Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Query Policy

Starting today Lyons Literary LLC has a new policy regarding queries. 

I still will only accept queries sent via the electronic submission form found on our website; queries sent in any other manner will not be responded to. Assuming you fill out the submission form properly (i.e. provide a proper return email address) and your spam blocker allows it, you'll receive a confirmation email from the agency that your query has been received. 

If you don't hear from us within three weeks of sending the query (besides our initial response confirming receipt) then we are passing on the project. If I'm interested in seeing more (likely either the first thirty pages or a proposal) I'll write you back before then.

Finally, if you've sent me a query using my submission form before today then you'll still hear from me at some point, though I'm admittedly still far behind on these. 

I hope this addresses the most significant concerns of aspiring authors, but let me know if you have any suggestions. 


Drew said...

I am curious about one thing. And I'm not querying right now, so this is really just an objective, general observation.

I'm assuming (which I hate to do) when you say that if you're interested you'll be asking for the first thirty pages or a proposal, electronically, as an attachment. I can understand the proposal. But now that everyone is submitting requested material electronically, what's the difference between sending thirty pages or the entire ms? You don't have to read the whole thing; you don't even have to tell anyone you didn't read it. All you have to read are the first thirty pages...or less.

If you're requesting material through snail mail, I can understand asking for the first thirty pages. It's best for everyone, including the trees. But when it comes to electronic submissions, do partials really matter anymore?

Jonathan Lyons said...

I don't want huge files cluttering my mailbox.

Drew said...

I didn't realize it made a difference. Thanks for answering.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I like that online form you use.

Acknowledgement of receipt is great, seems to reduce stress for the authors, and relieve the agent of some extra inbox clutter from people asking if something was received.

Beyond that, I'm pretty easy. Any policy that's simple, clearly stated, and consistently applied --- I'm all for it! Thanks for posting this.

Mystery Robin said...

Sounds good to me!

Blogagaard said...

Whoa. Your new query policy mirrors my first date policy exactly.

jimnduncan said...

I personally see the agenting world heading in this direction, at least for those who primarily use the email query system. It makes sense given the overwhelming amount of queries agents are receiving these days. A lot of the angst writers have over querying is the simple fact that they want to know you have it. I'm a big proponent of the 'no response means no' policy. I know some writers who disagree, and agents too, who believe all queries should be responded to. I'm fine assuming no. It's the expected response. I just want to know when you want to see more.

I think the biggest benefit of the form and auto-reply may be in the reduction of those pesky replies about wanting more info and general insults regarding rejection. I don't know what the percentage of these is among the general inbox slush, but I imagine it's a fair amount. And what agent wants to waste time getting ragged on for saying 'no'?

Anonymous said...

This was extremely helpful. Thank you for being honest and providing your professional advice! I agree the file sizes could pose a possible problem for your computer.

Anonymous said...

I sent a query sub-form in June, 09 and never got an answer. I figured it never went through and sent another in 9/09. Still nothing. Am I missing something?