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sirensix
08-20-2013, 11:32 PM
I began sending out a query a day yesterday, planning to give my ms one final pass over the weekend and have it spotless by the time anyone replied, negative or positive.

That was yesterday, and today I have a full ms request.

/facepalm

I am guessing it would be better to send it Monday after I've given it that final once-over. Should I explain the delay? Will the agent care? Other advice?

aimeestates
08-20-2013, 11:36 PM
Don't email bomb an agent with excuses ever--at least at this stage. Just get to your last pass sooner, get it done, and send it off. No one is waiting on baited breath for your immediate response. The real lesson here is, next time query after you're confident your MS is polished, but I'm guessing you know that. ;)

Best of luck to you!

sirensix
08-20-2013, 11:43 PM
Trouble is, I don't think I CAN get to the last pass before this weekend (which is why I did not include it as a possible course of action in my OP). I'm not going to be able to be at my computer for more than maybe an hour a night, max.

If I send it Monday morning without explanation, is that going to doom me?

ETA: I should clarify, for those who think me a complete idiot, that I WAS confident the manuscript was ready until I saw who was requesting it. Not sure if that makes sense, but that's the way my brain works.

aimeestates
08-20-2013, 11:52 PM
Highly doubt it's an issue, but I'm interested to see what others have to say.

aimeestates
08-20-2013, 11:53 PM
I WAS confident the manuscript was ready until I saw who was requesting it. Not sure if that makes sense, but that's the way my brain works.

Also, fear not, there are people here who know EXACTLY what you mean. It can be a nerve rattler.

Phaeal
08-21-2013, 12:33 AM
Reason number one why you don't start querying until the MS is shiny and ready to send. But don't worry about a few days delay. Especially in August, when the publishing world moves at a slower pace.

Anyhow, if the agent writes or calls looking for the MS in under a week or two, he must really be excited, and that's good news. :D

Yorkist
08-21-2013, 12:41 AM
I don't know much about publishing or literary agents but I've studied business communication quite a bit, and I'm going to go against the grain here. Six days is a long time to go non-com in businesslandia, long enough to look like a direct snub even if now's the slow times (particularly considering how quickly the agent got back to you). A quick "Thank you for the manuscript request. I can send it now, but I'd like to give it another once-over this weekend. Would Monday be good for you?" sounds nice and professional. Put the good news first, bad news last. Do not use the word "late."

I have to assume that agents want authors who are reliable and prompt with their communication, and that this is more important than looking like an excuse-maker (which, if you phrase it right, you won't).

ETA - though I could be wrong, if there's some sort of major nuance unique to the publishing industry that sets it apart from other businesses.

ETA2 - if I pulled 6 days of non-com with my business professors back in ye olden college days of yore, they would have ripped me a new one. Most of my literature and writing professors would not even have noticed. Don't know if literary agents are (A) or (B), though I'm betting it's a mix.

Wisteria Vine
08-21-2013, 12:54 AM
I wouldn't sweat a few days delay. It is the summer. For all the agent knows, you could be traveling without access to your computer.

Siri Kirpal
08-21-2013, 01:10 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Yorkist, in the publishing world, everything takes mega-time, so keeping emails to a minimum is important.

No, OP, you don't need to say anything to the agent with your reasons for the delay.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Old Hack
08-21-2013, 01:16 AM
Send it in once it's ready. A week isn't pushing it, but longer probably would be.

Also, consider why you have time to post this question, respond to it ten minutes later and then go on to post a few times elsewhere on AW, but you can only spend an hour at the keyboard each evening improving your manuscript when you know it's important to get it done and out there. Are your priorities right, do you think?

GingerGunlock
08-21-2013, 02:08 AM
If I had a request, I'd be pulling doubles to get things done, if I had any doing necessary. I don't know if it'll make an impression either way, but it's how I feel.

Cranky1
08-21-2013, 02:27 AM
I imagine that the OP may be at work or using their smartphone to post here, but their actual manuscript may be on their home computer. That's how I read their comments.

sirensix
08-21-2013, 02:45 AM
Also, consider why you have time to post this question, respond to it ten minutes later and then go on to post a few times elsewhere on AW, but you can only spend an hour at the keyboard each evening improving your manuscript when you know it's important to get it done and out there. Are your priorities right, do you think?

When I made that post I was counting down til someone posted this question. I almost explained, but then I thought, nah, people know that people work during the day, right? Though I wasn't expecting the comment about posting elsewhere on AW - that took a little more research than I figured anyone would have time to do...


I imagine that the OP may be at work or using their smartphone to post here, but their actual manuscript may be on their home computer. That's how I read their comments.

I am at work, yes. I really shouldn't be posting at all >.> But it's better than running around in circles going AAAAAAAA. ;)

Drachen Jager
08-21-2013, 02:46 AM
What Hack said.

Several agents have responded to queries like this in the 'Ask the Agent' forum. The consensus seems to be 1-2 weeks doesn't require explanation, but any longer than that and you should probably mention it (though telling them the delay is because it 'wasn't ready yet' may well doom you).

sirensix
08-21-2013, 03:04 AM
Thanks, guys. I appreciate your voices of reason. It probably is ready, since I thought it was before I got the request, but I'd just really like to read it over ONE more time to make sure. I may split the difference and pull a couple of late nights so I can get it to the agent by Friday.

Also, sorry for asking a question that had been asked before! Normally I search first but it just completely slipped my mind this time. You have no idea the state I'm in right now. This is my first. :) I get leeway right? Since I'm a sweaty-palmed wreck?

sirensix
08-21-2013, 06:59 AM
Okay, one last question. I read over about half the manuscript and then stopped because I realized I'm just being stupid. I think it's done.

So... I'm going to send it tonight. No need to mention a delay at all.

BUT.

I sort of know the agent. I mean, we've not met in person, but we did some minor business via email a couple of years ago and had a really nice rapport, I thought (the reason I sent it to this particular agent, in fact). I alluded to our past business tastefully in my email because I wasn't expecting to be remembered by name alone, but the response said "Of course I remember you!" With the exclamation point and everything. So.

Does that give me enough familiarity to say something like "Hope you enjoy it" or should I just say, "Full manuscript is attached." or something along those lines? Or is there some middle ground somewhere that sounds neither too chummy nor too cold. I definitely don't want to sound cold; this is one of the warmest people I've had the pleasure to interact with.

Basically: What do I say in the email that has the manuscript attached? Sorry to overthink this, but as I mentioned, this is my first time and this particular agent actually means the world to me. I know it's still a long shot, but I at least want to know I did absolutely everything right that I could.

suki
08-21-2013, 07:03 AM
Does that give me enough familiarity to say something like "Hope you enjoy it" or should I just say, "Full manuscript is attached." or something along those lines? Or is there some middle ground somewhere that sounds neither too chummy nor too cold. I definitely don't want to sound cold; this is one of the warmest people I've had the pleasure to interact with.

Basically: What do I say in the email that has the manuscript attached? Sorry to overthink this, but as I mentioned, this is my first time and this particular agent actually means the world to me. I know it's still a long shot, but I at least want to know I did absolutely everything right that I could.

You are way over thinking this. Way. :) The agent remembered you. Just send it. Don't stress about the email. Keep it simple. Short of being really weird, the body of this email is irrelevant. Any of what you suggested above is fine. Even a simple, "TITLE is attached. Thanks for requesting it." Just, don't obsess over this email. :)

And good luck!

~suki

sirensix
08-21-2013, 07:05 AM
Thanks. Just wanted to make 100% sure I didn't sound like a doofus. I have no internal doofus-ometer. (As you can tell by my posts).

Old Hack
08-21-2013, 10:39 AM
When I made that post I was counting down til someone posted this question. I almost explained, but then I thought, nah, people know that people work during the day, right?

I work during the day, and during the evening. I don't assume that people who post here are doing so from work; I don't assume that people who post here work any particular hours, or are in any specific time-zone, so nope, I didn't assume that you were posting from work, on or off your phone.


Though I wasn't expecting the comment about posting elsewhere on AW - that took a little more research than I figured anyone would have time to do...

I checked your other posts because I thought I'd seen you ask this question elsewhere and sure enough, you did: here, in the new Ask The Agent thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8379117#post8379117). We ask people not to make duplicate posts here, as you probably know, so it's part of my job as a mod to check on these things.

It's also part of my job as a mod to stomp on snarkiness, so I'd appreciate it if you'd drop the attitude. OK?

JournoWriter
08-21-2013, 03:49 PM
Deleted. Not important.

Putputt
08-21-2013, 03:54 PM
Okay, one last question. I read over about half the manuscript and then stopped because I realized I'm just being stupid. I think it's done.

So... I'm going to send it tonight. No need to mention a delay at all.

BUT.

I sort of know the agent. I mean, we've not met in person, but we did some minor business via email a couple of years ago and had a really nice rapport, I thought (the reason I sent it to this particular agent, in fact). I alluded to our past business tastefully in my email because I wasn't expecting to be remembered by name alone, but the response said "Of course I remember you!" With the exclamation point and everything. So.

Does that give me enough familiarity to say something like "Hope you enjoy it" or should I just say, "Full manuscript is attached." or something along those lines? Or is there some middle ground somewhere that sounds neither too chummy nor too cold. I definitely don't want to sound cold; this is one of the warmest people I've had the pleasure to interact with.

Basically: What do I say in the email that has the manuscript attached? Sorry to overthink this, but as I mentioned, this is my first time and this particular agent actually means the world to me. I know it's still a long shot, but I at least want to know I did absolutely everything right that I could.

Yeeeaaaa you are WAY overthinking this. "Hope you enjoy it" isn't a deal breaker or maker. When I was querying, I'd say stuff like "Thank you for your response!" or "It's so good to hear back from you." followed by "As requested, I have attached BOOBFLUTES to this email. Thank you for your time." and nobody crucified me over my emails. As long as you keep it polite and straight to the point, you'll be okay.

Aggy B.
08-21-2013, 08:24 PM
Basically: What do I say in the email that has the manuscript attached? Sorry to overthink this, but as I mentioned, this is my first time and this particular agent actually means the world to me. I know it's still a long shot, but I at least want to know I did absolutely everything right that I could.

I imagine you've already sent this, but...

My REQUESTED MATERIALS emails are usually very brief. "Dear Sparkly Agent, As requested I have attached the full manuscript for The Steampunk Novel. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely..."

I tend to err on the side of "brief and polite" whenever possible. An exception was a recent request from an agent (and then subsequent R&R) in which her tone was much more familiar so I didn't address my responses to 'Ms LastName'.

Aggy, formal only when she has to be