Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to Accepting Queries

As most of you know by now, I was closed to queries for roughly six weeks in July and August. It was a wonderful six weeks. I got caught up on all queries and almost all proposals. When I reopened I had only four requested proposals left to read and one full I had just requested. I swear, I haven’t been this caught up for ten years.

Once I reopened, though, it was like opening the floodgates. By 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning (the day I opened) I already had 50 queries. By the time I returned from vacation on Thursday morning and opened email (at 5 a.m.) I had 260+. Now, granted, some of those might not officially be queries, so the first thing I did was skim through the box to see what could instantly be deleted. Here’s what I came up with . . .

A notification from a writer’s server that my email was low priority and I might not receive any notification that it was received. This was in response to an automatic reply I’ve set up to queries letting writer’s know that the email was received.

A notification from a server letting me know that I needed to ask to be on the recipient’s guest list. Please do that for me in the future.

A thank-you to my automated response. Please don’t thank me for letting you know the query was received. I know it’s hard not to, but this is one of the reasons agents don’t use automated responses. It just clogs our inbox further.

At least one pre-query asking if a query can be sent and how. FYI—I do respond to these with our submission guidelines.

Query letter sent as attachment. For the record, I don’t accept these, but will respond telling you I don’t accept these.

Okay, that’s what I found in two minutes of scanning. There’s obviously a lot more to scan. For the most part, though, it seems like the other 255 or so are legitimate queries and, in addition to getting to those, the requested proposals and manuscript, I also have at least four client proposals to read. Which means I better get busy.



Faye Hughes said...

I can't believe it's nearly 2:00pm and no comments yet. Where is everybody? lol.

Thanks for giving us some insight into your day, Jessica.


AE said...

I love that you're getting to your queries. But I also feel really bad because now that you're back open, people will start with the never ending bombardment thinking that since you just opened back up, that you won't have as much to do!

Lucy said...

Ouch. Nothing like getting back to the office. :-)

Hey, I'm third!

KHC said...

Welcome back, have a productive season, and I hope you find a hidden gem or two in the slush.

Tabitha Maine said...

I read an interview where an agent said she was touched by a courteous author who sent a "Thank you" in response to a rejected query. The agent in return gave the writer's proposal a second look--this is true, though I can't prove it because I can't remember a source. I knew then that it was a once in a lifetime fluke.

AstonWest said...

Perhaps an agent would do well to be open one week a month for submissions, then spend the next three weeks catching up?