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#1 Tanya_Writes_YA

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:26 AM

Hi Guys!

 

So I wanted to do a mini poll since I'm curious. I sent out about 60 queries yesterday and within one hour, I got one request for a full and within the day I got three declines. What are your experiences? Do the bulk of most queries take a while to respond?

 

Also, I am wondering, what happens if an agent offers you a representation, and you are still waiting for feedback from others? Is there an acceptable amount of time allowed to accept or decline an offer? Please share!

 

Thanks!



#2 Calcifer

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:39 AM

The responses in my experience really vary among agents. Sometimes you get a reply within a few minutes. But I've also had to wait several weeks. It seems, though, that when they're interested, they usually reply pretty fast.


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#3 Tanya_Writes_YA

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:43 AM

Thanks Calcifer! The one that asked for a full was from a query ONLY, no sample pages. So that worries me a bit. Though in her initial response she immediately asked if I had sent it out to other agents. So at the very least I know the story interests her. I have read a lot of conflicting stories, so I guess I am just wanting to hear what others are experiencing!



#4 Aightball

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 06:58 PM

It varies. I had one agent reject me in about 20 minutes...and some I never heard a peep out of going on two years later. Some say on their website what their typical response time is and it varies widely from agent to agent. From some, if you don't hear in a month, it's a rejection. Check websites and see what people are saying. Congrats on the full, btw!


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#5 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:45 PM

There really is no standard. I had a reject within 10 minutes and at the other end, had a full request after 6 months. Many these days are "no response means no", so you simply won't hear anything.

 

If you are using QT to track who you have queried you can always look at their stats/average response times.



#6 RC Lewis

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:14 PM

MarcyKate recently got a rejection on a query for her first novel … from four years ago … and she now has an agent and a contract to publish in 2015.

 

It might be a record.


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#7 Tanya_Writes_YA

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:25 PM

Wow, these examples are so random! Well, sadly I already got a decline on my full. She basically replied the next day, and was actually really nice, and gave some good feedback on how to improve the ms. So I guess in that sense, I take away something useful from the rejection. It sure is disheartening, but I guess as writers, we have to get used to rejection!



#8 Storymatic

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:58 PM

Hi, Hazel -- just a "my two cents" suggestion about your querying process going forward.  Sending out sixty queries in one day is a LOT.  In fact, while querying widely is to your advantage, I'd suggest that you make your next volley much smaller.  I started off sending out between five and eight queries at a time, and finally settled on eight as the magic number I wanted to have "open" at any time.  As soon as I got a negative or positive back and fell below that eight, I would send out another one or two to get back up to that number.

 

My logic was stolen from other writers here on the AQC boards:  if you query in smaller batches, it can become easier to see patterns in rejections (people seem to like the query letter, but are cool on the pages themselves; only queries with pages get attention; and so on).  This was really important for me after month 2 of querying, when I realized my letter was the problem and did one more overhaul.  After that, I started seeing a lot more requests.

 

My only concern for you might be that you'll run through your list of researched agents very quickly sending out sixty at once, and possibly not be able to use your rejections to help you make strategic revisions. 

 

Anyway, this is me butting in with a comment you didn't ask for, so please disregard if I'm overstepping. . . But since I know I wish I could have those early queries back and start over with those agents with my improved query package, I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone else!

 

Good luck!



#9 carmela

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:56 PM

Hi, Hazel -- just a "my two cents" suggestion about your querying process going forward.  Sending out sixty queries in one day is a LOT.  In fact, which querying widely is to your advantage, I'd suggest that you make your next volley much smaller.  I started off sending out between five and eight queries at a time, and finally settled on eight as the magic number I wanted to have "open" at any time.  As soon as I got a negative or positive back and fell below that eight, I would send out another one or two to get back up to that number.

 

My logic was stolen from other writers here on the AQC boards:  if you query in smaller batches, it can become easier to see patterns in rejections (people seem to like the query letter, but are cool on the pages themselves; only queries with pages get attention; and so on).  This was really important for me after month 2 of querying, when I realized my letter was the problem and did one more overall.  After that, I started seeing a lot more requests.

 

My only concern for you might be that you'll run through your list of researched agents very quickly sending out sixty at once, and possibly not be able to use your rejections to help you make strategic revisions. 

 

Anyway, this is me butting in with a comment you didn't ask for, so please disregard if I'm overstepping. . . But since I know I wish I could have those early queries back and start over with those agents with my improved query package, I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone else!

 

Good luck!

 

I can see the logic in sending out a small amount in order to use the rejections to help improve the query. I only send out 5 at a time, but my problem is, every agent says the same thing "It isn't what we are looking for" Well I am not gping to change my topic,genre, or whatever it is they are "not" looking for, so how can I use my rejections to improve my query?


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#10 sharpegirl

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:15 PM

I can see the logic in sending out a small amount in order to use the rejections to help improve the query. I only send out 5 at a time, but my problem is, every agent says the same thing "It isn't what we are looking for" Well I am not gping to change my topic,genre, or whatever it is they are "not" looking for, so how can I use my rejections to improve my query?

 

If you're getting all form rejects (which is what the "it isn't what we're looking for" is and no requests--a 20% request rate generally is considered "good") then that means the query isn't working. If you've sent 60 queries out at once, that's 60 agents you can't requery with a better version of your query that might garner you a request. Thus why people advise to query in small batches of 10 or so. So if you aren't getting the request rate you should, you can tweak the query and not have exhausted your pool of agents.



#11 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:38 PM

I can see the logic in sending out a small amount in order to use the rejections to help improve the query. I only send out 5 at a time, but my problem is, every agent says the same thing "It isn't what we are looking for" Well I am not gping to change my topic,genre, or whatever it is they are "not" looking for, so how can I use my rejections to improve my query?

 

Then break it down further to see if there is anything to learn. Are the rejections from query only or query plus sample pages? Is it more skewed one way or the other? Have you tinkered with your query after each batch, if you haven't received any requests? Have you had a hard look at your first few pages? Are you starting in the right place? Do your pages draw the reader straight into your story?

 

Remember at the end of the day, this business is subjective. Agents are looking for something they love, and the majority of people will hear "not what I'm looking for." There might not be anything wrong with your query, you just haven't come across the right agent.



#12 carmela

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:38 AM

If you're getting all form rejects (which is what the "it isn't what we're looking for" is and no requests--a 20% request rate generally is considered "good") then that means the query isn't working. If you've sent 60 queries out at once, that's 60 agents you can't requery with a better version of your query that might garner you a request. Thus why people advise to query in small batches of 10 or so. So if you aren't getting the request rate you should, you can tweak the query and not have exhausted your pool of agents

 

I didn't consider another revision on my query. I have it here and got lots of input, then when I posted it for the last time, no one said anything. I guess it's back to the drawing board..


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#13 carmela

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:39 AM

Then break it down further to see if there is anything to learn. Are the rejections from query only or query plus sample pages? Is it more skewed one way or the other? Have you tinkered with your query after each batch, if you haven't received any requests? Have you had a hard look at your first few pages? Are you starting in the right place? Do your pages draw the reader straight into your story?

 

Remember at the end of the day, this business is subjective. Agents are looking for something they love, and the majority of people will hear "not what I'm looking for." There might not be anything wrong with your query, you just haven't come across the right agent.

At first it was just the query, then a couiple wanted the first chapter. It could be the manuscript,ince most of them had just the query, I think I'll work on my query again.


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#14 Tanya_Writes_YA

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:09 AM

In hindsight, I would go back and send in small batches. Now that I know what I know... I still have 20 or so agents on my list that I have not yet queried, and hopefully, I can target those differently. I made some changes to my MS which make it significantly better, and I wish I had waited instead of sending such a large chunk out. Oh well lesson learned. Though of the 60 I queried 10 days ago, I have gotten 10 rejections.



#15 Naja Post

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:05 PM

I  sent my query on 5/27 and got a response on 6/02. She said in the reply "Please think of this as redirection to another agent, not rejection." and that she was swamped right now. I actually think it was my query letter. It pretty much sucked. She DID say the story was good, but she just had too much in her workload *le sigh*


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#16 carmela

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 09:28 AM

If you're getting all form rejects (which is what the "it isn't what we're looking for" is and no requests--a 20% request rate generally is considered "good") then that means the query isn't working. If you've sent 60 queries out at once, that's 60 agents you can't requery with a better version of your query that might garner you a request. Thus why people advise to query in small batches of 10 or so. So if you aren't getting the request rate you should, you can tweak the query and not have exhausted your pool of agents.

Thanks and sorry for the late reply, I was busy getting my Creative Writing degree. I have edited my query again along with a query for another novel. 


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#17 carmela

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 09:29 AM

Then break it down further to see if there is anything to learn. Are the rejections from query only or query plus sample pages? Is it more skewed one way or the other? Have you tinkered with your query after each batch, if you haven't received any requests? Have you had a hard look at your first few pages? Are you starting in the right place? Do your pages draw the reader straight into your story?

 

Remember at the end of the day, this business is subjective. Agents are looking for something they love, and the majority of people will hear "not what I'm looking for." There might not be anything wrong with your query, you just haven't come across the right agent.

Thanks, I hope that is the case, I am getting ready to send out my revised query along with a query for another novel. 


Would love to hear your feedback on my queries:

 

Hanukkah Havoc Query:

http://agentquerycon...ah-havoc-query/

 

Reality Check Query: 

http://agentquerycon...check-revision/


#18 Thrash

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 11:42 AM

Hello Hazel--it seems your second question from your OP hasn't been answered yet?

 

The answer is that if you do get an offer of rep, it's standard practice to ask for 1-2 weeks to give any agents that have materials a chance to respond before you decide to sign with a particular agent. After you talk with the agent about their plan for the book yada yada, you send an email out to others (there is some disagreement on whether you send it out to only agents who have pages materials, or those who have queries) letting them know you have an offer and giving them a timeline in which to respond. 



#19 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:58 PM

Congrats on the full request!

 

I would echo what has been said here and say better to query only a few at a time so that you don't run through all the agents you have. It's also just less confusing.

 

Personally, I'm only querying one agent at a time for maximum result. Every time I fail it's back to the drawing board and I make changes. The Query Critique board on here has been of immeasurable help. 

 

My most recent rejection, the first agent I queried for this memoir, responded with an hour and a half to an email query. That satisfied me a great deal. I would rather know, and soon, even if it's a rejection.


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#20 rileytune

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 05:18 PM

HI!

 

I think it is just random. I recently started the query process and got my first rejection thirty minutes after sending it out. My second rejection came about three days after i sent it out. As of now, i have only sent out ten but may do a few more on my next day off. Good luck






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