Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Speed Is Of The Essence

When a literary agent updates their page at Publishers Marketplace, I'm sure they're looking for fresh meat. Why else would they put their name at the top of the list, if not to attract the unpublished?

With that in mind, I caught sight of Kathryn Green's listing. Her interests match up with one of my manuscripts, so why not give it a go? Click send, and the query was away. Within hours, she clicked reply and the rejection was in my inbox.

But what about the other manuscript I've started to re-query after a long absence? Will a new perspective help move it along? The beginning's been re-written, even more literary than before, so who's out there?

I cut and pasted the query into shape, following the submission guidelines, avoiding any and all attachments. Away goes the letter to Tracy Brown, whose only fiction interests are literary. A few hours later, and it's a no.

So, is it a quick response because the agents are on top of their incoming mail? Or is it a quick rejection because it's summer coming in and no one wants to deal with a heavy workload when Fridays are half days and the beach is beckoning.

8 comments:

Aeneas said...

Okay, just for hahaha, to test the belief that there's just a simple automatic rejection letter response that kicks in and to see how quickly I get an answer (believe me, this is not serious... as I am sending my most un-serious, baddest writing; and after you've seen Wolves, you have an idea how BAD is bad), I've sent a query to Monsieur Tracy Brown. ***dissolves in laughter***

Hey, I'm an engineer! I like experiments!

O hAnnrachainn said...

Considering the Friday half-day custom, you may not hear back for a while.

That's the problem with experiments when there's too many variables to control.

Aeneas said...

I've sent it out last night, near midnight. So... it's today and half of tomorrow.

They're at the beach? Being in California, allow me to say--BEACH? Oh... that pathetic strip of sand we laughingly call a beach.

Sorry... a little venom here. Mwahahahaha.

It's noon right now in the Upper Ruthenia of Agentland. Waiting for the lightening bolt to hit and split me in two.

BTW. Have a nice long weekend! I've got traffic school on Saturday for a traffic violation; first ever in my life. Eight hours... May be I'll write a book during that time.

Aeneas said...

Ok... just got the confirmation that the email was delivered and...read.

Clock is ticking... ticking... ticking...

O hAnnrachainn said...

How did you get confirmation? I've heard that agents don't like answering the typical delivery confirmation question and often delete e-mails that ask them to verify they've received it.

But what if he asks for pages? Maybe what you think is bad is actually rather good?

Aeneas said...

Oh, CRAP! The experiment failed. We now know why I got the 'read' notification.

He asked for 100 pages... and I don't have the will power not to send it. Crap, crap, crap. Now I've earned myself a 'real' rejection, not just one of those humbug ones for a three line query, which means that after I receive this said reject letter I'll enter three days of utter, complete, deep funk and self pity, and full wallow in writer victimhood.

Uh... Honestly, I'm embarassed.

O hAnnrachainn said...

You've polished a query letter into effectiveness. Now you have to do the same to the manuscript. And with the clock ticking, you're in a tight spot.

Best of luck to you.

arenescu said...

It was a six line email, three of which made up the 'hook', or the briefest of 'what is it about.' I learned such brevity from pitching screenplays, and it was quite successful there (the movie didn't get made, alas, as it is the case more often than not with these things, but it snagged major director.)

Anyway, sent the first 106 pages today (email). I am not polishing anything. The days when I waste my time on such things are gone. We'll see now.

BTW, I didn't get any kind of answer from the other experiment, Ms. Green. Just that it was delivered notice. May be she deleted the whole email without reading because of the 'read' notification. So, the experiment is failing. Not miserably, but failing. As you said, too many variables.