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Old 10-25-2008, 02:58 PM   #1
Enraptured
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Full manuscript - how long before sending a follow-up email?

When you have a full out with an agent, how long should you wait for a response before sending a follow-up email? An agent has had my manuscript for several weeks, and I know that's not necessarily a long time, but I'm also afraid it's sitting forgotten in a pile somewhere... or worse, that she sent a response that I never received. I don't want to come across as rude and pushy, though, so I don't want to email her before it's warranted.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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First, check the agency website and see if they have any guidelines on how long you may expect to wait.

A few weeks isn't long at all, in the publishing world. Two to three months isn't unheard of for full submissions.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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Go to query tracker and look up your agent. The site has response time statistics on both queries and submissions. In any case, several weeks is nothing. Three months or more is the average. And don't be afraid that your MS is in a pile somewhere, for it surely is! Few agents take more than a few days to read a manuscript, the rest of that time your work is resting in a stack. Everyone who didn't include a hundred dollar bill has to wait their turn.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:42 AM   #4
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response

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enraptured View Post
I know that's not necessarily a long time, but I'm also afraid it's sitting forgotten in a pile somewhere... or worse, that she sent a response that I never received. I don't want to come across as rude and pushy, though, so I don't want to email her before it's warranted.
Welcome to Club Paranoia where you will find millions of writers who suffer from similar thoughts.

Seriously, you have received great advice. Every agent is different. I assume you have or plan to query other agents -- you should.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:04 AM   #5
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Another good resource is the agent turnaound community.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Worth View Post
Go to query tracker and look up your agent. The site has response time statistics on both queries and submissions. In any case, several weeks is nothing. Three months or more is the average. And don't be afraid that your MS is in a pile somewhere, for it surely is! Few agents take more than a few days to read a manuscript, the rest of that time your work is resting in a stack. Everyone who didn't include a hundred dollar bill has to wait their turn.
You have to be a premium member to access this sort of data, right, Julie? Or am I missing a convenient little button somewhere . . .
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:56 AM   #7
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Adam-- try the row of buttons... starts with Home, Literary Agent... they're not just words-- they're menus. Try it. =)

Membership is not required. I just went over there and did it.

For example, if you click Literary Agents and Search by Agent, you can look up by last name (like I just did.)
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:27 AM   #8
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Enraptured - If the agent requested your full, an email after 4-6 weeks is not unreasonable. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:19 AM   #9
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three months for writers = a million years
three months for agents = three days

I agree with Adam and Chaos. If you haven't heard anything in three months, then I would email the agent to inquire about its status. In the meantime, keep querying and writing.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:32 AM   #10
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There's nothing wrong with sending a "status query" after eight weeks, though you may get the answer "It's still on my stack."
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:28 PM   #11
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Or they may not reply to your status query which means your paranoia will go into overdrive....
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:56 PM   #12
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1. When you sent in the manuscript, didn't you use Delivery Confirmation from the USPS or similar service from FedEx or UPS? That way, you would have known it got there and when. You should always use something traceable when sending in anything other than a simple query, I feel.
2. If you know the agent got it, why are you following up? Do you believe this agent is capable of outright losing material? If so, why would you want this agent?
3. Did the agent ask for an SASE and did you send one? Did it have your current address on it and do you still live there? If so, is there a reason to expect it would not have reached you?
4. Don't you think that if the agent wanted to represent you, he or she would have called or called to follow-up if he or she sent a written offer of representation and not heard back?

Seems to me that all indicators are that the agent has not yet read the manuscript and following up in the absence of any reason to follow-up is unneeded.

Best,
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses They helped tone down my paranoia a bit. Unfortunately, the point is now moot, since I just received a rejection...
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:14 PM   #14
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Hello, I realize this is particular to every agent but regardles I'm wondering if someone could possibly provide some information. If an agent requests a full but gives no time frame for response, and if their website doesn't have ant pertinent response time information, when is it generally okay to send a short email inquiring about the ms.? Ms. was sent via email and, as is often the case, there was no email from agency stating that ms. was received. When is it okay to engage this follow up? It's at the 6 weeks mark at the moment. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:04 PM   #15
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Is it generally considered okay to send a quick status inquiry email at the 6 week mark when an agent has requested a full or generally should one wait longer? Any advice would be enormously helpful. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:24 AM   #16
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Yes, send a status query. Rule of thumb 4-6 weeks after sending requested full.
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