Friday, July 16, 2010

Never Nudge

When querying agents, nudging is a somewhat common practice for us writers who wait on the other side of the slush pile.
A week goes by.
Two weeks.
Six weeks.
The temptation is there to send an email in follow up. Did they lose my query? Are they considering it? Is their server on the fritz?
I, too, get tempted.
But I resist, and here's why.

I'm not an agent but I do get nudged in my line of work as a nurse.
This only annoys me.
It happened just now.
"How much longer until the doctor sees me?"
Before you asked me: ten minutes.
Since you asked me: half an hour.
Because I can.

I don't know why I get annoyed with this. I think it's just the sheer number of times this happens. I mean, what do people expect? That you can just waltz into a clinic with no appointment and just get ushered in right away? This is a doctors office. Not the Olive Garden.

Anyways. My advice: never nudge. Not a nurse, not a literary agent.
I guess I shouldn't speak for literary agents- there aren't many parallels between nursing and agenting. But personally- I think that a lack of response can only mean one of two things: at best- they haven't had time to look at it yet, or at worst- they aren't wildly enthusiastic about it. I mean- what kind of a response does one expect: "Yes, we received your query and were so interested in it that we decided to hold off on getting back to you. Cool our jets a little."
Either way, nudging won't help the matter. And it might just make it worse.
But that's just me.
Nudge away if you want to.

1 comment:

abkeuser said...

Wait... a doctors office isn't an Olive Garden? :P

You are right though. Nudging isn't something you should do unless you've sent an exclusive query. Once you hit send on that email, its all up to fate.

The publishing world is all about waiting.