View Full Version : Do you follow up queries?

05-31-2009, 03:36 PM
We all know the score. We query, we wait anywhere between three months and best part of a year and all the time while we hear nothing back, we're thinking if we should send a polite follow up to our query.

When I first started submitting (not realising that the books simply weren't good enough), I'd chase the agent after a few months and almost always heard nothing back. If I did get a reply, it was a form rejection. After playing this game for ten years, I've sort of changed my way of thinking. I submitted a short story in early January so I've been thinking for the last week about chasing it, but I can't really see the point. Either the agent hasn't got round to reading it or has and didn't like it. Same issue for a couple of agents I submitted a sample of a book to in February.

So, do you chase your queries? Is there really any point? And has anyone had any success from doing so?

05-31-2009, 05:00 PM
Nope. With the high percentage of no responses from agents these days, I see no point. If there's no response, they didn't like it or haven't gotten to it yet. If you chase the query, in my opinion, you have a chance of getting your name on a pest list. I'm sure you've seen statistics on how many queries agents receive in a day or week. But, I have seen some stories of people who did chase queries and were successful. Puma

05-31-2009, 05:06 PM
If you're talking about a short story submission, I almost always query. usually, the publication will give a sense of how long it takes to respond (in their guidelines), so if it's outside that window, query. A couple of times, querying is how I found out that my stories had made it to the final round of consideration. Even if the stories weren't picked up, it let me know that they had clawed their way out of the slushpile - which is important data. But don't query too early (I usually wait until a couple of weeks after their given response time).

When it comes to agents, I don't even bother - for the reasons Puma gave. I'd rather write a couple of sentences on a short story or novel rather than waste time on a follow up query to an agent. To me, my time is more important than an agent's (at least one who doesn't even represent me yet). Caveat: if they have one of my full MSs, I will nudge an agent.

05-31-2009, 05:12 PM
Don't chase. If you think they've lost your query (does happen) then resend.

05-31-2009, 08:52 PM
Nope. With the high percentage of no responses from agents these days, I see no point. If there's no response, they didn't like it or haven't gotten to it yet.

That's exactly how I've come to see it over the last year or so. When I think of the time I spent chasing submissions, I wince.

05-31-2009, 08:53 PM
I keep a list of my submission that amongst other things states when I sent the work off and by what date, according to their guidelines, I should have received a response. If no reply received bt expected response date (plus 2 weeks) i send off an SQ. If I don't hear from them after that, I consider it dead. I think it's important to send an SQ since we know that things get lost in the mail, emails seem to evaporate, and things get misplaced in offices. It's happened to me.

06-01-2009, 06:21 AM
Not sure what an "SQ" is, but yes, I do send follow-up emails to queries I've received no response from. I figured, what did I have to lose? Two minutes?

I had about three months pass since I first started querying and didn't receive replies from nearly half of them. I sent simple two-sentence follow-up emails to all that did not reply. Most of those follow-ups I have not received replies from. HOWEVER, there were a few that replied very quickly to say that they had not received or misplaced my query and asked me to send it again.

From those re-sends, I received more rejections, or no responses as of yet.

So, in my experience, it certainly cannot hurt to follow up.