There’s been a lot of chatter of late about the no-response-means-a-rejection submission policy of many agencies. I’m not going to add to the debate (I see both sides and I think it’s a little silly that agents are even catching flak for this—we all have our policies stated on websites, so authors have the option of only querying agencies who’s policies they’re comfortable with…), I just thought it’s a good time to clarify my agency’s policy (of course, it’s on our website! :-)) and my personal practice (rightly, here on my personal tumblr).
My agency has a no-response-means-a-rejection policy, though personally, I’ll try to send a form rejection for all queries (unless you sent a genre I don’t represent, it’s a mass submission with no greeting/personalization, or otherwise doesn’t follow stated sub guidelines).
It’s about agents deciding how they can work most efficiently (which obviously differs person to person). For me, I get kind of OCD if a queryer emails asking if their project is still being considered—I have to know what happened (did I forget to send a request for more material? did it get lost?)…so I do a mail search to get to the bottom of it…usually I find that I DID send a form rejection (?!)…then, I’ll forward them the rejection they should already have received (ugh!)…aaanndd…a lot of time has gone by—much more than the few clicks it takes to paste a form rejection. This is why I choose to send a response, to avoid these time-costly emails from queryers wanting to make sure their query was indeed received and rejected, which I feel compelled to check-up on.
AND if it were me querying, I’d be stressing over my query status and would want to receive a response…so I think it’s the nice thing to do :-)
So there you have it—if you query me and don’t receive a response it means you sent something I don’t represent, it was a mass query, or you otherwise didn’t follow stated submission guidelines. Don’t worry, I made it easy for you! — before you query me just go here.
For the record, if I pass on a full or partial I do my best to give as much personalized feedback as possible.