Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Okay, so I am kinda sorta wigging out here, people. I need counsel. Here is the story:

Back in October, I queried two wonderful agents. Both got back to me within that first day, one requesting a partial, the other asking for the first chapter.

Mid January. No responses. So, figuring that enough time had gone by, I sent them each a status query. For the agent that has the partial, I sent her a revised version. (The first chapter didn't change much.)

I am sitting now on the two week mark from the day that I sent out those queries. Two weeks. Fourteen days. Needless to say, I am starting to get worried. My mind echoes with troubling thoughts.

Why haven't they responded?

It shouldn't be taking so long.

What if the emails got lost?

That's it, that has to be it! The emails never even reached the agents!

I'll sit here waiting for a response for months and months, and they'll never even realize that I emailed them!

Oh, the horrors, the horrors!

*sigh* I'm feeling very stressed because, if the agents DID get the emails, but I status query them AGAIN, I will be acting like a desperate pest. (And I am, okay? *sniff* I freely admit that I am, but I don't want them to know it.)

So, I am pretty much stuck. I won't re-status query them. I just won't. That would be shooting myself in the foot. And yet, why is it taking them BOTH so long?

Two facts to keep in mind:

-Both agents have a reputation (as far as my research has gleaned) of being speedy responders. And, after all, when they first contacted me, this was the case.

-I sent both emails within five minutes of each other.

I need words of wisdom. Maybe I need someone who knows Gmail really well, who can tell me if there is any way to check if the emails went awry. Or maybe I need someone to say, "Renee, I hate to tell you this but you are just going to have to wait and see what happens." (Don't tell me that! I don't want to hear it. . . . Okay, maybe tell me that.)

*sound of Renee pounding her head on the computer desk again and again*


Kiersten said...

Oh, I wish I knew what to tell you!!

I have no idea.

I say, give it another week and send another status query, saying that you've been having server issues with your email and apologize if they already got it ; )

AND WOW. I have never in my life commented on the word verification, but goodness, mine is:


I kid you not. How appropriate.

Natalie said...

Just...BIG HUG. It's hard. This can go either way, so just do what will make you less stressed. Is that letting it go? Or resending? That's the best I got as far as advice.

Joanne said...

The waiting time must be awful. Here's what I'd do. Take the energy you're vesting into waiting on those two, and make it productive - query three new agents. You'll feel better getting busy marketing yourself, and may get a great response from the new batch.

JaneyV said...

I have no words to lift you but I can tell you that January is one of the worst months of the year for people being off work with illness. It's a horrid dark month and even the healthy people feel below par and get behind at work. Add to that, with a rush of new year enthusiasm, this is the also the time when writers (you included) resolve to get published and start querying in earnest, you know that poor agents are probably up to their (most likely sick) necks in queries.

On the upside this goes some way to explaining the delay but on the downside you don't want to be told that there's a load of other writers out there vying for your agents' attentions.

I think Kierten's advice is good. That way you don't sound like a stalker and it might be enough to up your partial to the top of the pile!

sraasch said...

JaneyV brings up a good point -- all those "resolution writers" must be clogging up agents like mad. I find that a little annoying.

But back to your stressing: I say wait it out. At least give them til February, just in case January has been a particularly swampy month for them. Around the holidays I mentally add at least three weeks to every response time an agent lists, just because November-January is a crazy busy time for everyone. After January, you could do what Kiersten said and email them again, blaming your server. But I say give it a wee bit longer.

Jill Wheeler said...

*big hug*

That is way stressful!

And I know it is easy for me to say, but I do think you need to wait. At least a couple more weeks. Can you work on something else?

Also, yay for requests! I want some more!

Lady Glamis said...

My suggestion is to try and be patient and wait awhile longer. January is very busy. Everybody is anxious to get their queries and partials in at the beginning of the year, so I'm sure those agents have piles of things to go through.

If you don't hear by mid-February, I would email them again. Show them you can work with the slow publishing industry! Patience is everything in this industry, I hear.

Renee Collins said...

Ah, you guys are nice. And wise. :)

Thanks for all the great advice. Janey (and Sara and Lady Glamis), it makes a lot of sense that this is a kinda crappy month to get stuff done and therefore slow. I've been feeling that as well. So, it's good to keep that in mind.

I guess, as usual, I wrote this post in a fit of emotion. (I really gotta stop doing that.)And watch, now that I've ranted on my blog I'll get a double rejection tomorrow. lol

But anyway, if not, I will wait a while before emailing again.(btw, Kiersten, I love your idea. It's genius.)And in the meantime, I'll try to distract myself in the with my WiP and querying new agents as Joanne and Jill suggested. I have been doing that, but I guess not enough.

Thanks guys. :)

giddymomof6 said...

Renee--No worries, January is SUPER busy month for agents right now! Mine, has been going crazy. she usually responds to my emails within just a couple of hours (Of stuff she's requested) but right now, it's been more like days--if I hear from her, once last week she sent an email asking me if she'd already sent it, because she meant to--which she hadn't. I'm telling you, this woman is NEVER like this. Just swamped. Hang in there.

Diana said...

Too weird....
I agree, however, with the advice to wait a little longer then send another email. (I, too, like Kiersten's idea)
I mean, if they want to represent you they are not going to say, "That Renee, I loved her book but she emails me too much." Not gonna happen. If anything, it will put you back into the forefront of their minds, which is a great place to be!
ps call me sometime this week!

Jill Wheeler said...

Hee hee, I deleted my post about my full rejection just to ward off any more. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're stressing, but it seems that the rejections come faster than requests do, so maybe they're just sitting on them, still contemplating. Or maybe they're still swamped after the holidays. I just think it's awesome that you have two requests!

Renee Collins said...

Jenni-Such a good point. That actually makes me feel a lot better. :)

Diana-lol, you're right. I guess I am obsessing a little too much, and not thinking rationally.

Jill-Aw, sorry. :( At least we can commiserate together. This biz is ROUGH!

Candice-That's a a good point too. And a hopeful one. Thanks :)

Wilson Family said...

I have no words of wisdom or comfort, but I can commisserate with you. I recieved a request for my FULL ms the second week in Dec. She wanted it on exclusive for four weeks. It has now been six weeks and still no word. Two weeks ago, I too sent a short email asking if she had even recieved it (I hope I didn't sound as paniced as I felt!). Still I have heard nothing. All I can think is she read the whole and thinks it stinks!! LOL! I know I should be more rational about it, but all I want to do edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite!! But I don't, because what if she did read it and liked it, and I accidentally change something she liked!!! UUUGGGGGHHHH!! It's nice knowing I'm not the only one in this boat.

Renee Collins said...

Wilson Fam-Thanks for commenting! It does make me feel better to hear that this is happening to others. Maybe agents really are swamped this month.

Well, I wish you a response in the near future! And come back and visit my blog any time.

Becca said...


So I have this magnet on my whiteboard, about 2 inches by 2 inches that quotes the famed Winston Churchill: "Never, Never, Never Give Up"...(before you "blah blah me - hear me out) a few weeks ago one of my students raised his hand in the middle of class and said "You know Miss Underwood - I really like that sign on your board about never giving up...its so big...every time I look at it I just never want to give up...its so inspirational." Now, just in case you missed the "snide 14 year old boy mocking tone" - insert tone & re-read.

Sometimes Ren, I feel like when I tell you not to give up, I am putting a 2 inch magnet on a huge whiteboard, in a huge classroom...and hoping somehow it inspires you. LAME!

What does your gut tell you? Deep inside, that voice of reason. Not the voice of fear or pride...the voice that REALLY knows; the one buried beneath those other voices that are screaming in your face right now. And thats who I think you should listen to - yourself - your real self - not your stressed out dis-illusioned, afraid self....the other one, the one that knows how good you really are...the one that has been assured in quiet moments, that if your do persevere you will be successful.

Now that doesn't mean you won't a hit a bump or two along the road to success - but I think you know whats best for yourself. And I think you'll know when to move on and let something go and when to Never give up. Just like we all kinda know when a guy is truly diggin us, or when he's "just that into you" - even when we ask all of our friends "do you think he like me"...we always kinda know deep inside - for better or for worse. So there you have it! But remember - you have to listen to RATIONAL Renee...and that my dear sis, is my warm-fuzzy magnet on a whiteboard, just for you (:

Miriam S.Forster said...

I'm sorry you're stressed, and I feel your pain. But don't do it. Give them at least a month, maybe two. (I know, the mind screams with anguish at the thought.)

I know the what-if-the-email-never-reached-them worry is one that can drive you nuts. But unless your email has a solid history of not working, the odds are good that the agents are busy.

I agree with Joanne: Use this time to query other agents.

giddymomof6 said...

Hey renee,
We were wondering if you'd like to post on Mormon Mommy writers with us? We need a Sassy Saturday girl? email me if you're up for it! Jenni

Renee Collins said...

Oh Becca, you are wise. :) Seriously, thanks for the encouragement. I know I shouldn't let this whole process get to me so much. But, it's great to have support. :) U Rock!

Miriam-Yes, you make a good point. I think I am actually coming out of my "the email must have gotten lost" state of denial. :) It sucks, but I know that I really need to just wait. (and query in the meantime.)

Jenni-I'll email you. :)