message from a famous agent after i queried him (my manuscript had been with him for 3 months)
sorry but we have lost manuscript, please send it again.
tail spikes will fly
has this happened to any of you?
August 23rd, 2002, 01:54 AM
No, but I have had a couple of manuscripts sent to publishers and have never heard from them at all.
But Manticore, look on the bright side HE/SHE wrote and asked for another copy. There must have been something in your work that caught their eye, else they would not have bothered....
August 23rd, 2002, 02:46 PM
Although it has never happened to me in quite that way, I truly believe that many of them 'get lost' so to speak, in the piles of submissions they get. Recently, I emailed a publisher who specifically requested that I nudge them after three months if I had not heard anything by then. Well, I emailed them and I emailed them again, and I still have not heard from them.
You were lucky they requested another copy!
August 26th, 2002, 12:13 AM
holbrook i dont think they read it at all....maybe something in my polite, plaintive query made them feel guilty!
its been 3 and a half months since i sent my stuff out. patience not my chief virtue, am going mad
August 31st, 2002, 05:31 AM
more etiquette questions for the wise.....
gathered from browsing around that around 3 months is a good time to mail punlisherrs and ask them whats happening.
question is, if they dont reply to furhter query letters either, then what? keep mailing?
how often are you retrying, gemquest?
August 31st, 2002, 08:43 PM
You are lucky. Your story must have some essence for the agent to even remember it exist. In your case, resubmit.
However, if the editor did not even bother replying after the second prod, my suggestion, don't bug him any further. Your story clearly did not stand out amongst the 40 submissions currently sitting in his or her inbox and is most likely either in the recycle bin( PC ) or trash (Mac).
September 2nd, 2002, 10:37 PM
but i see no reason to feel LUCKY if my work has substance.
September 3rd, 2002, 09:05 AM
Manticore- I never resubmit the same manuscript to the same publisher. When I complete a new book, then I resubmit even if a previous manuscript was rejected.
I really don't think they keep records anyway. I may be wrong, but I doubt they read half of what they receive, so you could probably resubmit the same identical manuscript to the same publisher more than once and they would not even know it. Even when I send a second manuscript, no publisher has ever referenced the first one i sent, so it is unlikely that they realized the second was from the same author.
But, then again, if they didn't accept the first one because it was unsolicited and they really didn't read it, what chance have we the second time around?
I think the small presses are more likely to give your work a read. I had an agent for a year and they focused on the large publishers only, and they received the same rejection letters (form letters) that we are familiar with. I doubt they read them then either. If the agent is not known to the publisher, I believe your chances are just as good on your own. The only difference is you can get official rejection letters with an agent from publishers that you could not send to without one!
September 3rd, 2002, 09:24 AM
As you probably well know Manticore, writing and re-editing the story is the easy bit (mine took two years from first word to final draft). Getting your foot in the door is always going to be the toughest part.
Agents and publishers are swamped with submissions on a daily basis and fobbing people off is second nature to them.
The positive side is he asked you to re-submit. He could have just bare-faced lied to you and said “It wasn’t suitable for our lists…blah-de-blah”.
Keep at it and remember to old saying:
“Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win”
All the best, K.
September 3rd, 2002, 09:55 PM
Manticore, you didn't say who the "famous" agent was, but I thought I'd post this link. You can check if the agent is listed with AAR.
Agent List (http://www.aar-online.org/MembersA-E.html)
If the agent isn't listed with this organization, you may want to reconsider resending your manuscript to them.