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Monday, May 13, 2013

No response or form letter?

Hi everyone!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I'm sorry if this post is repetitive. Recently, a number of authors have re-queried or asked for a status on their submission. I've mentioned before that time, unfortunately, doesn't allow us to send a detailed response as to why we passed on a project. Also, in our submission guidelines we state that we are only able to respond to the projects that we are interested in. That being said, I would love to hear what you all would prefer. Would you rather receive a from (rejection) response, or would you rather have no response? Thanks!

~Jordy 

25 comments:

Stephanie said...

I feel so lucky not to be in the query process anymore!! But when I was, a plain old form letter was better than not knowing....even if all it said was "Dear Author. This is not a good fit for us." That way I knew my query wasn't lost in cyberspace..and that someone actually (hopefully) did look at it.

I know how busy agents are and they need to dedicate their time to their own clients first and foremost, so I do understand the "no reply means no" thing. But if I had the choice, a generic form was better than nothing.

Hope this helps!

Laura Rueckert said...

I'd rather have a form letter than no response, for the same reason as Stephanie wrote. Also, it helps me judge how many "active" queries are still out.

Carla Luna Cullen said...

I'm the same way. Please send a reply, even if it's a form rejection. That way we know our query didn't get stuck in the spam filter and we can move on. Thanks!

Lucie Brooks said...

A form reply is leaps and bounds better, in my opinion. It lessens the agonizing over if it got lost, sent to spam, etc.

priya said...

I agree with everyone above! I rather hear a 'no thank' than not hear anything at all :)

A said...

I agree with above posters. A form is bounds and leaps more appreciated as a writer and as a professional. I would rather receive a form rejection--even two months after querying than receive no response. I'll be honest, I also look at query tracker and see the agents that do not respond and I know there are many successful agents that don't--but to me, it seems/feels unprofessional. As much as even getting a typed out "No." or "No thanks." might sting some writers, I would prefer it. Plus, for some of us, we just want to know that "Ok, cool, Jordy Albert, did in fact read my query."
: )

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I agree with those above. :) It's nice to know for sure. From what I can tell, writers tend to be a paranoid people. ;)

Melissa Gibbo said...

I appreciated the form rejection, simply because it meant I could stop waiting and hoping. It allowed me to move on to the next opportunity to find a good fit with another agent. I'm still searching but at least I'm not harboring false hopes.

cynthiarox66 said...

Form! :D

Brooks Benjamin said...

I'll throw in a vote for form letter as well. While I hate the sting of rejection, I hate not knowing even more.

Ava Jae said...

I agree with everyone--I'd definitely prefer a form rejection over nothing at all. Hearing "no" is infinitely easier to accept than radio silence.

excellentlibrary said...

Another vote for form rejection. Nothing worse than waiting around and wondering.

Rechelle Owens, Romance Author said...

I agree with the consensus here. There is nothing worse than not getting some type of response! A form rejection allows the author to mark the agent off their list and focus their efforts elsewhere.

amysinkwell.com said...

(Yet another) vote for a form rejection, to give the author closure. Cliffhanger endings aren't satisfying. :-)
Thanks for asking us!

Jenna Lehne said...

I make a point of not querying agents who have a "no response means no" policy. Sure I might miss out on a few good agents, but there are plenty of agents who do send a form.

T. S. Bazelli said...

I also appreciate a form reject, because I worry my submission's been lost, stuck in spam, or munched by server gremlins. However, if I get an auto-response email saying that my submission was received, and no-response after x number of weeks, means no, that's also okay with me. That might help limit the re-querying?

johnlucashargis said...

Absolutely a form rejection over nothing.

There is another option. It isn't as solid as an actual rejection, but it is better than no response at all. It goes like this:
- When the query is sent, an auto-reply email arrives.
- Cool. I know my query was indeed received.
- In this email: "if you have not heard from us after ## weeks, then consider this a pass."
- If that window comes and goes, then I can write it off as a "Rejection" as opposed to a "Non-Response".

Brandi M. said...

I vote for form rejection as well. I also like automatic confirmation receipts. That way, even if there is no form rejection, I know it was received.

Robert Polk said...

Echoing Brandi. Auto confirm or form rejection should cut down requeries by worried writers.

Laila Blake said...

It's probably not necessary to put in another voice for form rejections but I like commenting :).
Form rejections may not be pleasant to read but at least you can cross that out and have some idea where you stand. It also really helps in case you do get accepted elsewhere. I think it's only good practice to send another mail to the agent/publisher to thank them for their time and inform them that you are no longer looking. It feels awkward to send them when you have no idea whether your submission has long been wordlessly discarded ;).

MamaJulie said...

Another vote for form reject. There's just no way of knowing for sure that the query was actually read unless there has been a rejection. Otherwise, us writers get all sorts of crazy ideas in our heads like... "maybe there was a crazy power surge caused by a UFO that impacted the entirety of New York at the very instant my email was sent and it got obliterated, and sadly, never received, or worse was received but garbled into a completely incomprehensible alien language." Yes, we tend to get carried away.

birdsedge said...

While we always hope that the answer is a resounding yes, no is the second best answer a writer can get. It allows us to tick the box and put the query to bed. Email can go astray and there's always the thought in the back of our mind that we've missed something caught in a spam trap or our ISP hiccupped and the email was lost.

By not sending a simple form rejection you encourage queries asking about the progress of a writer's submission and probably make more work for yourself.

Heather Hill said...

I think that not having a response probably makes more work for you. I have a couple of outstanding queries and I'm wondering whether to follow up with a 'did you receive it?' message. I wish many would at least set an auto response so author's know it has been received. We know how busy you are and you know how hungry we are. Can we at least give each other peace? ;-)

Wendy Brant said...

Definitely form rejection over no response. That way we can have some closure and move on. Thanks for asking!

Shawn Oueinsteen said...

Most of us writers are in pain from post-novel depression. Not hearing anything makes the pain worse. A form letter at least gives some closure. See my note on post-novel depression here: http://www.f1reth0rns.blogspot.com/2010/06/envying-ghosts-of-oakwood-cemetery.html

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