Query Status

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 19 2010

For those who have submitted to me or are considering submitting to me I thought I’d give you a quick update on where things stand in my office. Keep in mind, these are submissions that have been submitted to me and me alone.

E-queries: I have answered all equeries sent prior to January 27. If you sent a query prior to January 26, 2010 you should have received an answer. If you have not yet received an answer check your spam filter or resend. Currently there are 500+ queries in my inbox, all dated after January 26, 2010.

Hardcopy proposals: I have a smattering (that’s about ten) of snail mailed proposals that were sent to me in late August and September. I apologize for taking so long but since I was out of the office October through December these sat longer then they should have. I promise that I will respond to all hardcopy proposals by March 1.

Email proposals: I have 31 proposals in my inbox that need my attention. These are proposals I’ve requested. Sadly there are a few that date back as far as August, a couple from September and then, since I was out of the office October through December, the rest seem to be from 2010 (although a few late submissions are there from December). I need to check carefully, but I do believe there is a full request or two in there as well. I am slowly and steadily getting through these. I hope to have all proposals from 2009 answered by April 1. The key word here is “hope.”

A couple of things to note:
All proposals are requested. If you sent an attachment with a query I consider that a query and will only read the attached material if I’m intrigued enough by the query to do so.

I respond to everything. That means I respond to all queries and all requested submissions. If you haven’t received a response and your material was sent prior to January 27 please resend. Either my response got lost in transit or stuck in your spam filter or your query got lost in transit or stuck in my spam filter.

I answer queries and read proposals randomly which means that someone who sent a query yesterday could very easily have an answer sooner then someone who sent a query on January 29. There’s no real explanation for why I do it this way. It could be because a query is short or easier to read, it could grab my attention in a way that’s either positive or negative, or it could be that I feel like going through my inbox backward instead of forward.

Now clearly I need to get reading.


20 responses to “Query Status”

  1. Avatar Elizabeth L says:

    Good gracious! And I thought I got a lot of email at one of my old jobs (100+/day many days).

  2. Avatar Wendy Marcus says:

    Thank you for sharing a glimpse at the workload of a swamped agent. It makes it easier to understand and accept the wait!

  3. Avatar Cory says:

    Thanks for the update! It's very much appreciated.

    Good luck catching up.

  4. Avatar Stephanie says:

    Such is life when you're good at your job!

  5. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Q: WHY do agents still request hard copies when all they do is pile up and gather dust?E-mailed mss. are so much easier for everyone. I'm one of the people whose ms. you requested last year and waited for months just for a short partial. Like any busy person, maybe your schedule needs trimming? Just say NO!

  6. Avatar Xuxana says:

    Yikes! Looks like I won't be submitting to you then!

  7. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    Sheesh, Jessica. The numbers you mention alone are mind-boggling. Good luck.

  8. Avatar Anonymous says:

    The fact that you're behind doesn't bother me, because you keep us up-to-date. I really appreciate that!

    QUESTION: Does Kim Lionetti accept Young Adult? I've heard conflicting things around cyber-space.

  9. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    Anonymous 12:50 —

    I'm not currently accepting any new queries, because I'm quite behind in my reading as well.

    Yes, I do represent young adult. So when the time comes that I re-open to queries, I will be accepting YA as well.

  10. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Jessica, thanks so much for keeping us all posted. That in itself takes time and is greatly appreciated. Good luck getting through all of that!

    Anon 12:50–

    Yes, Kim is the Ya go to at BookEnds now.

    She announced it via her twitter back in June…

    But she's not taking subs at the moment (unless she's announced otherwise recently) according to this tweet:

    "I will not re-open on 1/18 as I had stated previously. Sorry everyone! Just don't have time now to give queries attention they deserve. To better serve my clients and catch up on material already submitted, I will be closed to submissions indefinitely." January 13 at 3:59pm via Twitter

  11. Avatar Anon 2:27 says:

    Oops! She beat me to it… I think we posted at the same time! 😉

  12. Avatar Tiffany Neal says:

    I love it that you basically said, I read queries randomly because I can. HeeHee. 🙂

    I tell my students that all the time. I do (fill in the blank) because I'm the teacher and I say so and I can…

  13. Avatar Susana Mai says:

    I understand that you were out form October to December, but is it normal for agents in general to get backlogged? I sympathize with all those queries–my goodness!–but I'm sure that an author who submitted a proposal (which you requested) wouldn't have imagined it would take so long.

  14. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Honesty, this is why you should never, ever give an agent an exclusive look. They could take the material hold onto it for 6 or 9 months and then say so. If they demand an exclusive, just lie, say yes, and keep submitting until you sign with someone.

    –Email proposals: I have 31 proposals in my inbox that need my attention. These are proposals I’ve requested. Sadly there are a few that date back as far as August, a couple from September and then, since I was out of the office October through December, the rest seem to be from 2010 (although a few late submissions are there from December). —

  15. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    Anonymous 1:13 —

    Good point.

    Jessica did a great post on that. https://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2007/06/exclusives-times-up.html

  16. Avatar Anonymous says:

    She hit the nail on the head, Kim. Everyone's overworked these days, and going through the slush pile should be a last priority. But as the writer, your work is always the first priority, so don't be passive. Sent out your queries to 10 agents and then sent out a new query for every rejection or every set time period that passes without a response.

  17. Avatar Annu says:

    I once interned at a highly respected literary agency in the Los Angeles area, The Maureen Lasher Agency, before the Internet. They didn't receive the quantity of queries you get, so I guess times have changed, what with all the literary agent search sites on the Internet. Maybe being listed on those kind of sites on the Internet is your problem?

  18. Avatar Lindsey says:

    I know your life is busy busy busy…but it will only take a second to click on https://5kidswdisabilities.wordpress.com to read some amazing, unbelievable, heartwarming stories on my humorous life raising 5 kids with disabilities. (Really, it's FUNNY and TRUE!!!)

  19. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Thanks for responding, Ms. Lionetti. My book isn't ready yet anyway!