I fired off my first round of four query letters (via email) for EYEWALL on July 7. Within two hours I had a response from an agent with whom I’d had conversations about the novel at a writers conference in June 2007. At the time, I didn’t have a completed manuscript, but he asked me to contact him when I did.
Obviously, he remembered the project: he asked me to send the entire manuscript. This is a bit unusual–but good news–because agents, if they think they might be interested in your work, typically will ask for a just a few pages or chapters as starters. I sent the manuscript and gave the agent an exclusive until mid-August. The exclusive has since expired and I haven’t received any feedback. This isn’t necessarily bad. The agency’s Website explains that if you haven’t heard anything after six weeks, you’ve probably passed the initial review. Subsequent in-depth evaluation, however, may take several months.
In the meantime, since the agent’s exclusivity has expired (one month is the generally accepted standard), I’m free to continue querying. By the way, the scorecard on the other three letters I dispatched: two “no thanks” and one non-response.
On August 20, I sent out four more letters. (I try to select my candidate agents carefully, so I don’t do mass mailings.) Again, I got a response from one agent within a few hours, but this time it was a rejection. Yesterday, I got an email from another agent asking for the first five pages. Those were sent today.
I’d planned to release another round of queries this weekend, but with Gustav prowling the Caribbean Sea and eyeing the Gulf of Mexico, it’ll be all hands on deck at The Weather Channel, so round three may have to wait.
I’ll provide a progress report in a week or so. In the meantime, batten down the hatches and tune in to The Weather Channel.