Comment to 'Encouraging News'
Comment to Encouraging News
  • I've worked out that to get 41 rejections I'd have to make about 193 submissions. More than 75% can't be bothered to reply. Is this a Covid thing with too many authors or has it always been this way?

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    • It's always been this way.

      The way to change the odds is to only submit when your work is truly ready. (Which is usually several rounds of major edits after you think nothing more can possibly be done to tighten it.)

      Good tip there Rick, thanks. The writer of ´Falling’ mentioned thirty edits. I’ve done a lot but no doubt need more!

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      • …considering an automated reply takes virtually no effort.

        Except that is not entirely true.

        Oh, yes, a truly automated acknowledgement system takes negligible effort to run; a computer detects the incoming message and sends a meaningless reply within seconds. But what does it cost to put such a system in place? If a dedicated platform is being built to handle submissions – and in the real business world, a platform like this has a mid-to-upper six figure price tag – then it's a safe bet. But for anything else, it's either an ugly hack that doesn't work properly or…

        If you are talking about doing it manually, how long is that "virtually no effort"? It still takes someone to open the email, determine that it is a submission, copy-paste a generic reply, and send it. In another thread, we saw a figure of 150 submissions per week, per agent. That's 30 per day. How long does the check, copy-paste, send process take? Less than a minute, yes. Mabye all of 15 seconds? But that's still over half an hour per week.

        At wehich point, I refer you to that automated email. The one that is utterly meaningless. All it told you was that the system processed it. But in the digital world, while there is a negligible chance that any single submission may not be cleanly processed, the act of sending by email / submission form offers as much confirmation of reciept as that automated / time-wasting generic reply.

        Also, such a reply could only tell you that it's in the queue, not that it's been looked at.

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        • Hi Angela, no you are not alone, the bigger agencies send an auto reply basically as soon as you hit send, however I would say that over half don't reply to you in person, either addressing you by name or just their blanket response (not for us, doesn't suit our list, blah blah). I have had some lovely rejection letters though (mainly by agents we see on the events on here!!), which does encourage you a bit. Like you, I can't think of any other companies who would ignore customers/clients like this. And yes, we're all busy, not just agents. 

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