Saturday, April 22, 2017

Agents who don't respond to an offer notice

I received an offer of rep a little while ago, and as any loyal Reider would do, I notified all the other agents with the manuscript (and those with the query less than a month, plus those with the query longer than a month but who said they responded to all queries).

I got responses back from most within a few days—either they would read and get back by the deadline, or they would step aside—but not from two of them with the full. Should I follow up in case they didn't see the first Offer of Rep email? I worry in particular because I did an R&R for one of them, and we've talked on Twitter from time to time, so I don't want to accidentally snub them if they didn't get the first email.

Am I overthinking things? To borrow a phrase, it's woodlands all the way down.

No, you're not overthinking things.

Just yesterday I got an email from a writer who queried before the date I showed on the blog as "caught up through" but not heard back.

I had no record of a query from her, and nothing in my spam file.

Where the hell was the email?
Who knows, but it sure wasn't here.
I was very glad she'd reached out again.

Given that you have a deadline, I would suggest you reach out one more time.

With the agent you've talked to on Twitter and done an R&R for, mention that in the email too. (Yes, sometimes we forget things.)

In the end though, you're not at fault if they don't reply.  You tried, more than once. That's all decorum requires.


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

It is never wrong to err on the side of decorum. Agents, bosses, lawyers and mother-in-laws appreciate it.

Theresa said...

Congratulations, OP! Sounds like some good news will be shared here before too long.

AJ Blythe said...

I would have done what QOTKU advised - I'm learning =)

Opie, congratulations on the offer and I look forward to the moment you can reveal your good news officially.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Good job, OP. As Janet said, all you can do is make the attempt to reach out to those in various stages of reviewing your work. Do not waste your opportunity for representation due to non-responsiveness of others. What's the phrase? The early bird gets the worm? The first offer may be the only one so unless a shark swims up and takes a bite... you know what to do. I best go write something. One day I might know what I am talking about.

BJ Muntain said...

What a wonderful dilemma to have!

I would definitely have contacted the agent with whom you've developed a bit of a relationship. As for the other, it would probably have depended on how many had asked to read it and how busy I was at the time.

Although, if you're asking, "Should I do this", then you've probably got the time and patience to do it.

Good luck!

Amy Johnson said...

Yes! Way to go, Opie! I, too, am happy for you and eagerly await the reveal of a newly represented writer pal! Then we all can par-tay on the reef. (Oh, what am I trying to pull here? I'm far too dorky to say "par-tay." I should leave that for the cooler fishies.)

OT: Thanks, Julie and BJ, for your wise and encouraging words yesterday after the rejection-on-a-full in my inbox yesterday morning. I also applied your words to the rejection-on-a-partial that came later in the day. And the rejection-on-a-query that came in between. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Sometimes "overthinking" is simply common sense knocking on your noggin. Janet's feedback sounds spot on, and I completely agree with 2Ns that decorum is never out of place. You're on your way, OP. Best of luck!

(I'm still reeling from yesterday's comment thread. And in the midst of it all, there's Rosanna staring down a coyote. Yikes!)

Panda in Chief said...

Chiming in on the chorus, what everyone else said, especially in regard to the agent with the R & R/ Twitter contact. Nobody wants to be thought of as a jerk on Twitter. Well, except the ones who do.

OT: as much as I love my cats, I get a little thrill when I hear coyotes in the neighborhood. Now that the cats are in kitty heaven, I say bring on the coyotes. Last year I had coyote pups playing in my yard.

When I re-enlist with kitty servanthood, I will probably feel differently, but for now, let the coyotes howl.

Julie Weathers said...

OP congratulations! What a wonderful position to be in. You will, of course, keep us posted on what happens so we can celebrate with you when the time comes.

Definitely, follow the shark's advice.


You just have to keep trying. Rejection is part of the journey. Dejection is a choice. I know it's tough not to sink into a ball of depression and swear never to write another word at times, but it is worth the climb. So I'm told.

It irks me to no end when someone has all the answers. I know why you aren't getting an agent. No, you don't. Unless you've read my manuscripts and query letters and are an industry professional you don't have a flying clue. This sells, but this doesn't. Well, books about boy wizards didn't sell until someone wrote one that did.

You may have to keep adjusting until you get to the yes, but don't let it get you down.

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”--Nathanial Hawthorne

I know you're going to get there. You just need to keep trying and not give up. Jack London had over 600 rejections on his stories.

"If I may be frank, Mr. Hemingway — you certainly are in your prose — I found your efforts to be both tedious and offensive. You really are a man’s man, aren’t you? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you had penned this entire story locked up at the club, ink in one hand, brandy in the other."

Mrs Moberley Luger, of Peacock and Peacock 1925 rejection letter of Ernest Heminway's The Sun Also Rises.

The old saw about him writing drunk and editing sober is incorrect. He didn't think a writer could write drunk and said he could tell exactly on a page where Faulkner started drinking.

Everyone gets rejected.

BJ Muntain said...

Amy: I'm so glad it helped. A rejection is a rejection is a rejection, and it's rarely personal. If you think that agents request a number of fulls each year, but might only sign one or two of those people... it's just a part of their job. Wishing you better luck in future queries (and partials and fulls)!

RosannaM said...

Oh, Amy, what a day! Do something fun today, let the sting wear off, and then resume your querying efforts.

Panda, No kitties to worry about here, but 6 chickens and 1 duck, who will remain in fowl jail today. I like seeing coyotes and hearing them, just sometimes it's a little too close for comfort.

Claire, The coyote and I had a brief, intense stare down. But I had not ventured too far from the house.

Claire Bobrow said...

Rosanna: I'm glad the chickens and duck are in jail today. We wouldn't want to hear about murder most "fowl" :-)

Colin Smith said...

Congratulations, Opie! Do your due diligence, decorum, play nice and give people a reasonable chance. After that, it's you-snooze-you-lose. ;)

I look forward to hearing all the deets when you can share!

Panda in Chief said...

Claire: ha ha ha! Brilliant.
Rosanna: the kitties were often in lockdown, when I could hear coyotes in the neighborhood. One kitty (the recently departed Mehitabel) lived to a ripe old age of 21, despite mostly free range time during the day. The other kitty disappeared, as many island cats do, although I had my suspicions that Mehitabel put out a contract on her, and made a deal with the coyotes.

Claire Bobrow said...

I'm feeling an irresistible urge to make a joke about wily coyotes, but I won't! One of my contest entries a while back was a whole thing about Wile E. Coyote, but I ditched it for a different approach.

Amy Johnson said...

Julie, BJ, and Rosanna: Thanks so much. Y'all are amazing and valued. I get it--all part of the process, and I'm fine. :)
Janet: How about this community you've created here? Pretty good, huh? Thank you.

Megan V said...

Congratulations Opie on the offer!

Bummer on the potential non responders.
Here's hoping that the e-mail just got lost in the e-ferno and that they respond soon.

Craig F said...

The only thing I have to add is to make sure you either send the e-mail to yourself or save it in the sent file.

If it turns out that that agent was inconsiderate you have evidence if it bitches. It seems that the most inconsiderate also feel the most entitled.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

MA Hudson said...

With tough decisions like these, I often apply the Which Will I Regret Most rule.
If I was in your shoes, I don't think I'd regret sending the reminder/follow-up emails. If I didn't send them, then I'd probably always have those doubts niggling at the back of my head, in other words, regrets.
Good luck. Sounds like you're on the right track.

MA Hudson said...

Craig - thanks for today's epiphany. 'The most inconsiderate also feel the most entitled.'
OMG - so true.