Monday, June 8, 2009

Agents Go Green

Last Monday, I talked about how technology has freed up the writer so that we are no longer chained to our office desks. And part of that technology (email) has also allowed the publishing industry to embrace this freedom and I’m all for that from an environmental and cost standpoint. Nowadays, many agents have gone green. Most are now accepting queries (and sometimes partials) via email. I should know. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks sending them out by the droves – 27 queries to date, 20 of them via email.

After checking each agent’s web site (if they had one, if not I used Agent Query, Query Tracker, or Lit Match) for their submission guidelines, I found 13 of them allowed me to bypass the query stage and either attach a partial or -- for most -- paste a sample chapter and the synopsis within the body of the email. No more printing, no more SASEs, no more lugging overstuffed envelopes to the post office, no more costly postage! I was zinging emails out all day long.

A plus side has been that it seems to have enabled agents to reply faster. I definitely never got such quick responses when I was shopping my last manuscript around several years ago. The down side is they can zing those form rejections back pretty darn quick too. The record so far is 26 minutes for one. But I’ve also gotten requests just as fast – 4 so far, 3 for fulls, and (you guessed it) they wanted the manuscript emailed to them as an attachment. Yeah! We saved at least a dozen trees right there.

So thumbs up to all you agents out there for going green. We authors and the environment thank you.

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