Asked what was going on in Slackerville after 90 days?
Well no, no she had not. She was hesitant to do so. She thought that no response meant no.
Glory hallelujah, my lucky day! I now have what's essentially an exclusive on a darn good manuscript. '
But honest to helvetica Author Friends, DO NOT DO THIS.
If you send a requested partial or full DO FOLLOW UP if you don't hear back.
Yes some agents are real slackers and don't reply. A pox on their noses and their coffers.
But other agents, like my pals, would have LEAPED to the mailbox and said "holy moly I don't have it, please send."
After the query stage never EVER assume no response means no.
And this is another reason that agents who practice the less than polite, and really shortsighted method of query response "no reply means no" are shooting themselves in the foot.
Now, I'm off to read and chortling the entire way!