Dear Miss Snark,

A post from 9/1/05 (thank you for the index!) (thanks entirely to Miss Adventure, or as we call her The Miracle Worker) states one month as a standard response time for a query.

What about mailed queries (fitted with custom SASE's) out to reputable agents for over two months with no reply?

1) Re-send the original query in the mail (with SASE enclosed)?
2) Email a copy of the query?
3) Consider the non-response a "no" response and move on?

Thank you for your kind clarification!

errrr....you might have actually queried Miss Snark on this one.
She's a tad behind on her queries cause she's been..well...not reading queries, let's just leave it at that.

Anyway. The correct answer is 1.
I've gotten some emails saying 'I sent you a query, what happened' and the honest answers are "I haven't read it yet but I will" OR "hell if I know".

One buffoon described the paper and envelope he sent the query in.
I'm going to search a stack the length of my arm for "cream colored paper with a pretty egret stamp"? Ya right.
I'm not going to search a query letter stack to save your life OR mine. I'll read the queries instead and maybe actually get to yours.

Some of my colleagues are as behind as I am, but the truth is that you might just possibly perhaps maybe have forgotten the SASE; or addressed it to me instead of you; or, written it in soluble ink and the PO now can't read it; or, used an address label that fell off, Or, KY could have eaten it. He likes egrets.

Meanwhile of course, you continue to query other agents.


Anonymous said...

Reading this column is like reading Consumer Reports -- and just like my experiences there, as soon as I buy something, the next issue reviews it.

I just followed up with an agent because I hadn't had a response in 2 months, and the guidelines said two weeks. Thank goodness this time I seem to have done it correctly! Unlike buying the wrong washing machine.

Anonymous said...

I think it *really* depends on the agent. Recently, an agent sent back my SASE...after five months. I'd nearly written that one off as a no responder, but others had told me they're slow. Others I'll decide they won't respond after a day. (A big SFF agent responds the same or next day if she wants you; otherwise you just never hear back.)

A few of my friends and I have started a project just for this type of thing. It's over on livejournal, and anyone can respond and look at the statistics about agents' response times.

Miss Snark, please feel free to delete this comment if you don't want the link up here. But here it is, for anyone who's interested in adding their stats: http://community.livejournal.com/agentturnaround/profile

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Thank you for your kind (and prompt!) response to THIS query!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many fools out there are awaiting response from their snail mail queries when they didn't bother to read the submission guidelines stating the agent takes email queries only.

Anonymous said...

As a follow up to my earlier post-- of course, what's in today's mail but the reply from the agent I sent the polite note with a copy of my original query.

Ah, well.... There's no email listed for the agency, but I don't think I need to send an apology for following up on a crossed letter -- I hope.

Anonymous said...

My best advice: read the website carefully.

We are one of the agencies who state right on there that we only take email submissions. We also say we do not accept any children's material or original screenplays. But we are inundated every day with kids' stuff and movie scripts as well as hard copy with sases. Just because you sent us an envelope doesn't mean we are going to use it. The day isn't so long that we can waste it stuffing rejection slips into packages and mailing them off.

This having been said, we do look at what comes in. And if it interests us you will hear from us by phone or email damn' quickly. Like within a couple of days. So if you posted off your submission a few weeks ago and you haven't heard...don't get your hopes up!