To Respond or Not to Respond: How I Wish that Wasn’t a Question

Okay, so…I’ve been querying.  I’ve been querying for about…a month and a half.  Not too long, but long enough to have learned a couple of things.  And one of them is that many agents don’t respond to queries, unless they’re interested in seeing more of the work.  Which is fine…in theory.  In reality, it’s painstakingly painstaking for the writer at the other end of the line, because it can’t *really* be assumed that no response means a no…not for a long time, anyways.  Some agents take months and months to respond to queries.  I’ve even heard of responses to queries coming over a year after the query was sent!  So, as much as most of the hope can dwindle, there never really can be a total blow-out of that flickering flame, at least for a good, long while.

Okay, so a lot of agencies say ‘if you haven’t heard a response by such and such a time, it means we’re not interested’.  But even this isn’t always reliable.  The fact is, people get behind schedule.  And even the wonderfulness that is agents can be delayed on occasion by one thing or another.  And besides…just because an agency as a whole follows a particular plan of action, it doesn’t necessarily mean each individual agent will follow it exactly the same way.

Some agents also seem a bit inconsistent with how they handle queries; they’ll respond to some, but not others.  And it works both ways!  I’ve received a no from an agency that states no response means no, and I’ve heard nothing from an agent that usually responds to all queries!

Agents have their own reasons for whether or not they want to respond to queries, and those reasons are all probably swell.  But in the dream of a potential writer, wouldn’t it be great if everyone responded to queries?  Ahhh…what a dream it would be!

So far, I’ve heard back from 42% of the agents I’ve queried…not even half!  It’s hard sometimes, but it makes the responses I do get that much more welcome, even if those responses are a no.  Oh, and a note on rejections…rejections suck, but I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how *nice* all of the rejections I’ve received are!  Agents are wonderful.  They are encouraging, and they are very polite, even when saying no.  So yay for agents!


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