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Velcro
01-04-2012, 09:07 PM
I apologize if this has been addressed in another thread but I can't seem to find anything similar so I just said "what the heck" and posted.

So how long should you wait for an agent to respond to a query letter? A week, a month, two months?

I've read that a good percentage don't even respond if they're not interested, so when should you assume they didn't like it and move on?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Cyia
01-04-2012, 09:26 PM
3 months, bare minimum, unless the agent gives a different time frame.

suki
01-04-2012, 09:29 PM
I apologize if this has been addressed in another thread but I can't seem to find anything similar so I just said "what the heck" and posted.

So how long should you wait for an agent to respond to a query letter? A week, a month, two months?

I've read that a good percentage don't even respond if they're not interested, so when should you assume they didn't like it and move on?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

There are tons of threads on this issue - scroll back through the Ask The Agent subforum and you'll probably find some, with a variety of responses ;)

But, the not so simple answer is:

First, does this agent say they always respond to queries. If so, then don't assume no response means no. Some agents do have the bad habit of saying they respond to every query and then not responding, but many who say they respond actually do respond. For those, don't assume a no response means no. Wait their stated response time, or, if they don't have one, 8-12 weeks, then follow up or requery.

But, if they don't have a policy of responding or it's unclear:

1. look at the agent's stated response time, then add a month. After that, consider it a pass and move on. You might be pleasantly surprised by a tardy request, but don't spend time worrying about it.

2. If the agent doesn't have any stated response time, check the stats for that agent on various sites (in bewares & background checks, querytracker, agentquery, etc.), then add a month. After that, consider it a pass and move on. You might be pleasantly surprised by a tardy request, but don't spend time worrying about it.

3. If the agent doesn't have any stated response time and there are no clear stats, then wait three months, then consider it a pass and move on. You might be pleasantly surprised by a tardy request, but don't spend time worrying about it.

~suki

JSSchley
01-04-2012, 10:19 PM
I'd go with Suki's advice. Especially the "you might be pleasantly surprised by a tardy request but don't spend time worrying about it" part.

So far, I've been very pleasantly surprised by some very late rejection letters. I had one agent who took three months to reject. I'd counted her as a rejection months earlier, but it was nice to hear that at least my letter wasn't lost. Same thing with an agency who gave a time frame and it was way outside the time frame, but I still heard back from the agent.

Across the board, I count all queries as a "no" after three weeks. It's a short time frame, agreed, but it means that requests are pleasant surprises and late rejections don't come as a punch to my hopes.

Drachen Jager
01-04-2012, 10:39 PM
The moment you hit >send< you can safely assume they don't like it and move on.

Most of the time you'll be right, and it doesn't hurt to have a dozen or more queries out at a time.

If you're just looking at when to write them off, two months is a good rule of thumb. It's extremely rare for an agent to respond with good news after that.