Recently a reader emailed us to ask the following question:
I’ve noticed a bunch of discussions on your blog regarding submission response time. If agents are too busy working with their current clients to respond to queries, and even requested fulls, in a timely manner, then they must not need any new clients. Why not simply close your doors to submissions temporarily?
It amazes me how much mileage we are getting out of this one conversation, and while it feels like I continue to repeat myself (and Kim), it seems to bear repeating: The truth is that we are constantly reading submissions—daily. It’s just that there is no way we can read fifty partials or manuscripts a day (roughly the amount we are receiving). So for every author complaining that we are taking too long, there are hopefully just as many getting speedy responses.
We are very, very busy working with our current clients, but since we can’t control the amount of submissions we receive (it doesn’t seem worthwhile to only accept five a day and “return to sender” the rest), we sometimes fall behind. I know many of you have suggestions on how we can fix this or what we should be doing. But the truth is that we are doing the best we can to read and we are using all of our resources to catch up at all times, but as our new assistant said after only one week on the job, “I just realized that there is no point when you’re ever caught up.”
And by the way, I wouldn’t recommend emailing questions, but please do feel free to ask questions in the comments section. We will make every effort to address them in future posts.