Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Status Updates

Since I’ve been posting regular updates on my status with query letters and submissions, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for status updates. So before doing another status post, let me give some tips on what you can do when requesting a status update to make an agent’s life easier.

On query letters do not simply ask if the query was received. If you know an agent responds to all queries and you know she is caught up well past the date your query was sent, then simply resend the query. To avoid confusion, simply start by saying something like, “I originally submitted this on such-and-such date and have yet to receive a response. Since I know you are caught up I thought it would be best to resend . . .”

On requested submissions, include the following information:
  • that the material was requested
  • your title
  • the blurb from your query
  • the date the material was sent
  • how the material was sent (email or hard copy)

If you’re following up based on posted response times, give the agent 1 to 2 weeks past the posted time (if she says she responds in 12 weeks, follow up after 14). The reason I say this is that you would be shocked how often I get requests for updates the day after I read something. This just ensures the agent has had time to read and the letter has had time to be written.



Anonymous said...

At what point is it okay to ask for a status update on a full or partial request? I've had one full that's been out with an agent for 4 months, but I'm petrified of asking for an update for fear of ticking her off.

Kimber Li said...

One thing I've noticed this trip into Queryland is a lot more agents with automated replies to let me know the query was received. I so appreciate that! That's all I really need to know. If they agent is interested, I'll hear from her eventually.

Otherwise, I'm a 'Submit and Forget' kind of girl.

SM Blooding said...

One of the things I learned via Twitter is that sometimes when you check on the status of your query and you say something you meant as nice, the agent will sometimes take it wrong. LOL! They're human.

I love #pubtip and #agenttip. Is it s #agenttip? I can't remember, but I do like it.

Great post.


Anonymous said...

I have not yet submitted a query. But I am dreading the day. Also, I jot notes and cool words into a notebook titled "Should there be a Query"....

Tricia said...

Jessica...Thank you for the updates. In January I sent out four queries, and I've heard back from one agent...a short...thanks but no thanks. Your posts are an excellent reminder regarding response times. Thanks a million.