On No Response Means No

It's always been New Leaf's Policy that "No Response Means No" which means that basically other than the bounce-back email, you'll only get an email when you get a request. If two weeks pass and there's no response, that means we're passing.

I've always responded.

Until now. I'm going to stop responding to queries as of April 1st.

This has been a really hard decision for me. If I was querying, I would want to know that my email didn't just get lost in the ether. I felt that it didn't take that long to respond to each query, so I should keep doing it.

But the truth is, I get a lot of queries, that response time adds up, and my first responsibility is to my clients.

To give you an example. This weekend I sat down at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon and started responding to queries. I had just over 200. I didn't finish until 6:06 pm. I could have read half a manuscript in that time.

I will continue to try to do a lot to help authors, answering tumblr questions and going to writing conferences. But unfortunately I won't be responding to queries anymore after this month.

Update: The bounce-back you receive upon submitting your query is a confirmation of receipt. Also, I will continue to respond to all manuscript requests per usual.

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Blair B. Burke said...

When looking at the numbers and time involved, I totally understand your position. It's still hard for us queriers. For No Response Means No agencies, I've found that an auto-confirmation of receipt goes a long way towards helping the querier feel some sense of peace. If we don't know if something's been received, it's hard to take silence as anything definitive. I think it cuts down on unnecessary follow-ups and these days it's pretty easy to set up such an email system.

Thanks for still posting helpful info like this!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I agree that this is very difficult for writers. We don't know if our query just got lost in the shuffle or not. I followed up with one agent who hadn't responded, and it turned out that he hadn't seen my original query! He requested the full.

When an agent has requested a partial or full, I really think they should respond, even with a form rejection.

Suzie Townsend said...

Blair--we do have an auto response to confirm receipt of the query.

J.H.--yes you're totally right. I will still respond to all requests.

Huntress said...

You've done good to last this long, LOL.

Seriously, I don't need a personal response no matter how nice it is. All I need a robo: "We received your query and thank you very much"

Then I know it got through.

Cheers. And thank YOU for responding to all those queries.

Sam Miller said...

As a querying hopeful, I don't expect a "No," or much of anything at all, really.

I appreciate that you acknowledge the fear of not-knowing if the email arrived with an auto-reply. Anything to keep me from checking my email 5,000 times a day.


Laura Moe said...

I won't bother to submit to you at all then. A robo response at least gives the writer closure.

Edith Hope Bishop said...

Thanks for letting us know! Having a clear policy is the most important piece, in my humble opinion. =)

Dan Krokos said...

There is a robo response.