1. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    What to do next?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jessica_312, Jun 1, 2012.

    OK, so I submitted to an agency that says the response time to a query is "up to four weeks" and that they DO respond to EVERY query. Well, it's been six weeks, and haven't heard a peep back. Of course, I worry that something got lost in the mail, or that I forgot to stamp my SASE or something. So I sent a very polite email to the agency asking if perhaps I should resubmit, on the chance that the query or response was lost in the mail. I sent the email three days ago and haven't heard back.

    What would you do next? Keep waiting? Go ahead and resubmit to the agency? Or just consider it a lost cause and move on to the next?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'd wait if I were you. Here publishers say they usually give a response within 3 months but I waited for 7 months to hear from them. 6 weeks is still not that long, probably they just have a lot to do and will get back to you as soon as they can. With things like this you need to be cool and just let it take the time needed. Meanwhile you could always start writing something else and try to not think about the submission.... (yeah, I know. Easier said than done... ;) )
     
  3. Egor
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    Egor Member

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    Why not submit to other agents while you're waiting? Or, why not call them? What's the worst thing that could happen? Their not going to be so offended you called that they throw your ms in the garbage. It might wake them up to it. If they are the kind of agency that would say, "Nope, you broke the rule and phoned--into the trash with you!" Then they aren't anywhere near professional enough to handle your manuscript.

    The worst that could happen in a rational world is that they would say, "Sorry, we're swamped and we'll get to it as soon as we can."

    True, you have to act professionally, but so do they. If they can't be professional about their business, it's going to be a bad deal for you no matter what, and you'd be better off with another agent or no agent at all. If they won't handle your work for whatever reason, you calling won't change that. If they think they can sell your work, for whatever reason, you calling won't stop them from offering representation.

    That's what I think, anyway.

    And while I'm on my soapbox, I want to add this: I work for a boss. In fact I work for three bosses. I don't need another asshole in my life. Writing is the lottery I play that I hope will change my future into one of happiness. I don't want an agent that's an asshole. If after doing what they said to do, if I then call to make sure they're office is still in business and they get snooty like I have to kiss their ass along with all the other asses shoved in my face on a daily basis, I'm moving on.

    Working for an agent is not the fantasy I'm trying to buy with my writing.

    Whew! I feel so much better now. Time for a smoke--before my boss shows up again. ;)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's sound advice... mine is to take it!
     
  5. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone! :)
     
  6. Egor
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    Egor Member

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    Thanks, Mammamaia. :)
     
  7. Joshua_Caine
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    Joshua_Caine New Member

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    As a new member I have to be the voice of dissent ... well,here goes. From personal experience I can tell you its not always a good idea to "hedge" your bet when it comes to submissions. Even agents will frown on a person querrying multiple agents simultaneously. Is it done? Of course! Just keep in mind that mass submissions could give you a bad rep early with publishers and agents. Follow your heart and do what you think works best in your situation! :)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, i have to amend my post [but it's too late, i guess, as the 'edit' button is gone]... i must have been still half asleep when i said it was sound advice and should be taken, because i was referring only to multiple queries, and the phone calling part, but the poster actually said 'submit to other agents while waiting'... which is a major no-no... sorry i misled you on that part...

    in any case, joshua, 'querying' [1 'r'] and 'submitting' are two entirely different things... nobody will mind multiple queries... it's only simsubs that can get you in trouble... and it's better/smarter/safer to follow the rules and each agent's/publisher's submission guidelines, than your heart... getting an agent and a publisher is a business matter, not a love affair...
     
  9. Joshua_Caine
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    Joshua_Caine New Member

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    Indeed mammamaia :)
     
  10. Egor
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    Egor Member

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    When you say, "a major no-no" what do you mean? In whose rulebook? If I was looking for a lawyer, why wouldn't I call around to several different ones, or an accountant? Why wait? If I've written a story that's something the agent wants to represent, I assume they're going to let me know. Then I have to evaluate whether they are an agent I can trust and want to work with based on how they sell themselves to me.

    I mean that's my argument, anyway, and I admit I could be wrong, so by all means fill me in. It's just that if I have a marketable product, I have a marketable product and the agent has to believe that or there's no point in having that agent, and if that means I have no agent at all, then so be it. The idea that I'm in some way applying for a job to an agent just doesn't settle with me. I mean if each agent wants 6 weeks to respond, I could wait years trying to get to an agent who wants to represent my work unless I simultaneously submit to different agents. And then, it's like the Jessica said, she waited, and they ignored her.

    I have this theory, a please correct me if I'm off in left field, but I have this theory that writing a book is like writing a song. If it's good--if it's catchy and people want to hear it (or read it)--it's going to hit, and there won't be any way to stop it. In that scenario, the agent truly is the one who has to be kissing the writer's butt--if butt must be kissed, you know?

    But what do you think? :confused:
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    egor...
    the only 'no-no' as i noted, is to submit your work to more than one agent if they specify 'no simsubs' or want an exclusive submission... of course you can query as many agents at a time as you want, but once one of them has asked to see the ms, or sample chapters [= 'submitting'], then you must do what they require and not submit the work to any other agent till the first one has let you know they're not interested... breaking that trust can get you the equivalent of 'blacklisted' as agents do talk to each other...

    of course, if some you query who ask you to submit the work don't care if you submit to others, it's no problem, but most do require exclusive submissions, for obvious reasons... their time is money and they don't want to waste any considering a ms that may no longer be available, since you've already signed with another agent...

    'calling around' equals 'querying' in the writer's world... but submitting work is another thing altogether... sure, it's a pain having to wait for one to reject your stuff before submitting to another, but be glad they asked to see the work at all, as that's beating the odds already...

    as for the 'no way to stop it' thing, the sad fact is that lots of truly great stuff never gets published, while lots of crap does... the deciding factors are first of all, the query letter... if it's not good enough to hook anyone, it won't matter how good your ms is... and the other is that elusive ingredient, 'luck'... you can have a potential bestselling classic-to-be, but if it doesn't get to the right person at just the right time, it can sit on your shelf forever...
     
  12. Egor
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    Egor Member

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    Oh definitely. And I was only referring to sending querries. I mispoke if I called it "submitting." Having said that, if you submit to an agent to read and they don't get back with you or respond to your e-mails, and won't take a phone call, then all bets are off. But I think we are both working from the assumption that the agent is a professional agent and runs their business that way.

    Yes.


    Indeed.
     

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