Agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency wrote a terrific post on her blog on August 30th: Why I Don’t Send Rejection Letters. With a few minor tweaks (i.e. I have 2 kids and she has 3), I totally could have written that post! Please go read it.
Our agency has a policy that if you send a query and you don’t hear back from us in 30 days, you can consider it a “pass” and move on. I’m well aware that writers don’t like this and honestly I don’t like it either, but I’ve had to make choices about how to spend my time. Sending rejection letters had to go to the bottom of the priority list.
Sometimes when I’m reading queries and I’m actually sitting at my computer, I do send pass letters. But often (like Jill says in her post), I’m reading queries on my phone and it’s not easy to send pass letters that way. Other times I’m reading queries and I’m trying to give each one my full attention, while also trying to get through as many as possible in a short amount of time. Cutting out the step of responding means I can read and consider twice as many in a given hour.
If I’m interested in a query, I do respond right away. Sometimes, like right now when my client list is pretty full, I’ll respond saying, I really like this query but I need a little more time. That way, at least the writer knows I’m spending more time with it and giving it serious consideration.
Anyway, I hate that I have a policy that frustrates writers, but I’ve found it’s a necessity for me.
Go read Jill’s post for a fuller explanation from the agent side of the desk.
What are some difficult or unpopular boundaries YOU have had to set in your life?
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