Monday, October 02, 2006

My query response time

Hello faithful LIT SOUP readers... yes, I am alive, just very full from breaking my Yom Kippur fast, so I'm only going to write a short post before going downstairs to zone out in front of my DVR-ed "Deal or No Deal" (yes, I am an addict, I freely admit this).

In response to a much earlier post, Lord IllQuill, asked how fast I respond to queries. My answer is that largely depends on a number of factors. I have my Yahoo account (jrlperkinsagency) set up to automatically filter all the queries into a separate folder, so I can deal with them at my leisure. Since they're out of sight, they're also largely out of mind. This is one of the reasons that I don't like electronic queries because they can often get lost for several weeks before I decide that my poor electronic folder is too full and I really should deal with them. I try to skim among them, every so often, so if you've sent me a partial before and I've liked it, I'll usually recognize your name and respond faster. I also have the Gmail account that's linked to this blog (jennyrcma) set up to filter queries the same way. You should note that I *rarely*, if ever, look at any queries sent to that account because really, if you're going to query me, you should be able to find my e-mail address easily enough. You found this blog, didn't you?

Now snail mail queries are a whole different game. They're tangible. They get brought from the mailbox up to my office every day, and deposited on my desk. When they build up, they build up fast, so they're likely to get dealt with much faster. Currently, I have a big pile on my desk, and I'm going to deal with them in the next few days. Sometimes I'll respond to them via e-mail or sometimes I'll use the enclosed SASEs; it largely depends on my mood and whether I've managed to break my computer in some way, which is why I'm sorting through queries in the first place while it fixes itself. Lately, I've been sending back rejections through snail mail and doing my requests via e-mail, but that's not a hard and fast pattern.

Occasionally, I'll misplace your query--this is not my fault. Or rather, it is the fault of my boyfriend, who decides that certain piles of stuff need to be moved around, etc, for whatever reason he is currently moving them. I love him dearly, but the boy does have flaws. You'll just have to deal with it, the same as I do, since my office is in my home.


D.L. Rankin said...

Hello again, Jenny. I'm Derone, by the way. Though I queried you via e-mail, I'll send you a snail mail letter as well. About how many days or weeks does it take for you to respond to said letters? Also, I posted a comment to your thread about the dwindling state of Science Fiction. On that thread, you mention that you're looking for a "Science fiction of manners". I'm not quite sure what that is. I've written a novel that mixes elements of X-Men, Harry Potter, and Enders Game that is set within a believable future. Your profile mentions that you like manga, so I think my series would be a great fit for you. Is that something you're interested in? Let me know what's up. Thanks.

Jenny Rappaport said...

With a snail mail query, you'll probably get a response within two weeks-one month... at least, that's what I'm aiming for right now.

Please understand that of my reading priorities, queries are at the bottom of the heap right now. I just came home from temple today to discover that I had had three more full manuscripts delivered for me to read, plus a partial. The partial and two of the fulls are from clients, so they get reading priority. And the other full is one that I've been eagerly looking forward to (Dave, it's yours!). And last week, as well, I got in a romance full that I've been looking forward to as well (hello Alison Hackley!).

(and now, for once and for all, I am going to bed... damn allergies/cold.)

Jodi Meadows said...

Jenny! I’m pretty sure you just gave Dave and Alison heart attacks! If you're ever sad that you don't have superpowers, you can claim this as one. ;)

(Or am I the only one who's ever sad because of the lack of superpowers in my life?)

Derone, I know Jenny is too sweet and polite to say anything about it, but I'm...not. From what I understand, it's bad manners to approach agents about stories on their blogs, even if they're business blogs, like this one. You've done the right thing by sending in queries. Now you get to sit back and wait with the rest of us. ;) Have a soda. Or coffee. Stalk your mailman. (That's what I do. Well, I stalk *mine*. Other people got mad about me stalking theirs, so I had to give that up. ;D)

(I have no life that I'm sitting here wishing I had superpowers like yours, Jenny, and now I'm making up stories about my nomailman. I probably require more coffee. *giggles*)

Kimber An said...

Bottom line, she's not hurting for new clients, so don't hold your breath. What does Miss Snark say? "Good writing trumps all." So, forget about it and get back to work on your stories.

Richard White said...

Well, Jenny's only had my partial for two weeks so I'm not sweating about it (much). ;)

Luckily, between my new project, family and school, I'm keeping plenty busy and distracted.

I'm trying to limit myself to one trip to the Post Office box a week. Too much worrying about something you have no control over is not healthy.

D.L. Rankin said...

Hello, Jenny. I used to be Lord IllQuill. I apologize if my asking you about my book was rude. It's just that I got a little over-anxious when I saw your profile on AgentQuery and it mentioned that you enjoy reading and writing what I like to read and write. I'll wait my turn, like everyone else. :)

I have a couple of questions for you (and anyone else who'd like to comment).

1. What are your favorite anime/graphic novel titles? I haven't really gotten into them, but I watched Avatar today, and it was rather interesting. I checked out Naruto and, frankly, it's a bit shrill and annoying to me (the animated series, that is). What do you think is a good entry point into manga?

2. What elements would your most blissfully wonderful, semi-orgasmic, heavenly, fun...(whew!) YA/Children's science fiction novel include (Besides skilled writing and good storytelling, which should already be prerequisites)?

3. What are your five favorite YA/Children's books (or series) of all time?

Sorry for the long-winded comment. I'm just excited about this whole blog thing.

Wordtrain said...

"Occasionally, I'll misplace your query... You'll just have to deal with it, the same as I do."
Are you kidding?
It's NOT the same 'as you do', because we don't KNOW you've lost the query. How are we supposed to know an agent has lost out material, as opposed to is taking a long time in responding?
Instead of us 'dealing with it', how 'bout you sort out your home office filing system?

Jenny Rappaport said...

Wordtrain, misplacing your query does not mean that I've lost it totally. I haven't not responded to a query yet. In fact, I'm still responding to queries that my boss Lori has passed on to me as well, some of which came in quite awhile ago, before I even started working with her.

And the answer to your question is that it is polite and appropriate to requery if you haven't heard from an agent within eight weeks of sending your query (longer for international postage). No one gets mad if you do this, trust me. And it's a helluva lot better than just waiting on blind faith.