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Old 01-16-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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I nudged on a query... Was that a bad move?

I never ever, ever, ever nudge agents. Ever. Not on a full, not on a partial, and most certainly not on a query. (I'm beginning to sound like Dr. Suess. "I am a bit leery of my query.")

I don't know what possessed me yesterday. I nudged on a query. A query! Who does that? Today I am just sitting here holding my knees and rocking back and forth (which is hard to do in my office chair). I'm worried I just ruined any sort of small advantage I would have had from a referral.

Let me give you some context: I queried my favorite agent in the world, my dream agent. She rejected me but referred me to another agent in her agency. So I queried him, noting the referral. That was November, and it's been crickets ever since. I've been a bit disheartened with rejections for a novel that I really love and believe in (I know, same with 99% of you all) and decided to nudge the agent I was referred to.

If he rejects, that's fine. But the non-response made me worried that he didn't receive it. I know that's unlikely, but... well, I don't need to take you all to Crazy Town with my thought processes there. The point is, I ended up nudging him yesterday... like the needy, annoying little writer I swore I would not become.

I just want to know - has anyone ever nudged on a query? Was this a really bad move? I just want some perspective on how bad that was to do - or maybe it isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. The "nudge" was just a forward of my original query plus a polite one-liner saying that I wanted to make sure it didn't get lost in a spam filter (or something like that).

OK, I've got a busy day of pacing. I'm trying to work on my new novel, but I keep getting distracted with the one I love - the one currently making the agent rounds. Must. Pull. Self. Together.
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Last edited by Mom; 01-17-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: typo fix... it's hard to be in freak-out mode without a few typos.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #2
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Nudging is fine -- within reason. I'd say it's acceptable to nudge on a query if the agency website says something like, "We will respond in 6-8 weeks. If you do not hear from us, please remind us." I'm sure it's fine even if it just says the first part. If it says, "We will not respond if we are not interested," then you shouldn't nudge.

I doubt the nudge will make or break your query.

I really want to encourage you to nudge on partials and fulls, though. At the three-month mark is when you should do it. Things get lost, emails fall to the bottom, agents have lives that intercede.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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Nudging is perfectly normal and acceptable after a certain amount of time, and it regularly results in requests or even representation. No need for panic.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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Nudging is fine. You waited a reasonable amount of time (though next time, wait another month), and it was a special circumstance, considering the referral. If you still don't get a response, and you've double checked to make sure you're using the agent's correct address, then let it go.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys. I'm pacing a bit less and breathing a bit more now.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:58 AM   #6
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If it's any consolation, I just heard back from a query I sent November 4th. I had assumed it was a no response.

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
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Since your query had a recommendation in it, it was cool to nudge. I would also nudge on queries that an agent had asked for, say at a convention. Otherwise, no nudges on queries.

Nudge on partials and fulls after three or four months. I never nudged more than once, but I guess a second nudge after another three or four months wouldn't be unreasonable.

As for query responses? Mine varied from under ten minutes to over ten months (not counting nonresponses -- they're too common.) MS responses: overnight to never. (My agent was the overnighter. Do I love my agent? Yes, I love my agent. He never ever needs a nudge. )
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinne Duyvis View Post
Nudging is perfectly normal and acceptable after a certain amount of time, and it regularly results in requests or even representation. No need for panic.
Is that really true?

Or do you mean on requested materials only?

For me, unless there has been a communication outside the norm, the rule is never nudge on a query. Never.


Am I missing out?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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Mom, you did WHAT?

Ha, ha, just wanted to say that.

Seriously, I think you did fine.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady MacBeth View Post
If it's any consolation, I just heard back from a query I sent November 4th. I had assumed it was a no response.

Good luck!
Ha!
I got one 11 months later, and they'd definitely read the query.

(Hence my CAAT* philosophy.)

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
Since your query had a recommendation in it, it was cool to nudge. I would also nudge on queries that an agent had asked for, say at a convention. Otherwise, no nudges on queries.

Nudge on partials and fulls after three or four months. I never nudged more than once, but I guess a second nudge after another three or four months wouldn't be unreasonable.

As for query responses? Mine varied from under ten minutes to over ten months (not counting nonresponses -- they're too common.) MS responses: overnight to never. (My agent was the overnighter. Do I love my agent? Yes, I love my agent. He never ever needs a nudge. )
Ditto. Cold queries? I personally wouldn't nudge...at all. But since this was a referral from an agent, I think nudging after 2 months is fine!

And ditto Phael on nudging for partials and fulls.

Incidentally, I just received a response from a query I sent back in JULY.

Good luck! Hope you get a good response!
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:35 PM   #12
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My longest wait on a query (with a response) was almost exactly a year, and resulted in a full request.

I say that in this case it was okay, since you had the referral.

I nudged on a query once when I suspected I was having e-mail problems. Didn't get a response to the nudge either (but other agents did respond to queries sent the same day so I decided it wasn't e-mail problems after all).
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