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popmuze
04-05-2006, 05:02 PM
Lately, when tallying up my email responses from editors and agents, I find that I usually get a 40-50 percent positive rate on queries, 90% of those responses coming the same day or the next.

However, of the other 50%, 90% of those never respond at all.

My question is if and when a follow up email is appropriate to those who never responded. I did this a couple of times and both times I got a positive answer, as if they'd never seen or read the first.

Valona
04-05-2006, 07:21 PM
Interesting. I'm kind of in the same boat, so to speak, only I don't get nearly so many positive responses.

So, what about those dolts who don't respond?

Branwyn
04-06-2006, 12:08 AM
Ditto! I looked over how many queries I sent out via emails and the responses and they don't match at all!

I assume that if I didn't hear back they weren't interested, but that didn't stop me from emailing them again. Sometimes it was due to memory loss, but I still have not received answers from R. Henshaw, A. Grayson, Ms. Seymour, N.Yost, and many others.

davidhburton
04-06-2006, 08:25 PM
Ditto here as well.

I am amazed out how many email queries are not returned, especially when they welcome them. And I'm also amazed at the mail queries that sometimes don't come back when I send a SASE...and I'm talking about over 8 months later I've still got nothing back. Ahh well...

Guess I'll query again later on.

Valona
04-06-2006, 10:52 PM
So, to get back to the original question, I think it was roughly: how long should we wait for a response to e-queries? And, should we send the agents/editors gentle reminders?

I would add to that, snail mail queries as well. What's an acceptable time limit to wait for a response, assuming the agency's/publihser's guidelines don't specify?

popmuze
04-06-2006, 11:56 PM
My feeling is that sometimes emails just don't register. I was once recommended to one editor by another. Sent the second editor an email. No response. Followed it up. No response. Third time I got a reply: Sure, send in your stuff. Another time I changed the subject line and got an immediate response.

So now it's not just queries we have to work on; it's subject lines in our emails!

Branwyn
04-07-2006, 02:12 AM
OK so what's the magic phrase to use?
It's so frustrating!:Headbang:

KAP
04-07-2006, 04:41 AM
I had a rash of email queries go unanswered and discovered my provider initiated a new spam filter. I tried sending query letters to my own yahoo address and to some friends, and none of my emails arrived. Grrr.

Might not be so much a magic phrase as getting through. Or timing. Or how you hold your tongue when pressing the "send" button.

dantem42
04-07-2006, 08:22 AM
Lately, when tallying up my email responses from editors and agents, I find that I usually get a 40-50 percent positive rate on queries, 90% of those responses coming the same day or the next.

However, of the other 50%, 90% of those never respond at all.

My question is if and when a follow up email is appropriate to those who never responded. I did this a couple of times and both times I got a positive answer, as if they'd never seen or read the first.

Well, I can't lay claim to a 40 - 50 percent positive rate (mine was more like 20 percent). But I did find that 90 percent of the responses I got came within the first three days. I did get one about two months later, because it bounced around in house a while.

I did some remailing to ones that hadn't responded the first time, and I never got a response from any of those. So here, my experience is different from yours.

Interestingly, I did my whole correspondence with my present agent via email, including emailing the manuscript. He was one who stated openly that he does not accept email queries, but gave me an exception because I live in the Philippines and it's pretty much pot luck trying to do snail mail from here.

popmuze
04-07-2006, 09:32 PM
I'm wondering if email and phone etiquette are similar. Often people just don't respond to the first approach. Perhaps the thinking is, if you're not persistent enough to follow up in a day or two, then it's probably not that important.

Soon after my previous post, I emailed someone for a second time in a week. Got a response two hours later. "Sure, send me your stuff."

So now I've got three particularly important emails floating around unanswered for a week. I guess I've got to follow up, sooner rather than later if I want a response.

Maybe you just keep emailing until you get an answer. Which is easier than calling a dozen times and leaving a message each time. Or calling a dozen times and hanging up after three rings if they don't answer.

popmuze
04-07-2006, 09:35 PM
OK so what's the magic phrase to use?
It's so frustrating!:Headbang:

Baywitch,
This may only add to your frustration, but what works best for me is when I'm able to put "Recommended by....followed by name of friend, client, famous author, colleague, professor, relative..." in the message line.

Rich Henshaw
04-17-2006, 07:44 PM
Rich Henshaw here. I've certainly been guilty of lengthy response times in the past and I'm currently behind on my partials but I have to tell you if you haven't heard back from me about an e-mail query within a couple of weeks there's something screwy going on. I personally respond to about 80% of the e-queries that we receive within a couple of days. I pass along another 15% or so to my assistant who may take up to two weeks to respond but no longer. Of course there are another 5% of e-queries that do take me a while longer for a variety of reasons but rarely does it take longer than a month with those. Usually those are aobut books that are interesting to me for one reason on another but that require more attention than I can give at that moment. Maybe the author is a pro but writing outside of their category. Maybe it is a subject that I am personally interested in but I need to bring myself back up to speed on the market but have not been able to carve out the time. There are many reasons. The overwhelming majority of the time that a writer does not hear back from me after sending an e-query is that there is a problem with their e-mail. More often than not they've set up a spam blocker that requires me to jump through hoops to respond. Now some of those folks may have allowed access to my e-mail address so they think that I have not responded. That's not the case. Why? Because when someone sends a query to my submissions@henshaw.com address more often than not it is forwarded to another address and I (or my assistant) responds from that different address which may not have been cleared by the spam blocker. In the end, it does not really matter to me why something is getting bumped. If I've decided to pass on something and I get a response that says that my mail is undeliverable or that asks that I take additional steps to clear some spam blocker I'm just not going to go to extra lengths to convey that response.



And I do make mistakes and stuff does slip through the cracks once in a while so I may be at fault here but it happens fairly rarely. And I don't know what the cause of the problem is here. However often if a writer has not had a response from me after sending me an e-mail query there's a very good chance that my attempt to respond failed for one reason or another and not that I did not make any attempt at all.



Back to lurking.



-Rich Henshaw

popmuze
04-17-2006, 09:30 PM
Assuming nothing is wrong with the email connection, how would you feel if you got a snail mail follow up with essentially the same query as the email that didn't get a response?

I'm thinking of going this route with the roughly 50% who haven't responded to my otherwise effective query note.

I'm just wondering if I should reference the previous email in my note, or pretend it never happened.

Valona
04-17-2006, 10:12 PM
Assuming nothing is wrong with the email connection, how would you feel if you got a snail mail follow up with essentially the same query as the email that didn't get a response?

I'm thinking of going this route with the roughly 50% who haven't responded to my otherwise effective query note.

I'm just wondering if I should reference the previous email in my note, or pretend it never happened.

I've heard that this is a good idea, and it certainly can't hurt. It makes them realize you're serious.

But returning to our talk on non-responses to e-mail queries, I think more often than not, most of the non-response are because the agent/editor just deleted the query assuming we writers would understand that they weren't interested. I have my spam filter set to 'on' but it has a way I can monitor what goes into my spam folder. I look there every day to see whether an agent/editor has responded, mostly with no results. Like someone said, most responses came back in 1 to 3 days. The rest, about 80% of my queries, have not garnered any response at all.

Personally, I think those agents/editors are just being rude!!!

popmuze
04-17-2006, 11:27 PM
Figures that a majority of agents would be prefer to give "no answer" than yes or no.

I think as writers we should rise up and demand an answer, even if it's no.

Toward that end, I think everyone who hasn't gotten a response to an email query, should keep re-sending the query every day until there's an answer.

Not that I would be so brave--or stupid?--to be the first to do so. Although, as I mentioned before, I've chosen my spots.