Appreciating the New Look of the Ocean

I dipped my toes in the query ocean and noticed the changes.

While the agents I want to query haven't really changed, some of their policies have. For the better, in my opinion.

Two agents who have a no response policy (meaning no rejection letter, just silence if they're not interested) now send an automated confirmation that they've received my query.

I love that. Two years ago I queried the same agents and had to hope my e-mail reached them. Now I can KNOW for sure that the agent got my query and just isn't interested when I don't hear back.

Have you noticed any changes since the last time you queried? What things do publishing professionals do that you appreciate?


How long would you wait to hear back, do you know?
It is good that they let you know your email has been received. It removes one small worry. :) Good luck.
Jenni said…
I don't know about that
but I just wanted to say, I love when you write your blogs your always so positive and try to get people to see the good in everything! I love ya
Terri Tiffany said…
I like too that they give an automated response. Sometimes I wonder with others if they got it. I usually do nothing if I hear nothing:)
Haven't begun querying yet. Might wait to pitch at ACFW.

I like guidelines. Call me crazy, but when you know what someone wants and how they want it you are much more apt to please if you abide by the details.

It's a respect and communication thing.
~ Wendy
Kara said…
I'm glad they give you some sort of response. I haven't queried yet, but I know it will drive me crazy to not even know if they got it!
Cindy R. Wilson said…
I actually sent out my very first query about ten years ago. A long time. Back then (sort of makes me smile to say that :D), I sent almost every one of my queries via snail mail and got responses back the same way. I had to do proposals and sample chapters that way, too.

I LOVE e-mail. It speeds up the process, it's efficient and usually you get a response faster.

I hope you her great news from your queries!
Sweet Jessie: Don't assume you won't hear back, honey! This time they'll love your idea. You've grown a lot in two years, right?

Blessings of favor on your queries,
Jessica Nelson said…
Jeanette, *grin*, I love how you call me sweet. :-) Now to get my husband to believe it! LOL Okay, I'm just kidding. Thank you for the blessings. :-)

Thanks Cindy! I actually do love e-mail too. It's much faster, like you said. Saves money too.

Kara, drives me nuts too!
Jessica Nelson said…
Glynis, it depends on the agent. Normally, if they have a website, they'll post their response times. So far I've had one agent who said she'd respond to queries within 48 hours. Another two weeks. Another four to eight weeks. I only check back if the agent responds to queries. More and more are saying they'll only respond if they want to see more.
Jessica Nelson said…
Jenni, lol, I wasn't sure who you were at first. :-)

Terri, even if they say they'll respond? I guess I'm a bugger. lol I'll check in a little after their timeframe if I haven't heard anything.

Wendy, I like guidelines too! I'm hoping you won't need to query at the conference if a certain someone loves your story! But if you do query there, I think you'll get some favorable responses. Go you!
Stephanie Faris said…
I can't speak to agents but I did take a few years off and when I returned, I learned some of the rules I'd always believed had changed. Or maybe it was just that I was targeting category romance in the 90s and rules are different for them?
Unknown said…
I agree. That's a good change.
Jessica Nelson said…
Stephanie, do you mean rules for writing or for subbing? Categories are set up a little differently, plus you don't need an agent for a category house.
Linda Kage said…
I don't think I could handle NOT hearing back from someone. I need those rejections and that loose end tied up, so I know I can go on and turn my attention to other places. What if it took them over a year to get to my story and then they loved it (yeah-I wish), but by the time they contacted me, I'd already gone another way? I think that would tottally stress me out. But that's just me, and I'm kinda strange.

It is interesting how policies change over time though.
An automated response saying "we got it" is great! It might make it a little easier to put it aside that way.
I'm not ready to dive back in yet, but when I do, I'll be looking!
Ah, thanks for that info Jessica. I am not quite at that stage yet, but will be one day. :)
Tana said…
I'll be honest I long to hear back on queries. In a perfect world I know I would but here I have to accept the silence. Heck, I'd take a form rejection.
Danyelle L. said…
*query cookies*

I love it when agencies send an automated response. Takes a huge worry off of my mind. Good luck with your query!
Jennifer Shirk said…
"Two agents who have a no response policy (meaning no rejection letter, just silence if they're not interested) now send an automated confirmation that they've received my query."

THAT is so good to hear. Some of friends often wonder if their e-mail was every recieved in the first place.

So excited for you!
ali cross said…
This has been the first time I've queried, so I can't say BUT I love the auto-confirm ones. I had the chance to speak with an agent (Laura Rennert) recently and I'd queried her at the first of the year and never heard back. I assumed it was a reject. Except she said no, she ALWAYS responds and had a computer glitch where queries were lost. So an auto-confirm would have been helpful then!

Good luck with your querying! ♥
Hi Jess -

I haven't queried any agents via email. The automated response is a great feature. I wish editors would also do this. One of my submissions got stuck in a spam folder.

Susan :)
Diane said…
Good changes.

How's the job and that blasted cold sore???
Karen Lange said…
I appreciate when they let you know they got your work. I also prefer it when they say they don't want it - not that I like rejections, but at least you know, rather than waiting around and wondering.
Keli Gwyn said…
How nice to know that your queries were received. The waiting can be tough, but here's hoping for good news in the near future. I'd love to happy dance with you.
Angie Muresan said…
I am praying that you get an agent, and soon! Love and hugs to you.
Jessica Nelson said…
Linda K, exactly! That's exactly what I think.

Melinda, it's a huge relief (even if disappointing) to be able to cross someone off my list.

Kristen, I hope it's a great experience for you when you're ready! :-)

T. Anne, me too. I don't mind a rejection.
Jessica Nelson said…
Thanks Danyelle!

Jennifer, yeah, that's what I get paranoid about. Those confirmations really make me feel better.

Ali, wow, that stinks! I'm so glad you got to talk to her. Do you think you'll requery her then?

Susan, my address shows up as spam quite a bit too. :-(
Jody Hedlund said…
Hi Jessica!
Yay! I'm so glad to hear that you're querying again! Will be praying for some big bites!
Jessica Nelson said…
Diane, I'm still loading the cold sore with medicine. I'm keeping the blister at bay but it's still itchy. Grrr! The job is fine. I only worked once so far. I think it's going to be more of a few times a month type thing. :-)

Karen, I appreciate it too.

Keli, I'd love to happy dance with you! Word of warning, I have no rhythm. :-)

I like that prayer, Angie! :-) Thanks for the hugs too.
Jill Kemerer said…
That's a great policy. I'm glad to hear there's a few changes to help our neurotic thoughts!
Nancy said…
I used to send a postcard with the story name and date and a place to check that they got the piece. It was pre-addressed to me. I always got those back. I loved it when a market wrote any personal note back. That made my day.
Jessica Nelson said…
lol Jill! Sometimes I def. feel neurotic about my writing.

Nancy, yep, a personal note would make my day too. Good idea about the postcard!
Jessie Oliveros said…
Very interesting. I still have a long way to go to get to that ocean. I'm like in...Kansas or something.
Jessica Nelson said…
LOL Jessie! I might be dipping my toes in, but no one has sent a boat my way. *sigh* I might have to go back to Kansas too.

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