Thursday, March 26, 2009

Secret Agent Post - Get Publishing Answers Today!

Agent 24-7 was feeling verrrryyyy generous today and answered all the questions in the comment section! Thanks to everyone who participated in today's post!
After a much needed vacay spent lounging on the shores of an exclusive Mediterranean isle and catching up on her mountainous TBR pile, Agent 24-7 is back to work and ready to answer your burning questions about the publishing industry.
Here's how it works: Submit your questions in the comments section throughout the day. Agent 24-7 will answer two randomly selected questions after 3pm ET. The answers will be given in the comments section.
From here on out we'll provide a clue to Agent 24-7's identity, though we're sure you'll never guess ;). Clue #1: She is well versed in the field of mixology. Click here to see a list of all our agents!

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Blogger LorelieLong said...

I've slowly been sending out queries since October. I've heard back one way or another from about half of them. At what point can I send out a politely worded "did you get my query" email? Heck, is it ever too late for that? Or should I assume that if I don't hear back, it's a no thanks?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 10:24:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am continually learning and as a result, my manuscript gets tweeked often. If I've changed it considerably since querying an agent and receving a rejection, can I requery and mention the changes?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 11:04:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday I received the happy news that my manuscript was a GH finalist. I'm torn about when and how to initiate my agent search - query now, or wait until agent/editor appointments at RWA National in July? I would appreciate any advice "Secret Agent" could provide.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 11:49:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the rules of requerying the same agent?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 12:19:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have no publishing credits, and your day job has no relation to the genre you write in, is there any need to put info about yourself into a query letter or should you just stick to what the story is about?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 1:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Danyelle L. said...

If one is lucky enough to get more than one offer of representation, how does one politely request time to decide which agent to go with?

Thanks for taking the time to do this. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 1:29:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know there are two ways to estimate your word count. One way is by actually counting the words (or rather, letting Word do that for you) and the other method is to format your manuscript in 12pt Courier with standard margins and multiply the number of pages by 250 words.

Some agency web sites indicate they want the actual word count and other agency web sites indicate the 250 words per page method. If an agency doesn't specify a particular method, which one do you use?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 1:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

LorelieLong: Many agents will post on their website or their blog how long on average it takes them to reply to queries, or where they are right now in the pile. They also will probably mention their policy towards replying, i.e. if silence means "no" or if like TKA they reply to every query. If you can't find this info here's what I would suggest:

You sent in October, so we're moving on 5 months. For a query, thats a pretty long time, however, take into account if its a snail mail it does take longer than TKA's electronic process-

Regardless, resend the entire query but mention straight off "I sent this in October and fear your response may have gotten lost as I never heard back and so I'm resubmitting" - that way if they did see the query and respond and you just didn't get response they don't think you're trying to pull one over on them. Also, if they aren't to October Queries yet, they can just delete the email as they will know right off the bat its a duplication.

Last thing, sometimes certain email accts don't like others. You might try submitting from another acct if you still fail to hear back.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Anonymous 11:04, "Tweek" implies small change. Unless you have rewritten it to the point that agent could barely tell it was original project I would suggest moving on to next project or to next agent. Unless agent said "I would like to see changes" most likely the ms wasn't right for their list or taste regardless of work you have since put in. If there is something that I think I would love enough to sign on with a little bit of work, I let the author know to requery me.

The lesson here, make sure you are 100% happy with your project before sending it out. Then, after you send it, move on to something else so you don't enter this never-ending torture cycle with yourself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Anonymous 11:49 - SEND IT NOW with 2009 GH finalist in the subj line. You'll get a lot of attention. I promise. (And in case you forgot we accept submissions at :))

Seriously though, by the time nationals roll around some of the GH buzz has worn off, and by the time you would be sending the ms there is a 1 in 7 chance you might not have won (but of course YOU will win) and you'll still have to say GH Nominee but not winner - so send now while no one can question that your MS is anything but the BEST ms available in your genre!

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Anonymous 12:19 - If its with a new project, go for it, query away. I wouldn't mention that you had already been rejected once, most likely an agent will remember if they passed on a project, but they are far less likely to remember your name or email address.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Karen Weston Newton - If your day job doesn't pertain to your ms/writing life than keep them separate. If we are a match eventually it will come out but it certainly won't be important in my decision making process regarding your manuscript so its really unneccessary in the query. Keep my attention on whats important, your writing and your story!

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Windsong : CONGRATS, thats fabulous. I think most agents will understand that its a tough decision, and for most of us, we've been in the situation where we are dueling it out with another agent for a client before, so it won't be totally shocking or offending.

Just politely let both agents know that you need a little time to think about the situation you are in and ask if you can have a few days (set a reasonable time frame, I think 72 hrs is max) to consider your options.

IMHO any agent that you would want to work with would understand where you were coming from and would appreciate the fact that you were giving your career serious thought and not just jumping in head first (even though we are unlikely to tell you that!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Bill Greer - If they don't specify, they (like me), probably don't care. As long as you are reasonably in the ballpark for the genre you are writing in I'm not going to get in a tizzy about it or give it a second thought. After revisions its most likely going to change anyways.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Agent 24-7 said...

Secret Agent was feeling on the ball today - hope you ALL enjoyed your answers - Great questions everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 2:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger LorelieLong said...

Thanks so much for the answer!

And for the record, TKA was one of the great agencies that responded promptly. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 3:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Danyelle L. said...

Thank you so much for responding to all the questions! I'm not there yet, but I like to be prepared for just in case. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 4:09:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

I didn't post a question, but I enjoyed reading the ones that are posted and your answers.


Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 6:03:00 PM EDT  

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