Pub Rants

Wait A Week

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STATUS: A little bit of glass is peeking through. Hey, I do have a desk under all that mail.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SPIRAL by John Coltrane

Welcome back! I swear. That holiday break is never quite long enough. I could happily go another week of just lounging around, doing some post-holiday shopping sales, and reading just for fun.

I’ve returned from the holidays to a desk that is completely obscured by piles of mail. I’ve been working on that most of today and I’m only halfway through the stacks.

I’ve also returned to see 360 emails in my inbox—and this is my email inbox—not our general query emailbox. Yikes.

Speaking of, we did the holiday autoreply for the whole time we were on break and all queries were deleted. If you want to query us, now is the time to send it—although I would recommend holding off until next week. Invariably on our first day back, we get several hundred queries in one day as everyone resends who got the autoreply. By next week, we should be caught back up.

And speaking of queries, just a little rant to start the new year. I’m thinking that if you sent us a query between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4 and you began your query with the words “I’m an avid reader of your blog,” it was definitely non-effective. After all, if you were an avid reader of the blog, you would have known that we were closed and not accepting queries until January. Something to keep in mind for next year…

Hope y’all had a great holiday. Here’s to a new year of good ranting.

30 Responses

  1. r louis scott said:

    After all, if you were an avid reader of the blog, you would have known that we were closed and not accepting queries until January.

    You didn’t seriously get a lot of those, did you?

    Just wanted to drop in and say “Welcome Back” and thanks again for all you do here. I’ve used your statistics post of December 18 to explain to friends and family why my book might never see the light of day. They all seem to think that writing the book is all it takes. Of course I know better from reading your blog, but there’s always hope, right?

  2. Madison L. Edgar said:

    Welcome back, Kristin! I sent my query to you this morning (I actually am an avid reader of your blog). You said we could send away starting Jan 4 and I’m sorry I simply couldn’t wait any longer! If we did not receive an auto-reply message were our queries deleted? I would hate to add an unnecessary query to the stack by resending!


  3. Anonymous said:

    Ah man, if only I waited and read this post first!

    I sent my query today, but only because a few posts down you mentioned to wait until Jan 4th and then send away. I guess I should have waited an extra week or so though…

    Oh well, I’ll just chalk it up as a learning experience 🙂

  4. Tonya Kappes said:

    I’m glad you had a nice break. Sometimes authors get too excited and hit send when they need to do a little more research.

    Goodluck with all the queries!

  5. Sean Patrick Reardon said:

    It’s kind like when I put out of office messages on my email and vmail, with specific instructions on who to work with in my absence. More than a few people still leave messages looking for answers and wonder why I didn’t get back to them, or worse, call my cell.

  6. ann foxlee said:

    Ha! I can completely believe that people would have done that… People have to ring a doorbell to get into my workshop, and they routinely leave the outer door open (the one they had to buzz to be let in!). They pass by an entire wall of seriously insane looking signs that I made, requesting in large, frantic letters that they please close the door, yes THAT door, and…. still they leave the darn thing open.
    I’m not sure what to think about it other than people tend to have blinders on much of the time.

    Oh, and welcome back!!

  7. Anonymous said:

    I sent a query today but I have the very good excuse that I had not read our blog until now. I compliment you in the letter on your website that has been truly educational to me as I’ve researched everything that has anything to do with literary agencies. I have been so focused on reading sample query letters, articles on writing a synopsis, etc. I hadn’t made my way over here to the blog until after sending my query. While I understand you will be reading through a great many letters now that you’re back in the office, I remain optimistic that mine will grab your attention (I am and will remain the ultimate optimist). AG

  8. Kristin Rae said:

    SO glad y’all are back (though I agree that the break was too short – especially since I only got Christmas day and New Years day off…technically).

    I know someone personally who sent out quite a few queries over the break and I thought she was crazy for not realizing that most agents were MIA. Then I immediately felt proud that I actually know what’s going on in the agent world, and some people…don’t. A little edge, never hurts!

  9. Eva O'Dell said:

    Sounds busy. I hope you had a good vacation and are able to get back in the swing of things smoothly. Thanks for the advice, I have been holding off on sending a query letter until January. As you said, no use to send it to an empty desk. Happy New Year!

  10. Lisa Desrochers said:

    Welcome back! The blogosphere missed you!

    I wanted to send a quick update. In your first “Because You Asked” you answered my question about editors asking for revisions prior to taking work to their Ed boards. My mss ended up selling at auction in a 3-book deal the Monday before X-mas–right in your 6-8 week window.

    It was a great holiday gift and an excellent way to start off the New Year!!

    Thanks for all the invaluable info on this blog. It really helped! Now I’m reading through all your contract posts. =)

  11. Jeff King said:

    If my book was complete and query polished. I just might have sent a query, without taking the time to think about you not excepting queries yet. I would have been too excited to be in my right state of mind…

    But luckily for me I will not be ready to query until June.

    Love your advice BTW, thx for what you do.

  12. _*Rachel*_ said:

    Anon 5:48–I think she meant your query would be better received when she’s not swamped, not that you’re toast.

    Glad to see you back. Is it too weird to say that I refreshed the page over Christmas, even though I knew you wouldn’t be posting?

    Kirsten–when somebody mentions they read your blog, avidly or not, what’s your reaction? I mean, besides when it’s sadly and obviously untrue?

  13. K. E. Carson said:

    Welcome back from holidays! January comes too soon, doesn’t it? 🙂 Glad to see you’re back and posting. I love your blog. Hope you don’t drown under those queries.

  14. R.M.Gilbert said:

    I tend to read blogs and not comment. However, I found this amusing. I finished my ms before the holidays and considered sending it, but being a ‘reader’ of your blog opted to wait.

    Since I’m here looking at your blog again, I’ll wait a week or so. Then, you’ll be hearing from me. 😉

    Good luck with the letter opening and e-mails.

  15. Anonymous said:

    I sent my query off on the 5th, but that’s here in Switzerland. Now I’m torturing myself wondering if it’s still too early (time zones), or somehow (horrors!) deleted with the ‘pre-4th Jan’ ones. Oh well, just have to wait and see. Welcome back, and happy hunting in the new year. Whether I hear from you or not, thanks for all the inspiring stuff, including the great links. I’m glad I found your agency and blog.

  16. Liz Kreger said:

    But I AM an avid reader of your blog. LOL. Seriously, welcome back, Kristen and good luck shoveling out.

    I work as an admin. asst. for a law firm and your desk sounds a lot like mine.

  17. Anonymous said:

    I too read this blog just one day too late, however, if it is mean to be it shall be.

    If I may to R Scott above…according to the stats 40 year old men are not suppose to still be playing in the NFL let alone be headed to the playoffs. Brett Favre would disagree with this stat I am sure. Stats were made to be broken and I certainly hope that you do! 🙂 Cheers!

  18. Higley Browne said:

    Add me to the list of wish I’d waited. Before the holidays, I kept reading from agents to wait until Jan 4th–so I did. Unfortunately, now I find out I’m just one of tons who queried today. Oops.

  19. Julie & Andrew said:

    I have a question about this sentence.

    “If you want to query us, now is the time to send it—although I would recommend holding off until next week.”

    Is this for the whole year, or directed at the folks who have been in query mode these past few weeks?

  20. Anonymous said:

    Happy New Year, Kristen, and welcome back to the salt mines.

    I just read a pretty disturbing piece re: Borders. Here is the link:

    Now, while the article itself is mildly shocking, take a few moments to read the Live Journal, which contains rants from Borders employees. Pretty scary stuff, especially given the fact that Borders has (or used to have??) significant clout with publishers, and thus the entire industry.

    Oh, please bring back all of those wonderful independents–people who actually cared about books.

  21. Anonymous said:

    Hey! Welcome Back. I love your blog and was thinking of submitting a query letter to you, so I was wondering if it would be possible to be accepted to be published as a teenager. Mt friends have read my book and they loved it but your the agent, which means you would know if it was even a possibility for me to get published. Thanks!