Monday, September 12, 2011


Below is a compilation of posts that I think (hope) will help you get published. Enjoy!

Fabulous art by Herman Agency client Kenneth Kraegel


QUERIES & SYNOPSIS: How to Get an Agent Salivating to Read Your Manuscript  


  1. I'm sorry that the whole bru ha ha over responding or not responding queries led you to close to queries. Though you probably have more reasons than that. For whatever reason, I wish you the best in the coming year.


  2. Thanks, Laura. hit it on the head...that's the reason.
    So much negativity coming towards me when many other agents and pubs have the same policy.

    That's what I get for blogging about it.

  3. Here's the thing...if the same people who complain end up signing with an agent who does spend time sending out hundreds of email responses every week to queries (plus all the fulls and partials), how will they feel about it then, knowing it means less time is spent on their work as clients?

    I know it's hard on the other side of the fence. I do. But at the end of the day, agents can only do so much. Something has to give.

    As a client, I appreciate you juggling your time to make sure my work is a priority. And...isn't this what all writers would want of an agent?

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. I'm very sad about this. I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" policy. I just follow the guidelines. Your policy is reasonable: You state upfront what to expect so that writers are not confused about their query being received. I'm querying right now, and a rejection does not feel any better than silence. They both go to the same "file." Thanks for all of your writing resources, which have been very helpful to me and my critique group. Hope to see you at a conference soon. Sarah xx

  5. I am really sad about this. Besides the fact that I had you in my drafts folder in queue for the next batch of queries, I've followed much of this craziness on Twitter. (@HughesWriter)
    I feel like you've ben bullied into this decision. I may be wrong, but I feel like it's the schoolyard all over again. I think the difference is you stood up for what you believed in and others decided to throw stones. Sure, it stinks when I get a no-response but you at least post that policy on your pages so there are no illusions! That alone, makes a no-response just as easy as the "no, thank you" I received from another agent recently.
    Before I totally rant on the subject, I'd like to wish you the best. I also feel you should really give them a topic to go nuts over... Now, what other controversial topic can you blog about? :)

    Christine Hughes

  6. Sadness! I planned to query you in October with a YA contemporary romance. I was only planning to query the agents I met and gelled with at conferences, but your wishlist aligns with my currently writing/to-write list in a way that just made it feel like a possible match.

    What about published authors? Will you make an exception for us? If I happen to have a current publishing deal (but no agent) and I abso-poso-lutely won't post mean things about you if you don't respond to me, can I query you?

  7. Thanks, Angela, We Heart YA, Christine and Fiona.

    And yes, Fiona, I will look at queries from published writers...writers published by traditional publishers not self-pubbed ebooks.

    I was going to add that but decided to keep the new sub guidelines simple.

    Thanks for asking!

  8. I am saddened to read that you are closed to queries. I follow you on Twitter and read a little of the debate but didn't realize it had grown.

    Maybe because I'm on the newer side of this, but I always assumed agents didn't send rejections. I always assumed if you didn't hear anything for a while they weren't interested.

    I think it's up to you and every other agent to decide how to best execute your time. For those of us on the other side we have no idea what makes up the details of your day and shouldn't criticize. I think it's generous that you state an expected timeline for a response. You could just let those people wonder forever about their query.

    I wish you the best of luck, and hope that the twitter-verse gains a little more respect for what you do.

  9. Alas. You were at the top of my to query list. A friend had recommended you for when I get my ms ready. I'm in edits after Betas now. Are you closed to SCBWI members as well as the general populace?

  10. This is such a bummer :( I am in the final editing stages of my manuscript and you were the top agent on my list to query. I am shocked to hear so many people harassed you about not responding to queries. It has become common policy with most agents. Agents need to work with authors not send “not for me” emails all day. I don’t know why people don’t get this. Hello?

  11. I just posted on the other thread but want to express my sadness about your decision here as well.

    I've queried you before with no reply but it wasn't going to stop me from querying when I finish my new project. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to now (my daughter's health issues and lack of money don't allow for many conferences).

    A rejection stinks no matter if it's from a reply or silence, but it's all part of the business. Those who can't handle the silence shouldn't query agents with the no reply means no policy.

    I can't imagine how awful it must have been for you to get so much negativity thrown at you over this. It's embarrassing to me that some of my fellow writers would be so terrible. They seem to forget that agents are human and have lives and feelings (at least I don't know of any android agents at this time).

    It upsets me that the negative Nancy's, Nate's, and Nitwits ruined it for the rest of us. Once the poison has worked it's way out of your system, I hope you'll consider re-opening so those who weren't throwing poisoned darts at you won't be punished because of those who were. That lets them win and they shouldn't be allowed to.

  12. I follow your blog, really appreciate your help and advice on the blueboards and had you on my list for when I start querying at the end of the month. So add me to the list of sad writers/illustrators.

    I think the no response policy is pretty widespread and I'm shocked that people gave you such hard time about it.

    Hey, I *know* you from the blueboards, can you refer me to yourself? lol (worth a shot, can't blame a girl for trying)

    Best of luck, Jill!

  13. Grrr, I hate it when the internet gets all pitchfork-y.

    Sorry to hear you were bitten for being honest.

  14. I don't feel there is a right or wrong on the issue, thus respect each agent's personal decision as long as it's clearly stated.

    Very sorry for the flack you have received. Trusting the right manuscripts and writers will still make it into your hands!


  15. Oh no! This is terrible news! Had no idea it had grown this bad. While I love getting a rejection letter, I think most writers understand the reasoning, and there are so many agents with this same policy that it's nothing new by any means.

    I will be sad not to query you in the future. :(

    Good luck with everything! I enjoy reading your blog and following your twitter. So many of the novels in your recent deals list sound awesome btw! :)

  16. Hi Jill..I feel bad that you are now closed to queries. I wish you the very best in the coming years.

    Btw..what happens to writers who had queried you few days before you decided to close the query submissions?

  17. stated in my sub guidelines on the left side of this blog:

    For queries before 9/12/2011, I no longer send form declines. If you do not receive an email response to your query + 10 pages within a month, I am sorry but I am not the right agent for your work.

    Hope to meet you all at a conference soon! Please see conference listings at top left side of blog. Also, I always go to the big SCBWI LA Summer Conf.

  18. I had no idea there was this big issue going on. I always check by your blog to see what you're up to and I'm shocked to learn this. I've been busy with work and haven't been online as much. Was it really that bad?! I can't understand why people would target you. Many agents have this policy. It's not unusual by any means.

    It sounds like people were trying to bully and intimidate you into doing what they want.I'm hardly an expert in agenting matters but I hate the idea that these self-centered knuckleheads are affecting your business. Out of the many queries an agent receives, so few garner requests and even fewer garner representation. Now you have less to choose from and may miss out on something great.

    I hope in the future, after a break, you'll feel strong enough to plunge back in and widen your query search.

    I do wish you well--and I'll still be reading your blog! :-)

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. Thank you for the wonderful links. Sorry you're closed to queries, but so excited that you'll be at the handsprings conference in Albuquerque. Can't wait! :D

  21. I would love to come to one of your conferences. Come to the east coast, preferably the more northern neck of the woods.


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