View Full Version : After you get an agent, timeline??

08-29-2011, 10:53 PM
One of my friends got an agent, she spent 5 months doing some minor revisions with the agents assistant, and now that the assistant thinks it's ready for submission the agent is going to read it again. Only that was 2 months ago and it still hasn't happened yet (the agent hasn't read it again since contract offer).

Is that typical? I think her agent is well regarded, but going on 7 months from being contracted and still not out on submission?? Isn't that too long? I can tell she's getting tired of waiting, and she keeps hearing stories of people going from getting an agent, to submissions to publishers in a couple months or even weeks.

Also, is it typical for an agent's assistant to handle the polishing of a manuscript before submission? Do you think the fact that she has a "big" agent is the reason she's not getting any personal attention?

I know, I know, that's a lot of questions. Any advice would be great.

08-29-2011, 11:10 PM
Is she sure the agent hasn't read it in 2 months? That's really weird, and has nothing to do with someone being a big agent or not. Even the biggest names out there usually get back to the writer within a matter of days (to say "I've gotten your revisions") and then re-read the MS quickly.

It sounds like your friend may need to have a serious talk with her agent and find out if the agent is having second thoughts about the book's viability.

Drachen Jager
08-29-2011, 11:37 PM
A lot of that really depends on the pace of the author. If the author appropriately addresses the comments in 2 months the assistant would bring it to the agent in 2 months. I have heard stories of authors dropped from an agent's roster because they don't make changes in a timely manner.

08-30-2011, 12:49 AM
She said she did the revisions quick and on point. Plus, the assistant was really happy with them. She said her agent said that her manuscript is "in a queue" and that he'll be getting to it soon, so she knows he hasn't read the revised mss.

I wasn't aware that agents had so many clients that there would be too large of a queue. I know queries and submissions get put in queues, but I'd have thought their clients mss's would take priority over those.

Drachen Jager
08-30-2011, 12:53 AM
Who is her agent? Have you checked his thread on here?

I've honestly never heard of anything like that before. IMO an agent should work more closely with clients and be more available than that.

Can you PM if you don't want to say the agent's name publicly? You've got me curious now.

Also, PM Victoria Strauss or contact her through her Writer Beware blog. She tracks and blogs about these things and can be trusted for her discretion if you request it.

08-30-2011, 01:06 AM
Although it's always worth checking, I wouldn't consider this a definitive red flag. Agents can have 50 or more clients. Some are producing a book a year, some a book every two or three years, and some not writing at all anymore. But imagine that this agent had a vacation, two conferences, and three client manuscripts dropped in her lap all at once. Or she has a sick kid or parent.

Yes, I think clients should come first. Has this agent been a fast responder in the past? Then I would give the benefit of the doubt. The very fact that the agent has an assistant who is taking such an active role is likely indicative of a packed schedule.

In answer to the original question, how quickly a manuscript goes on submission is as individual as a manuscript itself. Some agents are willing to take on manuscripts that need a fair amount of work because they see promise in the writer. Others aren't. Neither way is right or wrong.