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View Full Version : Nudging on a query. Strange situation.



Roxxsmom
04-16-2015, 09:40 AM
Okay, neurotic author question.

I queried an agent at an agency that has several who rep fantasy at it (back in early Feb). Like many others, this agency says that they don't want simultaneous submissions to different agents in the agency, but unlike many, they say you may query a different agent in the agency once you've been rejected by one.

This particular agent (the one I queried) has a stated response time for queries of 8 weeks, and she responds (one way or the other) to the overwhelming majority. With few exceptions, she requests partials or fulls within a week of submission, and takes a bit longer to get back on initial queries, but is usually pretty prompt.

But she didn't respond to anyone at all, except for a smattering of quick rejections, for weeks after my query, then she started rejecting people who had queried much more recently than I did. She finally seems to have "caught up" and went back and rejected a bunch of people who queried around the same time I did (and requested some pages from a very recent sub). But she's skipped mine and a few others. About a week ago, she went back and rejected a few more from my batch, but mine and a handful of others are still not responded to.

I know it was addressed right, and followed instructions and all that, so it shouldn't have been spammed or righteously deleted. I got a couple requests from the same query and opening pages, so I know they're not "OMG WTF is this?" awful. So it should have gotten a glance and form rejection by now.

Do agents ever lose or forget queries? When is it okay to nudge on a query? Normally, I'd just move on and assume no answer means no.

But I also don't want to commit a faux pas of subbing to another agent in the same agency if the fact I haven't gotten a rejection yet means still an active query with the first agent.

So should I:

1. assume no reply after 8 weeks (her stated response time) is a rejection and feel free to query the other agent I thought might be a good fit?

2. Nudge, just in case she forgot to send the R, her reply got bounced by my e-mail (I don't know why it would be or how to find out if this would be the case), she actually is still considering it for some bizarre reason, or she didn't get it for an even stranger one?

3. Query another agent and indicate in my letter that I'd queried the first agent and hadn't heard back (I really don't want to do that)?

4. Wait longer in case she's still catching up on rs?

Old Hack
04-16-2015, 10:56 AM
I'd wait a bit longer. Nudge at the three-month point. If you don't hear anything after that, move on.

Paragraphic
04-16-2015, 11:19 AM
I wouldn't nudge until after the 8 week mark, but I would definitely nudge rather than just leave it.

I've had to nudge once before and it wasn't nearly as awful as I expected. I completely get why you wouldn't want to (and why I would suggest) moving on to the next agent and mentioning that the other one never replied. It could sound passive aggressive and it would call attention to that the other agent didn't go for the query.

Roxxsmom
04-16-2015, 12:39 PM
I'd wait a bit longer. Nudge at the three-month point. If you don't hear anything after that, move on.

By move on, you mean query the next agent on my list at that agency?

Jo Zebedee
04-16-2015, 01:40 PM
Yes, they lose queries sometimes - I nudged a couple in the past who hadn't received it. I'd give a quick polite nudge but not until after her stated response time. Also, it's a busy time for agents - Bologna, London Book Fair etc, so response might be a little slower.

Old Hack
04-16-2015, 03:46 PM
By move on, you mean query the next agent on my list at that agency?

No, I mean stop worrying about this one.

What do their submissions guidelines say to do?


Yes, they lose queries sometimes - I nudged a couple in the past who hadn't received it. I'd give a quick polite nudge but not until after her stated response time. Also, it's a busy time for agents - Bologna, London Book Fair etc, so response might be a little slower.

It is a VERY busy time for agents right now. Which is why at the moment I'd usually give them more time than they ask for to get to things.

Thedrellum
04-16-2015, 07:28 PM
Seconding Old Hack on the waiting 'til three months to nudge. After the nudge--assuming there's no response to that, as well--I'd query another agent at that agency, assuming the first a no-response-means-no.

Roxxsmom
04-17-2015, 12:23 AM
No, I mean stop worrying about this one.

What do their submissions guidelines say to do?

The submission guidelines for this particular agency say it's fine to query one of their other agents with a project once you've been rejected by the previous one you queried. Which is the reason why I'm worried over whether no response after 8 weeks means no, or if mine fell through the cracks.

There's another agent I'd really like to query there, and whom I planned on querying if this one rejected me, so forgetting about the agency completely sort of sucks.


It is a VERY busy time for agents right now. Which is why at the moment I'd usually give them more time than they ask for to get to things.Well, that explains why nearly every agent I've queried doesn't seem to be doing much with queries from anyone lately. There are several non responders on my list who (according to QT) haven't requested anything from anyone since before the holidays.

I guess I picked a bad time to query, but I thought I was threading the needle between the Holidays and summer (when I've heard nearly everyone in New York disappears from their offices for a couple months).

I'll wait a bit longer, then. When are all these book fairs over? And do all agents really go to them? I figured the one in Bologna might be a thing for the agents on my list who rep children's fiction in addition to adult fantasy (not all of them do), but do US agents go to this London one also?

Debbie V
04-21-2015, 02:30 AM
There are plenty of agents who go to London too.

I agree with others who have said to wait. My general rule is to double the expected wait time. We all have times when stuff happens that blows our planned schedule. I especially think this is a good idea since you know you aren't the only one still waiting.

blacbird
04-21-2015, 04:39 AM
Drink heavily.

caw

Roxxsmom
04-21-2015, 08:14 AM
Drink heavily.

caw

It's either that, or this :e2hammer:

Thedrellum
04-21-2015, 07:47 PM
Get hammered or get hammered? That's not much of a choice, but I support you either way.

object of my charm
04-24-2015, 01:50 PM
Just query whoever you feel like, whenever you feel like it. So far (it's not) working for me.

Chumplet
08-29-2015, 01:35 AM
I'm in the same situation, possibly with the same agency. I sent a nudge at 9 weeks, and it's been a couple more weeks. I am anxious to query the next agent on my list from that agency. Yes, I have other agents on my list, but this particular agency has plenty of agents who rep my genre.

Also, this particular agent has been inactive on Twitter for the past several weeks. I'm wondering if she's offline.