In the Trenches: Full Disclosure

Letters home from the querying trenches by a weary writer, describing the travails of flogging a manuscript.

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  • In the Trenches: OMG- 240 days

    In the Trenches: OMG- 240 days

    Oh, my G*. 240 days.

    240 days it took to get a reply from one agent. And that was after a nudge. Still it was a rejection, but that’s ok. At least, after 8 months I can say that query is closed.

    So, why say anything, after all it’s been 2/3rds of a year, almost to the day?

    A couple of reasons. First off, I think it is a really good example of just how swamped some agents are at this time.

    Secondly – if like me you really need that response from the agent, yea or nay, to have that mental/emotional closure on a query I think the answer is patience pays. Not always, there are plenty of agencies out there giving the ‘ghost response’ but this is evidence, at least in my mind, that some agencies genuinely do give half a rats ass about the people who send them queries. Maybe more. But – all metaphor aside – the agent/agency is decent enough to press a button and send an automated reply saying “thanks we pass.” It’s a recognition that there is a person, a real human being, behind that query. And that, in this day of automation and AI generated schlock, is more important than I think it is given credit for being.

    A simple recognition of humanity. How has that become so rare? And with all the tools at our disposal, we still find it acceptable to justify denying this tiny act of humanity by saying we are too busy.

    Now that, is a sad state of affairs.

    But, if there is a bright side to this, I guess it lies in the knowledge of who isn’t willing to grant that small act of human to human recognition. I suspect, agencies who practice ‘ghosting’ or who choose not to reply are agencies that I won’t query in the future.

    By not doing so I’ll save myself some heartache, protect my mental health, and save them time. It’s an all around win, where everyone loses.

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