So, this last week, I got the following e-mail from an agent:
“Sorry for the delay in responding to your query. This novel doesn’t look like it’s for me, but good luck with your writing.”
A pretty standard, polite, inoffensive reply. The second most popular kind after No Response Means No.
Why is this both amusing and annoying?
Because I sent the query eleven months ago.
I had forgotten that I was still querying in April of last year. That’s around the time that I decided to go ahead with self-publishing. Apparently, I was still sending off a few queries for Book #2, on the off chance that someone would love it and call me the same day to beg for the file of the whole novel. In the year since, I’ve had Books 1 and 2 professionally edited, done cover design, indie published Book 1 … and, this week, I was preparing finally to upload for indie publishing Book 2. The same week I got the reply to this query.
A delay of almost a year before a reply isn’t actually that unusual in traditional publishing? I guess? It wouldn’t seem very insulting except that, for me as for many people, this past year has seemed much longer. The idea that I could still be sitting by my laptop, waiting for replies to queries, is kind of sad.
Now, my book sales aren’t anything to boast about yet. On the other hand, because I took action instead of waiting on agents, I can now say the phrase “my book sales.” And that’s priceless.