Monday, May 23, 2005

The Current Standings

Someone recently posted asking what our current submission logs looked like. As of this moment I have zero queries in my email box, a few queries downstairs, 36 partials in my inbox, a few on my desk, six completes in my inbox and two on the shelf downstairs. That's what my situation currently looks like. Deidre


Anonymous N. Frank Daniels said...

With all I've seen recently on your blog regarding lost submissions, I'm now officially paranoid. So...would it be inappropriate to ask if mine is one of the partials you have on your desktop/inbox? Thanks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Don't feel paranoid. If you knew the huge volume of material we receive, actually a very small percentage goes missing. In fact, I think email is probably more reliable than USPS mail. However, when you consider that we receive at least 200 queries a week, and I'm not sure how many submissions, there's obviously a factor for lost email.

How long ago did you send? Three chapters partial? I'll verify receipt, but please email us to check.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:20:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jessica Madden said...

Um, speaking of lost submissions...

I've sent my query twice and I'm starting to fear it's been eaten twice. I sent once on 4/25 and again on 5/14 when you mentioned in a previous post to resubmit if nothing was heard in 10 days. Is it possible I have the email address wrong? (

I don't mean to be a pain, but I'm curious if it's me or karma... :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 6:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I'm current since last night. You're using the right email address which suggests to me that perhaps our reply is going into a spam filter. Why don't you shoot it over yet again right now. I'll look at it tonight, but you should do some research on your end. We answer all queries that we receive here (as I'm sure you're gathering!) :) Deidre

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 6:51:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jessica Madden said...

I just sent it again (Thank you, Ms. Knight!) so if it doesn't come through this time, we know my email is officially jacked. :)

My email address is jessica_madden @ if you are checking.

Third time's the charm, hopefully!

And if I haven't said it yet, thank you for being such an attentive agency! I love that you guys have a blog -- it makes me (as an aspiring hopeful) feel a bit less lost in the works to see the feedback that you all post.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 7:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

You will make an excellent case study here. I have actually requested this material *both* times you queried me. I think you have an over-zealous spam filter, so hopefully that will be something others can learn from. If you still don't get my reply this time, you've seen it here on the blog--I've requested the first three chapters and synopsis by attachment now three times. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 7:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jessica Madden said...

Okay, pretty darn embarassing. :) See, I thought i'd disabled any anti-virus checkers after I saw your post, but I'll have my husband take a look at it. He tends to install software on my PC for 'security' purposes that I have no idea what they do.

Thank you SO much for the very fast response and I'll send it asap!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 7:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jessica Madden said...

I've set up a new email address ( if you could please re-send (pretty please!) the attachment with the proposal guidelines. (I tried accessing it on the webpage but the link doesn't work). The other email never came. I'm firmly convinced that my husband has done something to the computer (though he swears otherwise).

I'm sooo sorry to be such a pest! I feel terrible. Thank you again, Deirdre, for being so patient with my email issues.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

So, see what a good cautionary tale this is to others? That's why I made the post a few weeks ago about the spam blocker. I think sometimes people are gliding along thinking we're cruel and ignoring them when in fact their spam systems are gobbling our replies. Just send me the first three chapters and a synopsis by attachment, okay? But let's make sure you can HEAR From me other than in this public forum!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jessica Madden said...

Will do. You know, when I saw the post, I did double-check my settings and even added it to my address book in case it was being kicked out. It seems I wasn't doing enough, and I suspect it's the AVG anti-virus running so innocently in my system tray.

Live and learn. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

I'm currently agent hunting--as Deidre knows! :) My email program (Eudora) has two spam filters - the Eudora Junk filter and the Norton filter. So I keep those two windows open on my task bar at all times and check them every time I download mail. Once I've finished my agent hunt, I'll go back to allowing my program to empty the Junk spam folder when it wants.

Hopefully this will help someone.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Well and agents' emails wind up in editors' spam filters--and their replies wind up in ours. You have to be proactive if you're going to use a filter because there are many reasons why someone might be in touch with you whose email isn't on your "white list." :) D

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 9:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to be too big to post in its entirety, so I'm going to break it into two posts.

Here goes--

Without doubt, I am going to find this incredibly embarrassing. But since I posted my comments to a public loop, I feel it only fair to now post my apology publicly as well.

I expect you don’t recognize my name, but I was the writer on the Charlotte’s loop who had brought your name up during the agent discussion we were having and asked whether anyone else found themselves uncomfortable with the fact that you were writing and publishing for yourself now as well. At the time I found it very discomfiting--the thought of being in competition with an agent. In fact, I posted whether anyone else felt it was a conflict of interest. I’m also the writer who questioned whether the time constraints of trying to juggle writing with agenting might not already be showing, since you hadn’t responded to my requested partial after seven months, nor had you responded to the two follow up emails I’d sent. And that I’d been in contact with several other writers who’d had fulls as well as partials requested only to find themselves faced with dead silence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:54:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, don’t I feel the fool. It’s so glaringly obvious after lurking on your blog for the past few weeks that you make every effort to get back to the writers you request work from ASAP. Staying up until One in the morning answering queries goes beyond duty and into a genuine sense of caring.

So—I do sincerely and honestly apologize for my comments on that loop, Deidre. It’s quite obvious, after getting to know you through this blog, that your concern for the writers who are submitting to you is equaled only by your graciousness, and your willingness to spend hours of your time mentoring a fledgling writing community. Which is what your blog has become, whether you know it or not.

I’ve suspected for a while that my partial had become lost. I’d sent it right around the time you mentioned having server troubles. But these last few post concerning lost emails/lost partials/ lost replies have been a real eye opener. If I’d picked up the phone, instead of assuming I’d gotten that dreaded silent rejection, I could have straightened things out immediately.

So please accept my humble apologies and know that you have my admiration and respect.


Ps—congratulations on your trilogy and best of luck in this new path you’ve chosen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:56:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

My Eudora Junk filter honestly seems to filter just the equivalent of junk snail mail. I've never had an an email filtered there that I've had to pinpoint as NOT junk. It's the Norton filter that's the tricky one. I always always always leave the window open and check it every download, agent hunting or not. The Eudora Junk one warns me when it's going to empty the folder, and then I can look in it if I choose.

I love Eudora! Came to it from Netscape Mail. Could never get used to Outlook Express. Seemed very limited to me compared to Eudora. :) And Outlook isn't named after a writer, LOL. Eudora is.

But I digress.

Anonymous, I read your two posts to Deidre, and I have to applaud you for having the guts to out yourself and to apologize in such a public venue. I'm not on the list you describe, but I think it's only natural for writers to be concerned when an agent starts publishing as well as agenting. I know some writers who absolutely will not query an agent who also pubslishes. It's a very personal decision.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 10:18:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Bless you. Your apology means more to me than you probably even know. :) I would never simply ignore a querying or submitting author. I'm a bit frustrated, actually, as we are bringing all this into the open regarding lost emails. I had no idea that the problem might be as significant as it is. And yet I still contend that the increased response time over paper, the ability it gives me to provide *personal* feedback and reaction to submissions, and the ease of flow internally here makes it worth the risk of communicating electronically. I no longer ask for completes by regular mail simply b/c it's far easier for me to track them and read them here on my laptop. Laptop is something like Home Base for me as an agent now that I have the absolute latest/greatest unit (wireless! It's a wonder!)

So anyway, THANK YOU. I am touched by your boldness in making a public apology. :) And I'm delighted to hear that you feel this blog has become a writing community. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but that's beyond cool to think of it that way.

As for your submission, it's obvious we don't have it. As far as I know, we don't have any submissions of partials (it WAS a partial, right?) dating back beyond about 8 weeks or so. And if you do know people who never received a reply, please have them email me. I'd definitely like to check our log or see where things stand.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 10:35:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

As you say, it is a personal decision for a writer if they don't want an agent who writes, but I'll admit that it dumbfounds me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm a stronger agent *because* I write than if I didn't. I understand the pain of rejection (one reason I'm impatient with bridge burners!), the creative process, I give away ideas (one example--see Jacquelin Thomas's SAVED IN THE CITY. I came up with that idea and title, and then thought who on my list might be able to do the most fantastic job with it.) Plus, as a most recent example, I brainstormed Out of the Blogosphere as a paranormal promotional initiative and brought in many of our agency's paranormal authors. If I hadn't been thinking of ways to promo my author blog, I don't think the idea ever would have occurred to me.

I've always felt that the "mother source" (doesn't that sound Star Trek?) of my creativity as an agent is closely tied with my creative self as an agent.

I'm babbling. It's just interesting that some feel it's problematic when to me it's a huge benefit. But then again I'm inside my own skin, and I'm the heart of the agency, so of course it's clear to me!

Well off to do some more agenting, speaking of what I do for a living! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 10:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Hey, Deidre, you don't have to convince me! I guess some writers feel it's a conflict of interest. I honestly thought I was one of those writers...until you published. :) Your agenting rep was so superior that I had to change my stance. I spoke to a couple of your authors--they have NO conflict-of-interest concerns whatsoever--and my minimal concerns immediately vaporized.

Of course, you're not currently considering one of my submissions - another agent with your agency is. So I guess the point is moot. But I did query you, so the point is moot but not moot.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 1:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Kendra Sawicki said...

For a different perspective on the whole "agents who write" thing, I submitted a requested partial to you about two weeks ago (no, not asking about that, I'll behave!) and discovered shortly thereafter that you write paranormals, which happens to be what I write as well. I was actully PLEASED about this, because I figure your feedback will be doubly valuable, whether or not you request the full. And this is not egregious butt-kissing, it's the truth. It's like "Writer Eye for the Agent Guy/Gal" or vice-versa. Broadened perspective can only help, and it's a little more comforting for ME, especially since I'm quite new to all of this, to know that another writer, same genre, no less, has my work. So there, my two cents'. Oh, and as an aside, this blog is wonderful, especially because it demystifies the Land of Agents a little...I no longer feel as though my partial was sent off into some sort of black hole. I worry at its condition upon arrival, computer whiz that I am, but at least I know where it went!
Kendra :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 1:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

How neat that you feel that way! I've been thinking about Cindy's post and yours this afternoon, and it occurred to me that this is yet another reflection that not every agent is for every author.

Some agent friends of mine and I have been discussing the current RWR where Jennifer Crusie states that authors should have, as an absolute given, an agent in NYC. I don't have to tell you how strongly I disagree with that position (for obvious reasons), but at the same time she's expressing her own taste and opinion--though of course she's stating it as a bestselling author as absolute fact, and overlooking the tremendous sales track records of many blockbuster agencies based outside of NYC. Look for a piece on that topic in the coming days on this blog! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 7:10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a warm reception to my apology, Deidre.

I suspected that not only had my comments made their way back to you, since you mentioned the two biggest concerns of mine, using words that were eerily similar to what I'd said, and that they had bothered you alot.

As I continued reading your posts, and responses to other people, I realized how unfair my assumptions had been. And before long, it just became impossible not to own up and apologize.

I've been in contact with the other authors I'd mentioned and I suspect you'll be hearing from them shortly.

As for me, I'm very curious whether you ever received my partial--or whether you're response to it just never made it back to me.

I'll be emailing you later today with the particulars so I can appease my curiosity.

All the best,


Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 8:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Yes, the comments made their way back to me (not just yours, but that whole discussion.) On a loop that large I'll always have friends watching my back. :) And you're right--they did bother me, especially the part that called me ethics into question because I have always made every effort to conduct my business with the highest sense of integrity. Beyond that, as the wife of a writer (who has been rejected by some of the very agents I've sat on panels with, btw) and a writer myself, I know how important it is to be treated well. Respect. That's the cornerstone of our agency, I like to think. We're all worthy of it, and it's the only way we can operate.

That said, I will also say that with the huge volume of material we receive, there's always going to be room for mixups, so that will happen (I'm saying this for anyone reading here.) Beyond that, my creed in relation to submissions has consistently had several components:

--if I have to give an answer right now, it will be no (unless I'm blown out of the water in the space of a heartbeat.)

--Current clients and their manuscripts ALWAYS come first. Anything or anyone else I have time to consider or sign on is gravy.

--Respect and timeliness.


Definitely email me with your original query, the proposal itself and any other reminders that might help me out.

Oh, and possibly another factor around the time all this went down (the same time I decided to begin switching servers) was this:

LOL! Deidre

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 8:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

An idea--what do you guys think?

Okay, I may have had a brilliant brainstorm yesterday, but I'll need some technie online folks to advise me on viability of something like this. What if we started an online submission log--something that could be updated every day by us--where you could see the current status of your submission? Do you guys know if there's something like this, a place where we could upload progress daily, i.e. if it's a pass, it shows up? I was thinking there'd be a password or code that you'd get when you make your submission.

Now the obvious DOWNSIDE is that all other people submitting would know the status of your work too. And I'm not sure I like that. Nor do I like the idea, necessarily, of my precise progress with each submission being out there publicly. This is just an idea I'm toying with, and I would need to take it to others here at the agency as well. But as a first thought--what do you guys think? How would you feel about your submission being viewed publicly? Of course, I could assign a number, but then this starts to seem like a big extra piece of work and that's not the point--the point is to streamline. If it becomes too time-consuming then we don't read as fast.

Thoughts?? Deidre

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 8:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

This is just my personal take, but I wouldn't want other submittees able to see or know the current status of my submission. And, like you say, if it gets too time-consuming with asssigning of numbers, etc., it might be a good thing for the writers, but is it really a good thing for the agency? And if it isn't really a good thing for the agency (takes longer to read subs when they then have to be logged, for example), is it really a good thing for the writers?

I'd also rather get my own individual rejection by email or snail mail (even if it's a form rejection) than log in and realize I've been rejected. While monitoring one's progress through the submission hoops might be great, getting a rejection isn't fun. I think logging in and seeing your project has been rejected might feel a wee tad impersonal - which isn't what you or the Knight Agency is about, from what I can gather.


Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 4:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Cindy, glad you mentioned that (and that I caught the email before I left for a good while!) I don't mean in lieu of getting rejections, but so you can be sure you DID get a response period. But after I thought on this today, I've decided it's just too much work. :) Glad you agree!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 4:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Happy to oblige!

Enjoy NYC. I saw four shows in five days when I was there with my husband pre-RWA 2003. We kind of went crazy. It was expensive, but worth it.


Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 5:04:00 PM EDT  

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