View Full Version : Expiration date on an agent invitation

12-11-2011, 04:47 PM
An agent on Twitter extended a private invitation to me to send to her directly, skipping the agency slushpile and I was given an email address generally reserved for her clients.I wasn't prepared for such an invitation and didn't have story ready for her.

Unfortunately, within a very short time of receiving this invitation, a family member was moved to hospice care and writing business stopped in favor of focusing on him. Time slipped by without my having an opportunity to take this agent up on her offer. It's been just short of a year.

This is a legitimate agent with a good reputation...my dream agent, in fact. I am also friends with several of her clients and they all speak highly of her.

My question is fairly simple: Am I too late? Should I consider this a lost opportunity or is it acceptable to prepare the query and send to the private address with a reminder of the invitation?


12-11-2011, 05:23 PM
Agents are looking for good manuscripts and authors to represent. They aren't in the business of messing with authors' heads (even it if does feel that way sometimes :D). There's no harm in querying now and mentioning the invitation to submit. I wouldn't mention why it's so late in your initial query; leave that until and unless she asks.

Good luck!

12-11-2011, 10:23 PM
How can it hurt to send your query? The agent already isn't representing you, so you have nothing to lose.

Just send your query. Don't explain, don't apologize, just send it.

And I am sorry about your family crisis. Caregiving is hard work, especially helping loved ones through the end of life.

12-11-2011, 11:15 PM
Just send your query. Don't explain, don't apologize, just send it.
I disagree with this. Not replying to a specific invitation for a year raises certain questions -- like perhaps you tried everywhere else and no one liked it. It might create, even subconsciously, some negative prejudgements about the ms or your dedication in an agent's mind.

I see nothing wrong with a short sentence saying basically, sorry to take so long in replying to your welcome offer, but family health matters intruded upon me at the time or some such.

Susan Littlefield
12-11-2011, 11:49 PM
I am sorry about your family member. Losing someone close to us can be emotionally draining.

I don't think it's too late. I would mention her invitation to submit and send her the query letter and/or manuscript (whatever she asked for). I'm not so sure I would mention the family member, because it's already obvious your manuscript was not ready when she asked for you to submit to her.

12-12-2011, 12:00 AM
I would also mention a quick apology and short explanation, but I guess that may just be a personal choice.

12-12-2011, 01:55 AM
Thanks for all of the input. Until this point I've subbed unagented, so I'm terribly unversed in agent protocol. Since this is my dream agent I, don't want to make any missteps.

12-12-2011, 01:57 AM
go for it.

but as others said, a brief note of explanation

12-12-2011, 02:09 AM
I seriously don't think the agent expects an explanation, or will even remember when they extended the invitation. But perhaps I am mistaken.

12-12-2011, 07:42 AM
I don't think an explanation is necessary. Unless you mentioned that you were querying at the time she invited you, she probably expected you to still be working on the novel. Different authors work at different speeds, and life sometimes gets in the way (as in your case). She won't need an explanation. She can look up the invite if needed, but using the private e-mail is probably enough verification for her, and she probably won't even care how long it's been.

12-27-2011, 06:40 PM
A brief reference to the delay-- "life got in the way" -- and then the material works just fine. We've all had those years.

Miss Plum
12-27-2011, 07:30 PM
Have you done it yet, Voirey? How'd it go?