I’ve done many searches looking for a statistic or at least a better understanding of why some houses do not respond to agented submissions. I read on one editor’s blog that he doesn’t even look at a MS until the agent nudges him. Is this common practice?
I write children’s’ fiction, and out of 7 agented subs this past year, I’ve only received two positive rejections. The rest are all no shows (these are major houses, too). I’m trying to figure out if this ‘if we’re not interested, you won’t hear from us’ is a common thing now, even with an agent, or if my agent is not being aggressive enough with follow up (which I suspect is true). I’d really appreciate it if you could address this on your blog. Thanks so much for your insight.
So I'm not sure the statistics in children's fiction (particularly middle grades and below), but yes, most houses have a blanket policy of no un-agented material. See more about it in this post. There are, however, a lot of smaller publishing houses for children's books that take un-agented submissions.
EDIT: (OK, this is the third time I'm typing this out because blogger keeps losing my work) Sometimes agents take on work that they cant sell, either because they're not good enough or the book isn't as good as they thought it was. Also, markets can dry up and contacts can quit or get fired. Give your agent time to exhaust every possible avenue. When he/she does, it's time to write another book and/or find a new agent.