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popmuze
08-24-2006, 01:28 AM
I've done a lot of email querying recently and I now realize it's possible that many of these agents are on or have been on vacation. When they get back their inboxes are jammed.

Would I be better off just resubmitting the same query in September?

I mean, with email, sometimes you just don't register the first time around. I was recommended to an editor once and it took me three emails before she responded (as if she'd never seen the others).

Heather Lewis
08-26-2006, 07:28 PM
I've done a lot of email querying recently and I now realize it's possible that many of these agents are on or have been on vacation. When they get back their inboxes are jammed.

Would I be better off just resubmitting the same query in September?

I mean, with email, sometimes you just don't register the first time around. I was recommended to an editor once and it took me three emails before she responded (as if she'd never seen the others).

I'm curious about this, too. I've found that about 50% of my queries get NO response whatsoever. I just assumed that means "not interested." I wouldn't have considered re-emailing the query to the agent. Do people actually do this? Is it an acceptable practice?

MelRandall

triceretops
08-26-2006, 08:09 PM
Let me see if I can chime in on this. Take it for what it's worth. In the past 1 1/2 years I have emailed over 125 queries, partials and fulls. About 110 of them were query emails, with the rest being partials and and fulls. Toward the latter stages I decided to type up three personal notes aimed specifically at the agent along with the queries. These would be hardmail. I just mentioned common knowledge tid bits, or discussed favorite authors, tastes and a few other things that were personal to the agent's website. I sent those three hardmail queries off.

The second one landed me an agent. I was totally aghast, wondering if the hardmail query had somehow had more effect, or if it was just blind luck. I dunno. The fact remains 122 emails did nothing for me. One hardcopy query letter led to my contact, which sealed the deal.

Of course, I sent to agents or publishers that allowed hardmail submissions.

Just a thought--send some hardcopy letters and see if your percentages pick up.

Tri

Heather Lewis
08-26-2006, 08:18 PM
Thanks, Tri. Interesting point. I have sent some queries by mail (with SASE) and there has been a much higher rate of response for those than for email queries.

I like the personalized note idea. Hm.

MR

p.s. I'm nowhere near 125 yet...I guess I'd better get busy... :-)

Julie Worth
08-26-2006, 08:25 PM
Toward the latter stages I decided to type up three personal notes aimed specifically at the agent along with the queries.

Tri, Were these separate from the query letter?

popmuze
08-26-2006, 08:51 PM
Just to clarify: Through the first part of the year, I was getting about a 50% "Send me the manuscript" response, with the other 50% getting no response at all. I guess that's the new rule in email--no answer equals no.

However, since 50% did want to see the manuscript, I figure my query is okay.

But starting in late July and through August, I've sent out maybe 10 queries with only one request and nine no answers. Recently, two queries came back saying the recipient's mail box was full.

But I figure, what's the harm in re-sending queries to agents who didn't respond the first time? There's always a chance they didn't really read the query in the first place. Anyway, you can't do worse than get another no response from them.

In fact, though this is probably an example of shooting yourself in the foot, I've often thought of endlessly requerying some agents until they finally respond--just to show them that two can play at the rudeness game. Luckily, I haven't quite done that yet. Resending once has been my limit.

As far as snail mail, I think it's true that you get more responses. The one snail mail letter I sent out got a form rejection within a week, saying the agent was hardly taking on any new clients--which I guess I already knew.
But my email query has also been somewhat personally tailored to each agent. And whoever has read the full manuscript has always had some nice things to say, including "I'd love to see your next one."

Since I don't have a next one as yet--and there's no telling when (or if) I ever will have something this good again--I'm determined to push on with this one.

triceretops
08-26-2006, 09:38 PM
Julie, sorry I didn't clarify. It was a greeting paragraph on the same page as the query. I did this so it wouldn't look like a spam query. I studied the "About Us" pages on the website, or the "Authors Listings", and found something that I liked, or even disagreed with, to add to the intro of the query. I didn't outright pander or suck up--I just found something that struck me, and that I could comment on. If I shared a common interest with the agent (in their bio), I would make mention of it.

It's a good snag, showing the agent that you've put eyes on their website. Not a real big thing, but heck, the moment I tried it it worked.

Tri

ChaosTitan
08-27-2006, 12:57 AM
Many agents state on their websites that if they have no interest in a project, they simply won't respond to email queries. Even to reject it.

Andrew Zack
08-28-2006, 08:16 PM
Honestly, it seems silly to me that any agent that accepts email queries doesn't have (1) a dedicated address for that and (2) an autoresponder on it that says "Your query has been received. If we are interested, we will contact you." I could set that up in five minutes if I wanted it and I imagine so could any agent.

Andy

popmuze
08-28-2006, 09:22 PM
Actually, Andy, I did get one of those "auto responses." But it still doesn't mean they didn't have six hundred emails piled up and hardly paid attention to mine once they read it--if they read it--in the onslaught.

But I guess that's the nature of the unsolicited world.