January 23rd, 2009

books

letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 121
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: romance


Dear Authors:

Some random notes today as this has been a random sort of week....

* It seems every week after this post I get at least a handful of emails/comments asking if my posting the letters from the query wars entry means that I have read all the queries I have received. Short answer: probably not in this lifetime. (Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk; sometimes these inquiries may cause slightly unhinged laughter.) Currently I have over 100 queries still in the queue and that number goes up and down on a constant basis. Generally, I receive new queries while I'm reading the last batch, so therefore the queue is never empty. They arrive while I'm sleeping, during the weekend, etc. etc. (this sometimes feels like one of the things that is a downside of electronic queries vs. snailmail ones -- the latter only arrive once a day). I do attempt to reply to every query, and with the exception of those few SASEs that go astray or emails that bounce, an author will hear from me. I even try to do it in the 2-3 week response time mentioned on our official webpage, though occasionally conference travel and holidays may add to that time. YMMV.

* Though I have never told anyone not to re-query after a rejection, I might recommend not doing it the very next day.

* To all those debut authors out there, please do not query me (1) with an idea you know one of my current clients could help you with, or (2) with an unfinished manuscript.

* And here's a PSA: Please do not write back to a query rejection and ask me for advice on your query, or referrals to other agents, unless I have offered same in my previous correspondence with you. I would love to help; I really would. But I need to get back to everyone and hopefully in a reasonable amount of time, so the logistics of this just aren't workable (until I have a clone or three).

And that's all she wrote.

Good night and good luck.