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Thread: Editor Submission Response Times

  1. #1

    Editor Submission Response Times

    Hi All,
    I have a debut mainstream fiction novel on submission with 6 editors from major houses, and am wondering what the general response time is. It has been on submission for about 6 months with no rejections, but obviously no offers either. So anyone who sold their book in 3 days don't reply and depress me! Is it time to start getting worried? what has been your experience? thanks!

  2. #2
    Sailed away years ago ORION's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Okay. I won't.
    Patricia Wood

    Patricia Wood's debut novel LOTTERY is available for sale at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Borders and your local independent book store.

  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    right here
    If it's fantasy you can check here:
    Emily Veinglory

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Pacific Northwet
    The range of response time, of course, is immediate to never.
    You are doing yourself no good at all to circle on this point. It is a waste of you.
    It is not time to worry, it is time to write something else. Something so good you won't call it a fiction novel.
    Really, really, don't plague yourself. Presumably, your agent is prepping another round of submissions.
    Agent do agent job. Writer do writer job. Verr good.

  5. #5


    for the replies. Yeah I know better than "fiction novel" . The waiting game sucks.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    If your agent has done a good job "pitching" the work to the editor, and obtained an okay by the editor to make the submission, then the normal response time by the editor is something like 1 week to 2 months. Not only that, editors who have longstanding relationships with good agents will usually give them an approximate deadline when they will respond, and do a good job of sticking to it.

    If you haven't had any rejections or offers in six months, I for one would be worried sick. I wish I could say that maybe your novel is working its way up the ladder at the publisher, but in that case, the editor would certainly tell the agent, and the agent would tell you.

    Your agent may have submitted to publishers without pitching and obtaining an okay, in which case your novel will hit the very back burner at the publisher. It'll be the last thing they get to, and that means maybe never.

    Sorry not to be more optimistic, but it's the way things are.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW BrookieCookie777's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Let's not forget it took JK Rowling 2 years to sell Harry . . .
    "Cowards die many times before their deaths,
    The valiant never taste of death but once."

    - Shakespeare

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    San Diego, CA
    Even as an agent, I find editors' response times terrible. And I believe it has cost one or two of them their jobs over the years. But editors don't sit in their office reading all day. They are mostly in meetings to discuss their books. Or in meetings looking for other books. Then they get home and, like you, have to deal with the wife or husband, kids and dog. Finding time to read is the hardest part of the job.

    One editor I know moved to Westchester and had a 45-minute commute each way. He loves it. It gives him 1 1/2 hours a day to get reading done.


  9. #9
    DISENCHANTED coming soon Judg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Ottawa, Canada and Spring City, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by BrookieCookie777 View Post
    Let's not forget it took JK Rowling 2 years to sell Harry . . .
    *sigh* No. She got an agent almost immediately and it took only 12 rejections and one year before it sold to a publisher. A small publisher and a small advance, but still, not all that bad. The next year, the US rights were sold and that's when things took off.
    Disenchanted is now out!

    My website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (yeah, seriously), Goodreads, Pinterest--it's getting ridiculous.


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