Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nudging Agents

You know how when you apply for a new job, you wait about a week for the employers to look over your resume, your application, and then you call and ask for the manager, and call, and call, and harass and then get hired?

Landing an agent is NOT like that.

A writer friend of mine and I were chatting today and she has several partials out in the world that she's waiting to hear back from. It's been about three months, and we discussed what to do. Some people say "Never nudge the agent!" some say "A little nudging is okay". I agree with the ladder. But there are things to consider:

**On the agency website, they usually have a section where it says "Query response time: 2-4 weeks, Partial: 4-8" etc. Make sure they've had it for x-length of time before contacting them
**After you've deemed that they've had it for x-length of time and one day, contact them via e-mail. Phone attacking is usually a poor life decision and freaks out agents (or so I've read on their blogs... :) ).
**In said e-mail, be sure to include name of novel, the fact that you're nudging after the allotted response time, and what your novel was about (essentially re-sending the query letter so they know what you're talking about)
**Thank them

I've only ever nudged an agent once, it was a brief, "Hi. A few months ago you requested --Novel Name-- from me. Your agency guidelines say response time is X-LENGTH OF TIME and it's a little after that. My novel is about QUERY LETTER, and I was just checking in to see if you've had the chance to review it. Thank you again for your time."

I've read some agency blogs that say nudging is okay. I also understand that agents get busy and sometimes bogged down in the slush pile. Don't be overbearing. This isn't like trying to get a job at a Target, there is a lot of waiting involved, and professionalism. If you get antzy, start writing something new, get your mind off things.

But if you're asking how to handle editors who have partials....I have no idea. I'm still learning about how to handle those situations.

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