It's the end of the month so I'm cleaning up my desk, emailing my clients with status reports, and generally hosing the place out.
I keep a file with all my email from Prospective Clients in it. If the PC and I have moved past reading the ms to more fruitful discussions, the PC has a named separate folder. I look through those too, mostly to make sure I'm caught up.
Two PCs are getting rejection letters tonight. Both had interesting projects that I probably would have moved ahead on considering but for one important detail: these guys didn't respond very quickly. (additional info after reading Vatman Brady Westwater's comments: it wasn't just one email that languished for more than a week -it was four as of today, with the last one still unanswered).
(pause now for your screams and howls of anguish and irony that notoriously slow ..nay..glacial..agents are penalizing YOU for being slow)
(pause for echo of screams)
(pause for KY to climb down from ceiling where he launched himself thinking the Apocalypse was upon him)
ok, back to my rant.
I value clients who understand this is a business (for the most part) not operating at breakneck speed but also not at a standstill either. When I ask for something, I expect to hear back in a day or two at the most. If it's a task, it might not get done in a day or two but I'd like to hear you got the email and you're working on it.
The people I prefer to work with do that.
I've learned to be pretty clear about that preference before moving to "wanna sign up at Snark Central" but we never get to that point if you lollygag about. If lollygag is your default mode, that bodes ill for whether I think we're a good match. Wooing time is when we're all on our best behaviour, and if this is your idea of best...yikesarooni.
Now before you get even more outraged, let's all remember this is when I'm pretty serious about you and your work. It's not at the query stage or even the partial or full stage. I've read all that and liked it.
We're at the stage now of figuring out if we're a good match, and people who think waiting a week to answer basic questions is ok, aren't.
Agents vary, but I bet if you asked 100 of them, all 100 prefer someone who's prompt rather than not.
This isn't some sort of rule. It's just a word to the wise.
Have your stuff ready: bio, synopsis, people who might write blurbs if you have them, those kinds of things.
When an agent emails asking for something, respond, even if only to say 'I got this, I'll be back to you in a day or two'.
I can't appreciate the irony of this advice as much as you all will since you're the ones on the receiving end of lazy ass agents who don't get back to you.
BUT there are some of us who don't work that way, and we look for people who don't work that way either.