Failure to Respond

Why don’t people in the publishing industry take the time to respond? When I send out queries or partials, I expect rejection. I hope for interest, but I’m realistic. How long does it take a person to click the reply button, type “not interested” or “no thanks” and click the send button ? But agents have stopped doing that. I understand not having the time to write long rejection letters with details about the project, but there is a decided lack of courtesy in this industry.

I have a manuscript out with an agent and a partial with an editor. I have not heard from either in more than three months and expect I never will. I emailed them both two weeks ago to find out where things stood. No response.

I keep track of my queries so I don’t re-send to the same agency. According to my current list, just fewer than half have not deigned to reply. I might get a reply or two from my recent queries, but on average half of the people I query won’t even bother to say “no thanks.” I don’t take this personally; I imagine they don’t reply to any of the queries for which they aren’t interested. It’s both rude and unprofessional, in my opinion.

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