View Full Version : Time line to getting an agent

03-17-2009, 01:41 AM
I'm really interested to find out how long it took those with an agent to actually get an agent. What's your agenting timeline?

03-17-2009, 02:47 AM
There exists no such creature. You'll find a complete spectrum of individual stories from those who seem to have been born attached to an agent to those who never ever ever ever secure the services of one, not even if they keep at it until the sun gets big and red and fries the earth.


03-17-2009, 02:58 AM
Now, or you're doomed.

Seriously, how long is a string?

There are people who get representation pretty quickly. There are people who never get an agent. There are people who needed an agent. It's like asking how gray should gray be?

It depends.

Even if you do get answers here, there would be 30, 40 different answers, and there will not be any consensus. Probably from a few months to years, if at all. So, what would be conclusion be?

03-17-2009, 03:16 AM
Yes, I want people's personal experience. I find it interesting to read about. :D

03-17-2009, 04:57 AM
It took me ten years and eight novels to get an agent.

But I'm atypical. Me and Joe Konrath, baby. If there is an "average", based only on what I've seen more often than not - mostly on "first sale stories" from Dear Author and the experiences I've read on this forum - it's about three years and two novels.

03-17-2009, 05:53 AM
I agree with Ray.
Four years, three books and two ms= no agent. What's it been like? Are you familiar with the condition bi-polar? It sucks.

03-17-2009, 04:45 PM
I think it partly depends on how quickly you learn about the business and how it works, and how quickly you find your own voice. I'm a very slow learner compared to many people here at AW. I started writing 13 years ago, sent out some queries starting about 8 or 9 years ago, but was completely ignorant about both writing and publishing. It was about 4 years ago that I started seriously querying the right way, attending conferences and workshops, etc. even though it didn't get me anywhere with my first manuscript. The second manuscript is the one that got me an agent and that took about 3 months.

03-17-2009, 04:45 PM
First novel - five and a half years

03-17-2009, 06:43 PM
About three years. Third novel I queried, but the seventh I'd written.

Marina Snow
03-17-2009, 07:15 PM
There is a thread here about the Chicken Soup for the Soul series author, Jack Canfield. He had a ton of agents and no one could get him signed. He finally got himself published by visiting a publisher's booth at a book fair. So don't get discouraged. Life has its own timing.

03-17-2009, 08:33 PM
Sixth novel written, first novel queried, six months from first query to signing with agent.

03-17-2009, 11:09 PM
Personal experience? Fifteen years and counting. No, that's not quite correct, since I gave up querying a year ago.


03-17-2009, 11:47 PM
Seriously seeking an agent; three years, with two books. But I started writing for pleasure (and to see if I could actually write a book) ten years ago.

03-17-2009, 11:49 PM
I know someone who got an agent within a couple of months of trying, and her first book is due to be published exactly one year after signing. Fast work for that agent, huh? (And she already has her advance. The money's here. The published book is not. Yet).

No, it's not me. ;)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
03-17-2009, 11:56 PM
I started writing in the 6th grade... ::mmmpphh:: years ago. Tried to get an agent and/or published for about two years back in the late '80s, early '90s. Didn't know diddley squat about the business and failed at both.

Joined AW in 2005... got serious in 2007. Rewrote an old manuscript with the crit/edit help of one of the fine folks here and started submitting to agents in December of last year. Signed with an agent in January.

03-18-2009, 01:17 AM
I think the timeline can vary based on the type of book you have written, what's hot in the market, and the timing of when you query someone.

It took me about a year to write my first novel, about six months to revise it, and about a month of querying to have an agent offer representation. Now we're on submission.

03-18-2009, 01:21 AM
Timeline from first query sent to signing with my agent? Just under two months.

Timeline from query sent to my agent to signing? Just over a week. I sent the query third week of May, immediate request for a partial. A week later, a request for a full. Couple days later, offered representation.

One caveat--I queried my agent when she first started agenting and was looking to fill her list. I know, in the two years since signing with her, that she's acquired several more clients. So her response time might be a little longer now.

03-19-2009, 12:17 AM
Wow - there are some quick ones, and some long ones here. It's still all encouraging though. I love hearing success stories considering how many people are constantly getting rejected.

03-19-2009, 01:21 AM
Forth novel written. First agent I queried on that novel offered representation. One month from query to signing.