1. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    How lond does it take to get an answer?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Yotam, Apr 6, 2013.

    Just to ease my mind, for the last month or so I've been sending queries for about 30 agencies and only 3 of them sent back to me (rejections) a day or two later.
    I ask because most agencies, write that their respond time is between 4-8 weeks, and yet I read that some agencies, though they say otherwise, don't answer back at all.
    I take the 3 that write me back after a few days as an exceptions, but still want to know how exactly does it work?
    Can it be more than 4-8 weeks, or whatever amount of time they say they'll answer?
    And is 30 agencies is enough? should I send to as many as i can?

    Off (Is it one "F" or two?) subject... Is me living in Israel can raise difficulties to find an agent in the US?
     
  2. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    HA! Yotam, I have received replies to queries over a year later.

    Querytracker has a comments section for each agent and people often post their response times. Some agents will reply in minutes, others days, most in a few weeks, but quite a lot in months. Agents get a lot of queries. A LOT. I think Kristen Nelson once wrote that she got over 100 queries a day. Imagine the task it takes to stay on top of those.

    You living in Israel won't make a lick of difference. Agents represent authors from all over. Don't worry about.

    Send out queries in batches, gauge responses... i.e. if you're getting rejected off your queries despite sending queries to agents who say they're looking for what you're writing, you likely have an ineffective query. Adjust it, and send out another batch.

    Cheers=
     
  3. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    Thanks for the replay.
    I thought about rephrasing part of my query but I'm not sure what. It is a one page query divided into two parts "Synopsis", "What is it" and "About me" (That order and then a sample from the MS), and although I'm not that good nor enjoy summarizing I think the first part is well enough. The second part can probably be say in a better way, just have to think how to change it. And the last part also looks good to me, say all there is to say in short about me and what "writing" mean to me.
     
  4. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    FWIW, I always found the most effective format to be:
    1. Salutation
    2. Why I'm querying them and what I'm querying them about (I researched the stink out of agents I queried).
    3. brief outline about the book
    4. Thank them for their time.
    5. Done.

    If you have professional publishing credits, I think that's what they're looking for in the "about you" part. I don't think they care if you write because it's a passion that can't be quelled. Remember they read 100's of these every day. Keep it short and sweet and professional and I think it will stand out.

    That's my 2 cents.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    Great, I will try to adjust my query a bit by this order, though I actually tried to keep it short and simple as much as possible on purpose. If an agent get lots and lots of queries a day, how much will he care or have the patient to read another "How are you" and "Thank you for your time"...
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...it can often take as long as several months...

    ...yes, it can and most often does... my rule of thumb is to give it an extra month before calling to politely ask if they are still considering it or if it got misplaced, as either case could be the reason for not getting a response yet...

    ...in a large agency, the agent may not even get to see the query till it's passed through the hands of mail clerks, first readers, and top level assistants... any of whom may deem it not worth passing on up the chain of command...

    ...and if by some miracle it does make it to the agent you addressed it to, it might then be passed around to others for feedback and/or to the head of the agency for a decision... all of which takes days to weeks or months...

    ...could be too many... are you being careful to send only to one agent at each agency and only to those who specifically state that they represent the kind of book you have to offer?...

    ...are you addressing each query to a specific agent by name?... if not, and you're sending out a generic query to 'dear agent' then it's very likely that your query will be discarded unread...

    ...no, not at all... the only thing they consider is the marketability of the book... [and it's 2 'f's ;-) ]

    ...i mentor many writers all over the world who're seeking publication in the US and i'd be glad to give your query letter and first couple of pages of the sample chapter you're sending a look, if you want to know whether the problem could lie there...

    hope this helps...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  7. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    Many thanks, Maia, I'll take you up on your offer!
    I do make sure to send my query to one specific agent in every agency, if they ask, but I don't always start with "Dear ***" and tend to jump right to the subject.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as i noted in my reply to your email, that would not be an acceptable query, so you'll have to follow the established format for query letters, if you want yours to be read...
     

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