August 6th, 2010


letters from the query wars 8/6/2010

# of queries read 2 weeks ago: 171
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

# of queries read last week: 183
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: YA

# of queries read this week: 247
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 2
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: historical UF; fantasy thriller

oldest query in the queue: July 23

Bless me, for it has been 3 weeks since my last query confession. Whomever suggested that July was a slow month for publishing.... I say unto you that you were quite mistaken. Quite.

Even without attending two conferences, where I had the great fortune of seeing clients face-to-face and partaking in some really delicious meals, there seemed to be no slow-down in on-going business. My email proliferates like bunny rabbits.

Which is, why, oh, gentle readers, I say unto you -- it is more likely that a cupcake can be snitched from Janet Reid than an agent will respond to a request for additional information and/or clarification when they decline a query. (Earlier this week, a guest post on Rachelle Gardner's blog addressed a similar topic.)

Somewhere I suspect someone is encouraging people to write back as I have seen an upswing in these the last couple weeks.

Many of these responses are kind and thoughtful. Some even acknowledge that they know an agent might not be able to reply due to the time constraints. Some express an understandable level of frustration. Then there are those that are less than polite. Others make some "intriguing" assumptions about my reading habits and personal tastes (when I say intriguing I sometimes mean insulting, but mostly they are just plain wrong). Some few implore "please just give me a chance."

I don't believe in the no response means no thing. For my part, I reply to each query and indicate whether I want to read more or not. But I keep it simple, so I can give the next story and the next and the next.... a chance.

Do those who send this kind of additional correspondence think about the others waiting for that chance? Does a query + 5 pages + synopsis = a chance? And how are you going to get your hands on that cupcake?