Monday, May 16, 2011

Letter From the Query Trenches

T’is a dark, dreary, mud filled hole of highs and lows.  Not a thing to report on the rejection front.  Nigh on the request front.
 
In fact, it would seem Agent Army has declared a cold war altogether.  They sit in wait, just over the frontier, yet me and my creepy binoculars remark not a white 
flag…

Okay, that’s enough of that.

Basically it’s been complete radio silence from agents the last couple months.  I have no idea if this is just me or of it's an overall lull in activity but I swear I send myself emails every now and then just to make sure my box isn’t broken.  I’m still waiting on responses to queries sent back in November.  And yes, I have checked the website to be sure it’s not a ‘eight weeks and you’re out’ type of deal.  All in all, I still have about 30 queries that seem to have been swallowed by the universe. 

I sent the last one out about a month ago and have been busy with my new wip ever since so I haven’t been stressing much about it but I still think it’s kind of weird.

How about you guys?  Stats?  Activity?  Anyone else notice the freezing of time in Agentland?  

33 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I think some agents are fast responding and others are slow. It's hard to wait, for sure! I have no stats right now. But that's great you're working on a new wip!

Caledonia Lass said...

Alas, I wish I had something to report, but I do not. I have failed you....

:D Just trying to keep in the mood of the post. At any rate, think of it this way... No news is good news. Perhaps they are mulling things over or just inundated with queries. I am sure something will arise soon.

Sarah said...

Some of them just say to resend the query if it's past their usual response time and you haven't heard anything. I guess it depends on the agent. It's conference season, though, and BEA is next week, so probably many of them are in that mode right now. Maybe they'll be catching up in June ... hang in there, Katie.

Jen Daiker said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in this query war. It has been silent on my end has well. Every once in awhile a rejection will pop in but there hasn't been anything lately.

Maybe this is the week for FREEDOM!

I'm just glad I finally found my voice again after beginning the querying process. It was rocky for a bit but now I'm back in the game and working on two WiPs!

Jess said...

I've halted queries for awhile, but the ones that I received responses to seemed to trickle in at random times. I just got a request off an October query, and I'd already ditched that manuscript. There are several that I've just given up on. I mark them as "Assumed Rejected" so I can move on, but maybe get a nice surprise one day. Who knows...send a few more out :)

salarsenッ said...

I'm glad you're not stressing over it, and instead, keeping at your WIP. Just stay on that road. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Agents are a fickle lot. That's all I can say. Some respond within a matter of minutes. Some months. I got a request last year after 6 months too. Who knows what lurks in their minds.

I did get a partial on my historical. Which is nice. The only one so far. Everything else has come back rejected. And I have the partial on my contemporary out and I don't expect to hear from her until June or July so I'm just revising the first ms.

Just keep swimming Katie. It'll all work out. That's what I'm doing.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Have you tried Querytracker.net? Sometimes they have updates on whether an agent has posted that they're caught up on queries through such n such a day, so you can at least close some of those old ones out.

I sent out a few queries last week and two came back rejects while a third said if I didn't hear from them in 3 wks, it would be NO. Of course, I'm still waiting on a few from February and one partial request from early April. Hang in there.

Cynthia Lee said...

For me, responses tend to come all in one week.

There will be a deafening silence and then a whole bunch at one time. It's been so quiet for me lately that I've even gone a few days without checking my query email account because I assume that there won't be anything there. This is unprecedented in my query world.

Angela Felsted said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm sending letters to Santa Claus. You know, all that hope and then . . . nothing.

Hope things get better.

Old Kitty said...

I really am in AWE with you wonderful guys and gals querying away. I won't last a day let alone a month!! Big big hugs to you! Hang on in there!!!! Take care
x

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm not querying right now, but I will say that I once got a partial request 9 months later. No, I'm not joking.

Ricky Bush said...

Oh, yeah, I've got quite a few e-mailed out at this time last year and have yet received a reply. Guess that means "NO".

Tamara Narayan said...

In my query experience this year, the response has been quick rejections (within days of sending) or silence.

I got mad. Decided to ditch the old query and start fresh. Sent one out on Friday. Full request same day. Coolness. Had fun weekend hunting for typos and misplaced commas. Now compiling a new list of agents to query.

Candyland said...

It's not just you. I sent some out and it's been near silence. When I first queried a year back, before the agent, I got responses pretty quickly. I think everyone's busier for some reason. Or they hate us. Either one.

KarenG said...

I read all the comments to see what's up in the querying landscape. Not seeking an agent myself and after reading this so glad I'm not LOL. Yikes! Let's hope this isn't indicative of what's happening in the industry. Hang in there!

Talli Roland said...

Waiting is the worst, isn't it? Crossing my fingers for you!

Kelly said...

Yow! That is a long time. Waiting is so hard, especially on news you want to know NOW! Good luck to you!

Dorothy Evans said...

No news from me - but then, I'm no where near querying! Crossed finger for you, though.

Stephanie said...

Yeah, that always happens to me too....after that long I kinda just figure no reply, it's a rejection. In this case, silence is not golden :(

Good luck!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I wonder if it has to do with all the bookfairs and conferences of the past few weeks from Bologna to BEA. Maybe they all have been really, really busy.

Editors are silent, too. Things seem to be moving VERY slowly in Publishing World.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

There have been a lot of bookfairs/conferences lately, it might be that. BEA is coming up, maybe it'll be better to query after that.

Anne R. Allen said...

It's not just you. I think agents are just confused. Editors are turning down more new stuff than ever before. I've been querying for five years now (on six different projects) and I've never had such absolute silence. Agents have had my fulls for over 6 months. Partials for 5, and queries--fugeddaboutit. Even the ones I sent snail mail with a SASE never get a response. And a friend who's a client had to wait 5 months to get a response ("no") on a new project from her own agent.

But people with self-pubbed e-books are getting cold calls from agents all over the place. I've blogged about that this week. Your experience seems to prove what I've been fearing: The ebook is the new query. Arrgghh.

The only hopeful thing I've heard is Tamara's comment above. Contgrats!

Colene Murphy said...

I donno, dude! That's nuts! DO you have any of the ones that say "no response in a month requery" cause they might not have gotten it??

Nothing query awesome to report here. Licking wounds is all.

Hope you get some fantastic responses soon!

Bekah Snow said...

Out of 6 or so, two were very fast and the others VERY slow, meaning nothing. But I hear this is a slow time of year. IDK!

Bekah Snow said...

Out of 6 or so, two were very fast and the others VERY slow, meaning nothing. But I hear this is a slow time of year. IDK!

The Las Vegas Writer said...

Haven't received many responses lately. I know a lot of the agents are at conferences during the spring. Maybe that is why we are stuck in this rut!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've still got queries out from two + months ago. Though all the responses from the requested material are in. And I did get the Call, but I'll be turning it down. Once I do, I'll be blogging about it. There's a reason I'm saying no . . . and it makes a great post. ;)

Jennifer said...

Look at it this way...you are way ahead of those of us who haven't even finished a single WIP. One of these days you will open your email and it will be awesome and you will look back at these older posts and laugh!

Paul Greci said...

Good luck on the new WIP!! And the querying, too!! I hope you get some positive responses soon.

WritingNut said...

I'm still not quite there yet... I'm hoping to start querying around June or so... Good luck with that new WiP :)

mshatch said...

yup. waiting. And I once got a request for a full over a year later!

don't give up. katie.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I love that I've found this site...I know this a waaay backpost, but love the above comment about rejections coming in bunches. YES, had one day with about three agent rejections and I won't soon forget it.

Sometimes I too wonder about the Agent Army, and at what precise moment word hits the street that my latest MS is one for all members to avoid. The silence is truly deafening! After about six months of querying a book, after revising and re-revising (also not my favorite things to do), if I know I've given it my best and polished it as much as I can, I give it up as a loss and move to the next (read: more commercially-viable) WIP. Still haven't stooped to writing Amish werewolf fiction just so I garner some attention, but the day might come when I eat my words.

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