Why Agents Will Never Catch Up on Queries

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jul 01 2021

Let me tell you a little about what it’s like to be an agent and to manage a query inbox.

My best explanation is that a query inbox is a lot like laundry. Just when you think you’ve finished it all you turn around and there’s another huge pile that needs to be done. That somewhere between pulling the last load from the dryer and getting it all folded, another new load showed up.

That’s my query inbox. Even if I get caught up on queries today (and it is Saturday while I write this) I need to accept that by Monday I will have another 20+ to read through. And that even if I catch up on queries, I’m always going to have requested submissions in there. Because there’s always a new request.

Keep the Inbox Full

One of the first things I tell my agents when they open to queries is be prepared to never catch up. You won’t and, frankly you don’t want to.

My theory is that the minute I catch up on queries is the minute I’ve stopped being relevant in the world of publishing. That’s not a place I want to be.

3 responses to “Why Agents Will Never Catch Up on Queries”

  1. We don’t want you to catch up (from the author POV)–because we’re in your inbox screaming, “Me! Me!”

  2. Avatar Kim Beall says:

    So glad you’re able to be philosophical about it instead of feeling overwhelmed! Maybe I’ll try to take a similar attitude toward my overflowing inbox, too. (After deleting all the spam, of course!)

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