letters from the query wars

# of queries read this week: 146
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: YA

* I had mixed feelings about closing queries. I’d never done it before. But between my injuries and the holidays, something had to give, so I tried it out. And… I still have mixed feelings about it.

* I have now answered all the queries that came in before the hiatus. I didn’t really get a “break” per se since I only completed those at the start of this week, but I must say it’s nice to feel caught up on something for a few moments.

* Discovered that someone who goes through the same service provider as our agency must be using it in a spamming sort of way because I have been repeatedly blocked by comcast. So if you are using a comcast email, I can’t reply to you. This has been going on for at least a week. I’ve filled out the form at comcast to remove us from the spam blocking list several times and by the next morning we are right back on there. Other than that, if you didn’t get a reply and sent your query before Dec 11th, I didn’t get your query.

* During the query hiatus, there were those who, for whatever reason, were not aware of this change of circumstance and sent queries regardless. I had a form response sent to them indicating they could resubmit after queries were open again. This form response included a link to our submission guidelines. Sure enough this morning someone resubmitted. And guess what? They didn’t follow the guidelines. I just don’t understand.

* So, now accepting queries again. Please follow these submission guidelines and send your query to our info email. I’m taking best guesses as to what number the recently empty query inbox will display on Monday….. (I’m told my own pick is too conservative.)

20 responses to “letters from the query wars

  1. Welcome back to the front, soldier.
    Your foxhole is waiting for you. *grin*

  2. My service provider is periodically blocked because it is small and easier to pick on than AOL or Comcast or any of the larger ones who have much bigger spam issues but more customers to bitch about being blocked.
    What I have found most effective is to ask customers of the blocking service who cannot get my mail (in your case, Comcast customers) to please request that my ISP (or at a bare MINIMUM my email address) be permanently unblocked because it is interfering with THEIR service. This makes the blocking of me, a customer of a competitor, an actual issue for THEM because it is inconveniencing THEIR customers. Faster remediation usually results. (could I be more obtuse? Hopefully that all makes sense).
    Good luck! I detest Comcast; they used to do this all the time. I ended up on the PHONE with them one night (I got the phone number from a frustrated ISP person) because they’d blocked my email between me and my boyfriend. I was LIVID. *ahem* (but they fixed it right then. And come to think of it, I haven’t had issues like that since…*wicked grin*)

  3. There was some confusion in some writer’s forums about whether you were closed to queries “until” 1/15, or “(until) after” 1/15…. So someone who queried 1/15 itself might be forgiven.

    • My confusion is that they still didn’t use the submission guidelines even after the link to those guidelines were included in the form responses sent during the hiatus. That was what puzzled me.
      If there was some interpretation issue about until 1/15 or through 1/15, I’ll keep in mind to be more clear about that if I find myself needing to close queries again. Thanks for letting me know.

      • People
        I don’t mean to be rude but…people are stupid. That’s pretty much the only answer.

      • I think some people won’t read directions no matter how large you print them. I know, in one case, I thought I was following them closely but the rejection letter said I didn’t. Kind of frustrating, but I still try to check, double-check, and make sure I did miss anything before submitting.

  4. Totally unrelated
    Minor issue that I should probably just ignore, but…
    When viewing your blog in ie8 (on a Vista PC) the amazon info boxes (which appear when the mouse goes over titles) only flash for a second – unless you can move the mouse over top of the new box or you switch to compatibility mode.
    Sorry to intrude on your posting.

  5. What if someone sent you a query, put the first fives pages, and even stated below are the first fives pages and synopsis, but the synopsis didn’t get pasted! Does that mean a formal rejection?

  6. I hope you are feeling better! It’s good to hear you are accepting submissions again, although it is amusing to hear that some waited to resubmit and still didn’t follow the guidelines.
    I have Comcast currently for internet. We are looking to shed them soon. I’m glad to know about the problem in advance of trying to do any submissions.
    I hope 2010 goes well for you!

  7. Comcast
    I consistently have the same problem with Comcast. Some awful programming on their part. Glad you’re back in the saddle.

  8. Glad to hear you’re back amongst us, and “fully functional” again.
    My guess: Somewhere north of 100. Yeah, that’s a bit vague, but it’s a good starting point.
    I actually think I’ll have a query headed your way soon, and it WILL conform to all guidelines. Now, if it’s only good enough to make the cut.
    Back to editing again.

  9. I had that problem with Comcast blocking my LinkedIn updates. That was annoying.

  10. January 15 query date
    I’m afraid I’m among those who submitted on the 15th. It never crossed my mind that “closed until January 15th” might mean through the 15th. I thought it was a bit strange for you to ruin your weekend like that – but then figured you might want to see what you were up against for the following week. (Kind of like going back to work on a Friday after being off most of the week. It makes the Monday not so horrendous to face!)
    Thinking my query would be among 500-600 (that was my calculation for the backlog) rapidly filling your inbox, I actually stayed up Thursday late and sent it after midnight. Yes, I felt a bit like a fool. I’m 54 for goodness sake! But I also wanted to show some enthusiasm and didn’t want to get buried too far down.
    I really do apologize. And here I was trying to be professional.
    All the best,

  11. Glad you’re healing.
    I have a question about the submission guidelines. It says, and I quote please be sure to put your query letter in the body of your e-mail. Please also paste your synopsis and the first five pages of your manuscript into the body of your e-mail.
    Later it says: If we like the sound of your novel, we will request sample chapters and a
    synopsis .
    I want to make sure that you want the synopsis with the query. I want to do everything right.

  12. Ms. Jackson,
    Thank you very much for “blogging.” As a writer attempting to find an appropriate match for my work, I found what you wrote to be extremely helpful. I wish other agents provided aspiring writers with the same depth of insight. Perhaps if they did, their slush piles and ulcers would be smaller.
    As for the number of queries you will have today, my guess is 147.
    Happy reading!
    Edmund the Antiquarian

  13. An incredibly stupid question
    First, let me say I’m glad to see you’re feeling better and re-opening to submissions.
    I have an incredibly stupid question, but as I’m on the verge of being ready to submit a query to you, I wonder if you could clarify something in a subsequent post?
    Your guidelines ask for a query letter, a synopsis, and the first five pages of the manuscript. I’m assuming this is a one page synopsis, because in the next paragraph, you say: “If we like the sound of your novel, we will request sample chapters and a synopsis.”
    Would the second synopsis be a full (perhaps four or five page) synopsis?
    Or do you want the same synopsis with the sample chapters that went with the query so you can keep these documents together.
    OR am I being terribly obtuse about the whole thing?
    The reason I’m asking is that I would like to have both versions (a one page and a four or five page synopsis) ready just in case you request a partial.

  14. So, what was the final number?

  15. query wars
    Hope you’re feeling better and enjoyed the holidays despite the injuries.
    I’m curious as to how many queries you received in all. What’s the number of queries I’m competing against when I submit mine?!
    And despite its tardiness, Happy New Year!
    -Dan Nabel

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