10.17.2006

yes, we have a nitwit of the day

Dear Miss Snark,

My limited experience with agents tells me that they are pretty quick in rejecting a ms that doesn't appeal to them. Of the three agents who asked for my full ms, two sent rejection letters within a week. The third agent - veteran, reputed etc - has not uttered a squeak for over two months now. She hasn't even responded to my mail enquring about the status of her evaluation. I know of cases where she has sent rejection letters within 10 days time, so how do I interpret her silence?


Two months on a full and you're pestering her already?
You're LUCKY to have an arm left. I'd have snapped it off with the Jaws of Snark...right before I sent you briskly on your way out the door.

In case this is news to you: reading full manuscripts can take a while. Minimum 90 days is industry standard. Lots longer is normal. It doesn't mean anything. Quit trying to parse out meaning from this.

If you want to know what happened your email, she deleted it.

She has learned, as I have, that people who pester you about submissions have a tendency to keep writing back if you send them updates. I tell people how long it will be and don't give updates before that. If you email me, I delete it. Being "nice" to you is counterproductive.

I get 150 emails a day that are for projects I currently represent or am dealing with. I get another 25 or so from people like you. Today I got an email from some nitwit alerting me to the fact he was sending a query letter. I got another one from someone looking for an email address for an agent I'd recommended. I got another one telling me a novel was almost finished--a novel I'd never heard of.
Delete. Delete. Delete.

Sit down, quit emailing her, and query other agents.

10 comments:

Miz Treeze said...

"Sit down, quit emailing her, and query other agents."

About the same novel? Or, are you referring to new work?

Anonymous said...

I needed to hear this. I'm waiting on a reply from an editor and it's only been 6 weeks. I knew it was too early to expect a reply yet, but had no idea how long it would take, since she didn't give me a time line.

I'll just go back to writing book 2 and forget about it for now.
CJ

Chumplet said...

Miz Treeze, she means the same novel. Just because a full has been requested doesn't mean the agent will represent it. The delay is probably a good sign, but don't take it as a guarantee that it will be respresented by that agent. The author is getting closer to the prize, and he or she should keep querying until the first offer of representation.

lizzie26 said...

Patience is more than a virtue in the writing world. Go have a piece of chocolate. Or a pail of gin.

Talentless said...

Yes, patience is a virtue. It can also leave you feeling like a f..kwit. I sent a partial to a well known uk publisher, the Editor was always open to unsolicited ms. I waited patiently for six months. Eventually got a letter back saying it had been over looked, someone had left and they no longer took unsolicited queries! Goodbye and thank you. That didn't feel so good. And then there is the over three years full ms posted to the US, haven't heard a thing - irc included, but I guess by now I don't really need to hear!

Squarehead said...

Thanks for this. I'm in the same position, waiting to hear what an agent thinks of my partial. Was considering asking, won't now.

Miz Treeze said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to put my two cents in about IRCs. they are a royal pain in the ass. You gotta go down to the post office, wait in line...repress your homicidal tendencies.

I will always send an e-mail rejection rather than make a trip to the post office with someone's effing IRC. There are several outlets where one can buy foriegn stamps.

Buy them, and you'll have a better chance of getting your pages back from me.

throckey said...

I hope to become world's most annoying potential author, but I'm desperately lazy. I've figured out how to have MS Word email you a word count everytime I save my manuscript, which is on Auto-save, so that would be, like, every five minutes. Is that going to be enough for you or should I move the Auto-save up to every two minutes?

I can't actually believe you'd be this interested in me, but, like, whatever.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the peek into your day, Miss Snark. I'm also waiting to hear from an agent (on a proposal) and it's been more than two months. I know she's busy, I'm being patient, but it's tough sometimes. Seeing your posting about your many emails puts it all into perspective.