Should Queries Have a Best Before Date?

Let me start by saying that this is not an anti-agent rant. It’s also not an agent suck-up rant, but that’s only because I know those don’t work. If they did, I’d write an entire blog called, “100 Reasons to Love Kristen Nelson.” But then she’d probably get a restraining order against me and, well, my lawyer is sick of dealing with those. Ha ha. I digress.

When I woke up this morning, I found a “Thanks, but this isn’t what I’m looking for right now” rejection in my Inbox. I scrunched up my forehead (see how I did the showing not telling right there?). I didn’t recognize the agent’s name as one I had queried for my latest novel. So, I scrolled down and read the original query. It was from the last book I wrote. The one I queried in August of 2008 (no, that’s not a typo….I mean 2008!)

This made me think: shouldn’t there be a Best Before Date on queries? I realize that agents are really busy and I’m thinking that we can all agree that, if they don’t respond in say 12 weeks, they should just delete the query. That way, we would know not to keep waiting. We would know that it’s time to walk away from our email. We would know that it’s time to get dressed. And maybe shower.

So, what do you think? Would you like an expiration date on your queries or would you rather wait, even if it takes 18 months?

Category: On Writing