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View Full Version : When to follow-up on a partial



WriterInChains
01-09-2006, 12:38 AM
I hope this isn't a dumb question, but . . .

Back in late September, an agent requested a partial based on my query letter. I sent it, but no mention was made by either of us of how long a reply would take. I haven't heard from her, but am not anxious to get anyone's "quick answer" and realize she probably worked less during the holidays. I can wait, but now that the postal rates have increased, I'm wondering if I should contact her. Obviously the SASE I sent in Sept. is inadequate now, and I'm starting to wonder if she ever received my materials in the first place. (It was only one chapter, sent 3+months ago.)

I'd truly appreciate some feedback on this from someone who's worked with agents &/or is familiar with s.o.p. in this area. I don't want to appear impatient, but want to be sure she received my partial, and offer to send an updated SASE if that would be considered s.o.p.

Thanks a million! :)
caren

Cathy C
01-09-2006, 01:27 AM
Well, first let's consider that "late September" is, in reality, early October by the time it got to the agency. Then discount most of the month of December for the holidays, and you're only looking at about 2 months that they've had it when it would do any good. If it were me, I'd wait until the 15th of this month and then send a nice follow-up letter to the agent. State the date the agent requested the partial, and the date you originally sent that partial. If you can, include a copy OF the letter from them and your partial cover so they can track it down if it got misplaced. Send a new SASE (in case it got separated from the original partial) and definitely include your email addy and phone in the follow-up letter.

If the agent didn't receive the original partial, they'll probably email or call you to ask you to send it again. That can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened, because it establishes a nice "contact" point with the agent.

Good luck!

WriterInChains
01-09-2006, 07:12 PM
Thanks for your reply, Cathy. I just noted the date on my calendar & will forget about this whole thing until 1/15. I wouldn't have thought to include a copy of my cover letter for the partial, thanks for that too! I guess this is why I hear so often "keep copies of everything" -- just like my CMA files at work.

BTW, love the pic of your kids :Sun:

flotsamarama
01-11-2006, 04:29 AM
I used the postage increase as an excuse to "send my two-cents-worth" (in the form of an additional stamp) to a couple of agents who had not responded yet to my query and/or partial. It kind of gave me an excuse to write them without seeming like a nag...

...Of course, I got a rejection from one of them yesterday -- but she very kindly included the two-cent stamp I had enclosed in my followup.

LeoDramaQueen
01-12-2006, 10:20 PM
Ummm......I think it looks a little silly to send an agent who you haven't heard back from yet, a two-cent stamp in the mail to cover the postal rate increase. This is probably the reason the agent returned that stamp to you. Also, why do you want your partial returned to you? Usually, the agent recycles them. Do you really want to send a partial out again that's covered with coffee stains and doughnut crumbs?

Of course, that's just my "two cents"! :roll:

Lisa

flotsamarama
01-12-2006, 11:13 PM
I'm not looking for any partials or manuscripts back. I wouldn't mind my original SASE back, though (preferably with a positive letter). Acknowledging that postage has increased since the original SASE was mailed is merely a way to show consideration for the agent's budget (it's the thought that counts, right?) and get in a little nudge that reminds him/her I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat, awaiting a response.

No, the reason the agent returned the stamp to me is because she mailed my SASE before the postage increase. If she thought it "silly," then she was not the right agent for me anyway.

Maladroit
01-13-2006, 01:44 AM
I think that was a clever way to spark re-interest in your partial. The 2-cent stamp thing was not foolish -- it was pretty clever.

My girlfriend has just passed her real estate exams and was recently hired by a local RE agency. She is sending out small amounts of 2-cent stamps with her intro letter as a way to say hello to local businesses.

Who wants to drive to the P.O. to purchase a bunch of stamps to update your old $.37 ones? It's a great idea and more of a "courtesy thought."

Too bad agents have more than likely "seen it all." I once thought of sending agencies a coupon for "one free autographed book" from me...once they sold it to a publishing house.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/Emoterofl5.gif

flotsamarama
01-13-2006, 06:35 PM
I think that was a clever way to spark re-interest in your partial. The 2-cent stamp thing was not foolish -- it was pretty clever.

My girlfriend has just passed her real estate exams and was recently hired by a local RE agency. She is sending out small amounts of 2-cent stamps with her intro letter as a way to say hello to local businesses.

Who wants to drive to the P.O. to purchase a bunch of stamps to update your old $.37 ones? It's a great idea and more of a "courtesy thought."

Too bad agents have more than likely "seen it all." I once thought of sending agencies a coupon for "one free autographed book" from me...once they sold it to a publishing house.



http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/Emoterofl5.gif



Thanks, Maladroit, for the affirmation -- and the chuckle!

Andrew Zack
01-13-2006, 07:30 PM
Actually if someone author sent me a two-cent stamp to add to their SASE, I'd just add it to the pile of stamps I keep. It wouldn't register on me who sent it, most likely. I certainly wouldn't take the time to track down their submission to add the stamp to their SASE. I'll be adding two-cent stamps to SASEs for the next three months, one way or another.

WriterInChains
01-16-2006, 07:27 PM
Hello Mr. Zack:

When you run across a SASE with inadequate postage, it doesn't make you think the writer is unprofessional or doesn't bother to plan ahead? I don't want to appear impatient, but also I don't want her to think I'm inconsiderate and clueless (despite the fact that I just may be -- clueless, that is). Would you recommend the same course of action that Cathy did?

Thank you for your input, and for this thread.
Have a great day!
Caren

Andrew Zack
01-16-2006, 07:36 PM
For two cents? No, I would not mail in two cents. We all know when the rates went up. I did think the authors who sent me query letters the week before with only thirty-seven cents on the SASE were being a bit hopeful (expecting me to respond before the rates when up) or just stupid, but what are you going to do?