1. MattTheProphet
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    MattTheProphet New Member

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    No confirmation of receipt; need advice

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by MattTheProphet, Jun 19, 2012.

    I'm quite excited, an agent requested to see my full manuscript after reading the first few chapters. I quickly sent it, along with the synopsis as they also requested, and asked for nothing more than a confirmation of receipt. I did not get that confirmation and tomorrow it will have been a full week. Should I poke, or is it expected that agents are just too busy to provide that sort of courtesy?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even if the agent does confirm (did they say that they do?) I certainly wouldn't expect it to arrive after only a week. I can easily imagine three days in the mail, a couple in the mailroom, a few days in the stack of submissions before anyone opens it, a couple of days before whoever handles the paperwork gets a confirmation in an envelope, a couple more days in the mailroom, another three days to get to you.... and that's probably best case.

    Others can probably advise you on whether agents do that kind of confirmation, I'm just saying that even if they do, a week isn't nearly long enough to reasonably expect it.

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. MattTheProphet
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    MattTheProphet New Member

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    This was actual an email submission. If I had sent it snail mail I would have simply certified it, and then I would know when it arrived, if nothing else. That's part of what makes it so frustrating. You click and it's gone, but where does it go?
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many will not send an acknowledgement of receipt. It may or may not be stated in their submission guidelines. It is an extra step, and there;s a good chance the email is simply stored in a "Pending" folder, unread, until they are ready to get to it.

    As for automated email receipt acknowledgements, many people disable those for security reasons. I have them disabled so spammers don't get a confirmation that they have reached a live email client.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    did they mention how long it can take for a response to submissions in their guidelines?... if not, you just have to wait... could be weeks or even months before someone gets to your ms and the powers that be make a decision to take it on, or not...
     
  6. MattTheProphet
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    MattTheProphet New Member

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    I'm more than prepared to wait for a reaction to my ms, I just want to make sure it actually got to its intended destination. I don't want months to go by and hear nothing and wonder if I didn't get relegated to the spam folder.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, but that's the nature of the beast, matt... you're just going to have to get used to this fact of life re the writing biz... in my decades of writing professionally, i've never come across any agent or publisher who let all the submitters know that their mss had been received, other than sending a rejection or acceptance notice--eventually... and i've heard it said that some don't even let you know your work was rejected... they simply don't respond at all, if not interested...

    if the agency has a response time noted on their site, then you should probably still wait a month beyond that, before calling or emailing to see if your ms may have gotten misplaced, or not gotten to them for some reason... bugging them is not going to be productive...
     
  8. jfcastillo
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    jfcastillo New Member

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    I've read several books on publishing and many of them highly discourage sending anything requesting a receipt. In the words of one book (and I'm paraphrasing) it's a sure sign of an amateur. Also, it can take months for agents/publishers to respond. Of course this is simply from reading about publishing. I spent my whole ENG 102 class studying publishing for my essay.
     
  9. Egor
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    Egor Member

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    Give it one more week and call them. They asked to see it, so there is nothing wrong in you following up to see if they got it. That's professional on your part.

    Professional on their part is to say, "Oh yeah, we got it. No problem. We'll be in touch by such and such a time." If they aren't going to do that, then you don't want them representing you.

    If you calling them will make them throw out your MS, then you need to scrape them off your shoe and move on. You don't have months to wait. Wait until Monday and call. If they can't even tell you if they got it, how are they going to handle getting you the share of royalties you deserve?

    We don't work for agents. There's too many publishing options these days to let them jerk your lead.

    That's my opinion.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    2 weeks is way too short a time lapse to be bugging them... if they had no response time included in their guidelines, you should wait at the very least a month, before asking if they got it... agents can take several months to get to a submission, so don't be in such a rush to annoy them...

    btw, how did you send it?... if by snailmail, it first had to get there, then would be passed on from the mail room clerk to possibly several other hands, before it reaches an agent... if by email, it has a different route to take, but still doesn't necessarily get immediately onto the desk, or into the hands of the person making the decision to accept or reject it... and then it's consigned to a pile of other mss that arrived before yours did... as i said, this process can take months...
     
  11. cube
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    cube New Member

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    Don't follow-up with them. Let it be. You may end up waiting weeks, as others have said, and if you get to the 2 or 3 month mark and have not heard anything, then send a quick nudge. You may want to check on querytracker.net to see what the typical response time is with the agent as well.

    Don't ask for receipts anymore. If you replied to their email with the full, then they got the email. Send more queries out to get your mind off this request.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...excellent advice!
     
  13. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Matt, most email clients have the possibility to withdraw the email. If it has been opened it will fail, but if it's sitting in their junk folder it will succeed, and you know that resending is warranted...
    HTH
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Incorrect. There is a protocol for retracting mail, but few email clients honor it. Not many even support sending a retract request. It is completely voluntary whether to follow that protocol.

    Furthermore, you never will receive an acknowledgement that the message has or has not been removed, because it affords a spammer the means of discovering whether there is an active client at an email address.
     
  15. tinyplanets
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    tinyplanets Member

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    How quickly did you send your manuscript after it was requested? When mine was requested they recommended waiting 24 hours after the request or the auto receipt wouldn't work. Not sure why.
     

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