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mbowman
11-25-2015, 03:13 AM
What happens to your submission after you submit it to an agent?

I've always kind of wondered--does the agent read it him/herself? Do they make interns read it? A bunch of interns? Is there a maybe pile? I'm just curious because I know how agencies do queries but I don't really know how most usually do subs.

I'm also kind of curious because the delivery timestamp on my sub that I sent recently (I get delivery timestamps to know when to CNR or to resend after a situation last year caused me to probably lose a good shot at representation) shows that it was opened several times since I sent it, but I have no response as of yet.

Becca C.
11-25-2015, 04:20 AM
Sometimes they have interns/readers, but usually it's the agent him/herself reading it. After all, if they're considering representing it, they have to decide that somehow. In my experience, if they have interns/readers, they sometimes give it to them second if they're looking for second opinions, or the reader will have to read and do a reader's report as part of their tasks with the agency. I've been given reader's reports before in R&R-type situations, if the agent thinks the reader was particularly insightful.

As for the document being opened several times but no response yet, relax :) It could be one person opening and reading a bit, or it could be just clinking on the document to check what it is, etc. There are a million possibilities and none of them can really help you right now. Just wait. It'll all work out.

popgun62
11-25-2015, 05:48 AM
A lot of the busier agents, the ones with a lot of clients, have assistants or interns that read for them to weed out the really sub-par stuff (bad grammar, bad spelling, didn't follow submission guidelines, etc.). They are given a set of guidelines to use when reading through the slush. If it gets past them, it goes to the agent. Also, some agents pass things around to other agents within the agency to get their take on it. It might go around to several people before they make a decision. If it IS going around to other agents, that may be a good thing because they may be seriously considering your work.

Also, if an agent doesn't feel the work is right for him or her, they may think that it might be a good fit for another agent and send it their way. That's how I found my agent. Or she found me, I should say. Anyway, I hope it turns out well for you :)

TerryRodgers
11-25-2015, 05:54 AM
If you are using a program that tracks the opening of emails, I suggest you remove it. If I were an agent and found that was happening, you'd get an auto reject and blacklisted. Basically, you're spying. It's not illegal, but not appreciated by many professionals. And if that agency is a really good agency and takes security seriously, your emails are going to their junk mail folder. That's exactly what my company does and I do with my personal email.

mbowman
11-25-2015, 07:00 AM
Oh, I never thought of it that way. I guess I'll stop using it.

Treehouseman
11-25-2015, 11:44 PM
Yes, if you're quite concerned you might be on a CNR or missed in the queue, try querytracker.net. They have an exhaustive graphic for every agent to show where you are on their response list.

Its interesting to note if an agent reads out of order, as many do depending on how well your MS fits their list (say: Detective Llamas may be a huge new genre, so if your query mentions any sort of ungulate, you'll get read quicker...)

Jamesaritchie
11-26-2015, 01:11 AM
If you are using a program that tracks the opening of emails, I suggest you remove it. If I were an agent and found that was happening, you'd get an auto reject and blacklisted. Basically, you're spying. It's not illegal, but not appreciated by many professionals. And if that agency is a really good agency and takes security seriously, your emails are going to their junk mail folder. That's exactly what my company does and I do with my personal email.

Blacklisted? Seriously? Uh, not by any sane agent.

This "program" comes with every good e-mail system, and always has. Your company is nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake. This is something YOU have to allow. There is no need to junk such e-mail, or to take offense. Just turn off the feature in YOUR e-mail that allows a response to be sent.

This is good, useless feature for a great many things, it is not spying, and it is not a security risk. Any agent, editor, or company that doesn't like this needs to turn it off on their end.

Most professionals I know love using it on both ends, and I'd be real careful about dealing with a business that didn't want me to know when my e-mail is opened. It tells me they like to let things sit because their time is more valuable than mine.

In business, including writing, many things are extremely time sensitive, and blacklisting works both ways.

Ken
11-26-2015, 04:11 PM
What happens to your submission after you submit it to an agent?



In the old days of paper submissions agents used to leave their windows open and leave their desks for awhile in hopes that the wind would take care of some of the slush. (Of course there are a few gems to be found amid the mss as yours assuredly is.) G'luck.

TerryRodgers
11-27-2015, 05:40 AM
James you nothing about Internet Security then. I do this for a living. Tracing programs like this are how hackers and marketers find out who is real and then they try and bait them with phishing and spam emails. All large corporations that have a security force are starting to block this type of capability. There's no fruitcake needed. And it goes both ways with these type of programs, so if someone thinks they are watching someone opening emails, they in turn might be watched.

http://blogs.findlaw.com/technologist/2015/08/should-lawyers-use-the-email-tracking-tool-sidekick.html

Old Hack
11-27-2015, 11:41 AM
You might work in internet security, Terry, but I work in publishing and have spent quite a lot of time working the slush pile. I don't know any agents or editors who "blacklist" writers for anything. There is no blacklist. Sure, most agencies and publishers have a list of writers they are wary of--usually because they've sent in threats or seem to be dangerous; but there is no publishing blacklist.

If one is bombarded with requests for read-receipts and so on then yes, it does get irritating. But I've just set up my email accounts to ignore all those requests. Easy.

To the OP, if you want to understand what an agent does for her clients, it's worth reading Carole Blake's "From Pitch to Publication". It's a little outdated now (and she is a personal friend of mine--but I liked it a lot even before we met) but it's still a very useful, informative book.

TerryRodgers
11-30-2015, 03:52 AM
I know and work with a lot of agents as well, and I know of some that have moved certain pests to their spam folders. Moving any email to a spam folder or archive folder is the same as blacklisting. You're basically auto-sending the email somewhere so you don't have to read it. You can do it individually or via an email server if you're at a company that has one.

The point I was trying to make to the OP is don't give any agent or editor a reason to ignore you. :)