Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How fast is superfast?

As those of you who have queried me might have discovered, I have been trying to respond to queries sent via my website's submission form as they come in. I've gotten a few angry responses with suggestions that I didn't actually read the query - which of course is not true. I promise, I have no automatic rejection set up. In fact, in the past two weeks I've made offers of representation to two writers who submitted to me via the submission page form. However, I've also gotten some nice (and funny) responses from people who appreciate hearing back so quickly. Here's one...



About TITLE OF BOOK....

That rejection letter was lightning fast! Thank you!

AUTHOR NAME

The sender strenuously insists that there is no sarcastic intent in the above email. In fact, the sender looks forward to getting any response, whether it’s good or bad. An “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” twenty minutes later is a thousand times better than an eternally empty Inbox. The sender is genuinely impressed with your promptness, for it far surpasses any other rejections to date. Have a nice day.

15 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

From an agent-hunting writer's perspective, I didn't see sarcasm in there. Too many agents now won't reply AT ALL. To get a reply quickly, while I was still at the computer and sending out queries, would be a blessing. I could update the spreadsheet and move on, instead of wondering if it got lost or just failed to interest.

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, it's no one's fault but your own if you can't write a query attention grabbing enough to warrant a response.

Anonymous said...

I know where this author is coming from. It can get frustrating to sit around and wait for responses when you're all geared up to see your work out in the world, so even a rejection is welcome if it's fast. Let's you know you're not just shouting into space.

Getting a response is not always about writing a query that's attention grabbing. Many agents have taken on the policy that they only respond to e-queries that they're interested in, so if your book isn't quite right for them - no matter how well it's written - then all you get is silence.

sylvia said...

Anyone who can respond to a rejection like that is half the way there. :)

Anonymous said...

The problem with the "no response = "no interest" policy is that writers are never sure their query arrived. Things can get lost in cyberspace.

Gotta laugh at the writers who complain that an agent responds TOO fast. (As well as writers who complain about rejections that come on half sheets of paper instead of whole sheets, etc.)

Robbie H said...

Anon #1: In general, maybe your comment is true, but many agents forewarn you that if they are not interested (for any reason whatsoever), they won't reply. In those situations, the best of queries can garner no response.

On a related note, one very well-known and highly sought after agent states that if you don't get a response from her, it probably means your query interested her enough to save it off onto a 'to reviewed' folder.

Just goes to show...you never know.

Church Lady said...

I definitely appreciate the quick turnarounds.

For children's book writers, the Verla Kay boards have an "Agent Response Time" section. It's been very helpful, and fairly accurate (at least for me. Despite the silly persona I portray, I keep meticulous charts on where queries and partials are, dates, whether replies are automated or personal)

Josh said...

I've gotten a few of this zippy responses from submissions, and after the "aww-shucks" response that comes with every rejection, it does let you move on to the next name on the list. Though I do know how stacked up email and letter queries can get and so much gets lost in the flow of the day.

I think the quickest response I got was within an hour of emailing the query. The longest was over six months.

Church Lady said...

I had to check my chart.
You sent a nice, personal eject one day after my e-query.
I appreciated that.
Now, if you send me your photo, I will put you in my list of hot agents.
:-)

Jonathan Lyons said...

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/awards/meet_your_galleycat_hotties_of_publishing_42364.asp

and here...
http://gawker.com/news/hotties/luke-janklow-is-the-hottest-straight-man-in-book-publishing-275713.php

I'm sure there have been more of these silly contests, but I only know of these two for sure (I had friends who were "contestants" in both).

Church Lady said...

Thanks! You gave me an idea. Hence, you're on my blog.
:-)

Jonathan Lyons said...

hmm... not sure how I feel about that.

Church Lady said...

I truly meant this as something fun and nice. My humor is very tongue-in-cheek. And all of the reqular participants on my blog are super, super nice.

I wanted to find a way to acknowledge agents who I think go above and beyond the call of duty. You are one of them.

Jonathan Lyons said...

Just to be clear, I appreciated the author's response. I thought it was nice, and funny.

Sharon said...

THANK YOU SYLVIA! Let me know where to send the $5.