Thursday, November 15, 2012

I missed some submissions

I left the note up on my website for some time alerting people that I had experienced an email problem and lost a lot of unworked mail. I believe the underlying problem is resolved now and that will hopefully never happen again.

There weren't that many in the file that I hadn't gotten to, or that I had at least acknowledged receipt on but had not handled, maybe fifty or so. But I don't log items in until I have taken them out of that inbox and start the process on them so I have no idea who those people are to ask them to re-send. I haven't had that many re-submit so it pains me to think there are some people out there who just won't hear from me at all. I'm not one of those people who considers no response a response, I know that's not that uncommon these days, but mama raised me to be more polite than that.

I suppose some of them may follow up after a period of time to see why they haven't heard back. I hope so. I really don't want anyone thinking I just chose not to answer.

When you get several hundred submissions a month it's not that hard for things to drop through a crack. I do have systems in place trying to keep that from happening, but it does on occasion. But my inbox is like the in-basket that used to sit on my desk that mail went into. It sat in that basket until I pulled it out, opened the envelope, and did something with it. If it was something I could deal with right then I would do so. If not, I would acknowledge receipt and suspense it for whatever action it required. Nothing has changed except now the basket is electronic.

Maybe I need to change the point in the process where it goes into the log - I'll have to think about that one.


Adam Blumer said...

I appreciate your sensitivity to this issue, Terry. Some agents don't even reply, even when they tell you at a conference that they will. So this is refreshing. Thank you.

Terry Burns said...

Any time someone doesn't at least get an acknowledgment of receipt from me inside of a couple of weeks they should check to see if I got it. I don't let spam or junk mail delete automatically, I look down through it before I hit the button to see if something is in there that shouldn't be. Still, it is easy to miss something that is identified as spam and shouldn't be. As to making a decision on representation we promise 90 days but unless I'm absolutely slammed it is generally much sooner. I've been on the writing side and I know what it's like to not know what is going on.