But but..what if they tried to call while I was phoning for CPR???

Dear Miss Snark,

Okay, here's the deal. Early in December a publisher emailed a request to review my manuscript. So I hopped up and down and sent it off. I decided to wait until the first of February to contact them if I hadn't heard back.

But lo and behold my server company had a melt down. My email as well author site were down for four days (granted, two were
weekend days). GOD ALMIGHTY, what if they tried to contact me?

Should I contact them now and say "Just checking in 'cause my server went boom" or do I just wait until the end of the month? I mean the holidays probably slowed 'em down and stuff, so they probably didn't finish it yet, but, Guh.

es, I'm a quarter of the way into my next novel so I'm not completely paralyzed by this.

Go to your kitchen.
Get the calendar off the wall.
Bring it to the computer.
Now. Look at the day you circled in red. The day you sent the ms off to the publisher.
Big cheers.
Now, along with me count.

and keep going

sixty five
sixty six

until you get to 90.

90 days is the MINIMUM amount of time for a full length novel.
Considering there was all that holiday madness, you really should count to 114.

However, Miss Snark understands your pain. She doesn't feel it, of course, but she understands it.

On day 90 you may email.

Now, as to whether they've tried to contact you
1. on a weekend during Christmas
2. ever

the answer is no, and no.

Don't worry.
Even if hell froze over here in New York and they DID try to email you with an offer, they aren't going to let a little Cyberian wilderness get in their way; they'll try again. We understand server meltdown. We may want to write with foolscap and a feather quill, but we don't. We have trudged into the 21st century grudgingly, but we ARE here...sorta.


Karenee said...

*studies the phrase, "We may want to write with foolscap and a feather quill," with much delight*

Oh Miss Snark of the Snarkiest Snarkisms, I am sooo glad you have joined this century or I would have missed out on that delectable paragraph! You definitely make learning a memorable experience.


Try to remember that most digital stuff is lot of "hooey", in that if you pay x amount you get x-% as inducement to spend more. It is unlikely "visited" counters are true, those numbers are secret of service you are using. Same with e-mails, many your own relatives try to encourage you.

Anonymous said...

Foolscap hits the mark. During the late 80s, I was ghostwriting college textbooks (actually called a developmental writer) for a major publisher. Not a single computer in sight--not even IBM selectrics. I'm writing technical stuff at home on my computer. I have more technology back in those days when dinosaurs ruled the earth than this multinational .

Anonymous said...

Long time listener first time caller:
Am watching Golden Globe and the Gorgeous George just got one- sweet!

Probably UpOntop this is old news- but just needed to pass on my congrats.

Anonymous said...

OK, so maybe I was becoming a little--obsessive. Thanks for your reply Miss Snark. The office got a good laugh.

(Jeez, 114 days? Cripes.)

Anonymous said...

Well, as a relatively early adopter...Sinclair ZX81...I can say for sure I always had more processing power at home than any employer I ever worked for. Dinosaurs!

Bernita said...

Physician, heal thyself...

Unknown said...

Miss Snark,

In a dream universe, what would be the best font and size for you to get an MS in? Times 12? Arial 12? Courier New 12?

Also, you said 80k is the minimum for a first time novel... what's the maximum?

PS: Be careful sharpening KY's fangs, last thing we need is him to take a bite out of the mailman carrying my query.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia writes:

Miss Snark, thanks for reminding us the glacial pace of publishing. I, too, am in a similar situation as the poor soul. I've now circled in red March 1st on my calendar and I'm ordering myself not to even think about my pending full as it languishes somewhere on a senior editor's desk.

That is, after I check my e-mail one last time! ;-)

Anonymous said...

If 90 days is the minimum for a full manuscript, what's the minimum for a partial--say, 75 pages?

harridan said...

Hey Anon!

Don't knock dinosaurs. I'm still keeping on keeping on with my old gateway loaded with w95 and just a dial up connection.

(Actually, it's so old I can't upgrade the dang thing. Even the connectors on the back are all outdated.)

Anonymous said...

Three months! Wow, y'all are so optimistic.

I query on a partial after 6 months, on a solicited full ms after 9-12 months, and I withdraw the ms from being an exclusive sub after I get no replies to 4 queries in a row, (by which time the ms has been on submission for >2 years).

Elektra said...

Horace, in the nicest possible way...you're insane. Beyond insane. Two year exclusives?

Anonymous said...


Miss Snark may answer this in her blog entry but I thought I'd weigh in.

My vote is for Times. Helvetica/Arial lacks serifs which aid in connecting letters together. It's fine for small bits of copy, but an entire manuscript? And courier is another beast entirely. It might be the easiest to read because it's larger than Times but it's going to take up a great whopping amount of paper.


Anonymous said...

Today, I've been checking this blog every hour or so, hoping Miss Snark will update. Damn you Miss Snark! How dare you have a life outside this blog - I want more!!

Anonymous said...

Here in Rabbitania we prefer to use a nice rabbit's foot on a piece of bark.

In fact, I'm writing this with my late Uncle Horace's foot. The recent plague of myximitosis took him from us, but his foot lives on forever. Or at least until the claws wear down, because then it's awfully hard to dot the 'i's. Ah well, I've still got Aunty Beryl's foot in my top drawer.

Elektra said...

That actually brings up an interesting question...we always hear that agents are swamped with queries, and we have a 1% chance of landing an agent based on the amount of subs they recieve, and what not; but tell us: wht percentage of those are Rabbitania/check out my blog type of things?

Miss Snark said...

too many

Sal said...

Today, I've been checking this blog every hour or so, hoping Miss Snark will update.


Anonymous said...

Sal, I'd never seen Bloglines before until you posted that link.

I just create a Live Bookmark in Firefox if a site/blog I want to follow has a RSS feed. ^_^

Anonymous said...

If 90 days minimum for a full manuscript to a publisher, what's the minimum of a full manuscript to an agent sent 12-15-05? I'm obsessing over email and mailbox and having difficulty working on wip. I need out of my misery!

Snarkingly yours.