Querulous queries

I keep sending out queries for my completed novel The Sleep of Reason, and I’m mostly getting utter silence in response. I do get occasional polite rejections, and even less frequently I’ve gotten requests for partials. So far, though, no breakthrough, no call.

I sent a query out last week that got a swift response; it was an automated response. The agent, it reported, was out of the office on maternity leave and would be back “later in the fall.” That seems like my luck.

I sent a query out today to an agent at a newly formed agency that was actively looking for new clients. There was very little I could find out about this agency, so I didn’t know if my type of story was what they were interested in. I figured it was worth a try though, and I sent the query. Then when I was adding the agent to my list of attempts, I saw that I had already queried her a year and a half ago when she was at a different agency.

Sigh.

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4 Comments on “Querulous queries”

  1. Pete Says:

    The rejections don’t bother me as much as the non-responses. I understand that my books probably aren’t a good fit with most publishers, so rejections aren’t unexpected, but is it really that difficult for a publisher to read my query letter and decide from the synopsis whether or not they’re interested, and if they aren’t, to notify me right away? Out of respect for publishers I’ve refrained from sending out a ton of queries all at once, but they’re not showing respect in turn when they don’t respond. Every publisher that doesn’t respond equals one publisher that I haven’t queried yet, so the non-responses reduce the likelihood of my finding an interested publisher. With queries, bad news is far better than no news.

  2. Annam Says:

    Watch when you send queries. You may get a lot of non-responses near holidays or when agents might be on vacation. I try to avoid late fall through December and then start back again in the winter when things are probably slow for them too.

  3. Averil Dean Says:

    I agree with Pete. The non-response is rude and disrespectful. And short-sighted, because I cross those agents off my list and eliminate them from future submissions. I really don’t think it’s too much to expect a form rejection, it takes two seconds and saves the writer a lot of anguish and wasted energy.

  4. Laura Says:

    From what I gather, more and more agents are doing non-responses instead of rejections. I sympathize that they are overwhelmed and can’t take away from their current clients, but I still think this stinks.

    It is maddening trying to keep up with the constant musical chairs in the publishing world. All these editors becoming agents, and agents switching places every 5 seconds, and assistants becoming agents overnight. At least they must never run out of gossip in that industry!


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