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AustinT
11-19-2014, 07:15 PM
In the first week of August, I sent out my first query letter for a revised, completed manuscript. There is a legitimate agent at a respected agency that I had the good fortune of having met socially on a few occasions. She was familiar with my project, and so I queried her first. Before I even had the chance to query the next name on my agent wish list, I received a request for the full manuscript.

I was excited, as it's someone I respect and would really love to work with. At the time she asked whether it was a multiple submission, and I told her honestly that she was the first person I queried, and I hadn't sent it to anyone else yet. Outside of an e-mail a few days later where she asked me to re-send the manuscript as a different file type, I haven't heard from her since. I'm kicking myself for not asking for clarification on submitting elsewhere up front. I'd taken her multiple submission question to mean that I should hold off any further querying until I heard back from her.

I looked on Query Tracker and 1-2 months looks to be their standard window between request and rejection. Is it safe to nudge after four months when they've had your manuscript exclusively? And can anyone give advice on the politest way of doing that?

Dmbeucler
11-19-2014, 07:49 PM
I'm not personally to the query stage yet, but two things. One, don't stop sending your query out. Unless she asked for an exclusive (using those terms, which should have an end date) keep sending things out.
Two, when you nudge, all you need to do is be brief and professional.

"Dear agent,
I am just following up my manuscript "Title," sent on date.
Thank you,
Your name here."

Or any variation but you don't need to over think it. Brief, professional, to the point, and polite. And keep sending things out.

Putputt
11-19-2014, 09:09 PM
I'm not personally to the query stage yet, but two things. One, don't stop sending your query out. Unless she asked for an exclusive (using those terms, which should have an end date) keep sending things out.
Two, when you nudge, all you need to do is be brief and professional.

"Dear agent,
I am just following up my manuscript "Title," sent on date.
Thank you,
Your name here."

Or any variation but you don't need to over think it. Brief, professional, to the point, and polite. And keep sending things out.

^^This is pretty sound advice, I think. Definitely don't stop querying other agents. I've had agents ask me who else I've queried, and when I told them X and Y and blah blah agency, they've gone, "Okay cool! I will read this and get back to you." So I think the question is asked out of curiosity more than an expectation of exclusivity.

The brief, professional message suggested also sounds good, and yeah, I'd say after four months I would definitely send a nudge.

Siri Kirpal
11-19-2014, 10:28 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

One thing I usually put in a nudge is something that indicates the problem is a missing email. "Just checking to make sure we don't have a computer glitch" or something like that.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

mayqueen
11-20-2014, 06:54 PM
I'm not personally to the query stage yet, but two things. One, don't stop sending your query out. Unless she asked for an exclusive (using those terms, which should have an end date) keep sending things out.
Two, when you nudge, all you need to do is be brief and professional.

"Dear agent,
I am just following up my manuscript "Title," sent on date.
Thank you,
Your name here."

Or any variation but you don't need to over think it. Brief, professional, to the point, and polite. And keep sending things out.
I agree with all of this. I would just add not to nudge on a full manuscript before three months.