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FUwriting
03-02-2012, 06:29 PM
Hey everyone,

Weird question here. I signed on with an agent last year - no fees, nothing sketchy, good deals on PM. She said we needed to make it longer, since it is YA fantasy and only 50,000 words. She gave me some ideas for new subplots, expanding on characters, etc. I spent the next few months adding a bunch of words and was very happy with where it ended up!

So four weeks ago, I sent her my updated manuscript and asked if there was anything else I could do. I didn't hear back for 3 weeks (not even a confirmation), so I sent a polite nudge [with the original email attached] saying: "Hi, I just wanted to confirm if you received this email, so I know if there's anything else I should be doing on my end."

She responded later that day with: "ok"

Seriously. That's it.

So four days ago, after still not hearing anything, I sent this: "I'm sorry, just to clarify, you have received my manuscript that I sent on February 2? I'm just not sure if I should be doing anything else on my end."

Haven't heard anything...

What the heck is going on? I don't want to be rude or pushy, but it couldn't hurt to just answer a pretty simple question right? I'm really new to all of this, so please let me know if I'm being ridiculous!

Thanks :)

Cella
03-02-2012, 06:34 PM
From what I've read on here (not from any personal experience) a few weeks in the world of agents isn't a terribly long time to wait, though it hardly feels that way.

Now that you have been in contact, it's kind of out of your hands for now.

Try to be patient and see what happens in the coming weeks. Maybe even start on something else in the meantime to keep yourself occupied?

Good luck with it!

:):)

FUwriting
03-02-2012, 06:43 PM
From what I've read on here (not from any personal experience) a few weeks in the world of agents isn't a terribly long time to wait, though it hardly feels that way.

Now that you have been in contact, it's kind of out of your hands for now.

Try to be patient and see what happens in the coming weeks. Maybe even start on something else in the meantime to keep yourself occupied?

Good luck with it!

:):)

Thanks Cella! A while back, she told me I should already be working on Book 2 (it's a series). Maybe it's time to do that :) I think I'm way overly sensitive when it comes to interaction with people who are more powerful than me... lol they scare me!

Undercover
03-02-2012, 06:48 PM
It seems the normal thing for agents. I have a similar problem with a "no response". Right now my agent is subbing two others and wanted to see a synopsis of my new ms. just to see what I had planned and it's been two weeks now. And it was just a synopsis.

I totally know how you feel about your situation. If we can just get something along the lines of "Thanks for your email, I will get to it when I can" or something. Just a response. But as my husband always says you have more time on your hands than these people do. So with that, we have to remember they are dealing with other things, other clients, other submissions and just juggling all that.

All you can do it keep busy writing, planning other works and learning more about writing itself. Researching things like publishers and other agents is always good too in case something falls through with the agent. I sincerely hope you hear from your agent soon, good luck to you.

FUwriting
03-02-2012, 07:10 PM
It seems the normal thing for agents. I have a similar problem with a "no response". Right now my agent is subbing two others and wanted to see a synopsis of my new ms. just to see what I had planned and it's been two weeks now. And it was just a synopsis.

I totally know how you feel about your situation. If we can just get something along the lines of "Thanks for your email, I will get to it when I can" or something. Just a response. But as my husband always says you have more time on your hands than these people do. So with that, we have to remember they are dealing with other things, other clients, other submissions and just juggling all that.

All you can do it keep busy writing, planning other works and learning more about writing itself. Researching things like publishers and other agents is always good too in case something falls through with the agent. I sincerely hope you hear from your agent soon, good luck to you.

Thank you so much, Undercover! I'm really sorry to hear you're in the same boat, but it helps to know I'm not alone. I'm curious, is there any point on continuing to revise the book we sent them (I could keep doing that forever!) or should I just be working on an entirely new project?

You're definitely right though, they're busy. I certainly do have more free time, which is why I've got so much time to worry myself :)

Thank you again

Phaeal
03-02-2012, 07:18 PM
Could be the agent has cooled toward your project over the months since she first read it. Could be she hasn't had time to read your revised version yet. Could be she's in the middle of eight crises, and she's not an octopus. There's no telling.

Yeah, sorry, it's the same old answer: Patience, and get to work on the next book.

I love my agent. He always responds to questions and to the receipt of new material at once. Plus, being one of the world's fastest readers, he has comments on the new stuff soon after receipt. I have to admit a less responsive style would make me anxious, too. But again, reading lots into little is futile.

Know what I'd do? I'd write a treatment of the second novel of the series, suitable for submission with the completed novel. It would tell the whole story of the second book, in enough pages for you to make the thing read well (bits of dialogue, important scenes given extra space and juice.) Third person, present tense, as in a synopsis. Mine run from 10-20 pages, single-spaced.

When you get this treatment done, send it to your agent. It will show her you're serious about the series, it will beef up her submission packages, and it will remind her (in a constructive way) that you're still out there, working hard. ;)

Jamesaritchie
03-02-2012, 08:13 PM
Patience is a virtue, and four weeks is nothing. Once you send a book to an agent or an editor, do not revise another word. If it isn't the way you want it, you shouldn't send it at all. If it is the way you want it, leave it the heck alone until and unless you're asked for more changes.

Never, ever send out a manuscript that you want to change. Forget the first one until you are asked for changes, and get to work on the second book.

And be patient. Any good agent has a LOT of other clients, selling clients, ones that are already making her money, and these are her first priority. Rightfully so. Your agent will get to you when she can.

Polenth
03-02-2012, 11:04 PM
Some agents are getting ready for Bologna too, so that's a possible delay. I don't see there's anything to be gained from endlessly revising the manuscript you sent her until you hear her thoughts.

Jess Haines
03-03-2012, 12:45 AM
Be patient. It takes time to read a manuscript thoroughly with an eye for critique to make it shine. She may have a few more pressing projects in the queue ahead of you.

Get rolling on book two. :)

Drachen Jager
03-03-2012, 12:50 AM
I think it's a busy time for agents. You're the fourth person on here I know of in a similar boat right now.

triceretops
03-03-2012, 12:57 AM
My agent, as a rule, has been very tardy. But eventually she responds. I can only think/assume that her workload is pulling her down. I don't know. I wait it out every time.

backslashbaby
03-03-2012, 02:05 AM
I don't know if it helps any, but that email sounds like how my lawyer's office responds sometimes to me :D It is so weird, isn't it? But in some industries it's not uncommon.

PoppysInARow
03-03-2012, 05:02 AM
Am I the only one a little bothered by this? Yeah, four weeks is nothing in publishing in time, but if you have an agent, I'd assume a little more communication happens. Expecting her to have it read in four weeks is a little, yes, absurd, because we don't know her schedule. She could be behind. But it takes five seconds to shoot an email stating she received it okay and she'd get to it when she had a moment.

I'm in a similar situation. I sent my manuscript to my agent five weeks ago. He sent me an email the day after I sent it saying he got it. A week ago, he sent me an email saying he wasn't finished reading, and gave me very brief thoughts on what I had.

Maybe your agent isn't as big on communication. You never know. But I'm big on the back and forth. So. :Shrug: My 2 cents.

Layla Nahar
03-03-2012, 09:01 AM
Am I the only one a little bothered by this?

No you're not. It may be the way some businesses work but a little courtesy wouldn't hurt. Perhaps they do it to discourage you from writing too much, but how much would it hurt to write 'call me 3/15'?

DeadlyAccurate
03-03-2012, 09:15 AM
Am I the only one a little bothered by this?

No, it bothers me, too. Not that the agent hasn't read it, but that they didn't initially respond to a "did you get it" nudge and when they did it was curt to the point of rudeness.

Mr. Anonymous
03-03-2012, 09:56 AM
I'm a bit worried about this too... I mean, my agent took like 6 months to read through my revised MS the second time I revised for her (first time she got back to me in around a month), so I know what it feels like to be left in the lurch.

However. At the end of those six months she mailed me a hard copy which she went through lbl.

And, I maintained regular correspondence with her for much of that time.

And, she confirmed receipt almost immediately.

I'm not saying this to worry you, TC. It could be that the agent is just very busy. But considering you just spent a ton of time making requested revisions, I think something a little more than a simple "OK" would not have gone amiss.

TrixieLox
03-03-2012, 01:52 PM
Agents are busy. It really just depends what you want in an agent. What I've learnt over the years and other people's experiences is it depends what you want. Some people are happy for their agents to keep them hanging a while as long as they work their butts off to sell the novel. But others need good communications too. Sure, it CAN take agents a while to read fulls / synopses etc during a busy period so I always advise to hold tight and be patient in those reading times. Agents good at communication will usually tell you if they're busy and might be delayed. But basic communication is SO important in my view. But then that's my view! At work, I always try to respond politely to people within 48 hours, even if I'm crazy busy. And when I respond, I do so politely, not just an 'ok' (did s/he not add anything, like a quick 'looking foreard to reading this?) I'd hope an agent I work with would do the same. But that's just me. Other writers might not care about that stuff.

It sounds like your agent isn't huge on communication. If it's really bothering you, schedule a phone call and mention your concerns. Or just say in an email you'll bother them less if they could just acknowledge receipt and keep you abreast of reading times so you can get on with life without worrying, and they can get on with reading without you chasing them.

Good luck!

HopeWelsh
03-03-2012, 07:13 PM
I'd consider a few things.

Did you check your agent out? Does he/she have clients and is she selling their work? (most agent sites have lists of their authors) I'm assuming you've checked him/her out already.

If you know it is a legit agent, then I'd suggest just giving it time.

I'm not an agent--I'm a reviewer, though--and my inbox is inundated daily with requests to read. Thankfully, it just takes a second to skim through the new list that day-but I can't even answer them all immediately. I don't answer 'yes' I'll read until I decide if it's my kind of book, for instance.

I'd imagine an agent gets a LOT more email than I do.

My advice would be to work on book two and give it 30 days. If you still hear nothing--a polite email back.

Even the best reader can only read 2-3 books a day--and that is if they are doing nothing else.

I have always figured that once a book is out of my hands, it's time to work on the next project. I distract myself this way.

Corinne Duyvis
03-03-2012, 07:47 PM
Agents are definitely justified in taking a couple of weeks to read, but in the meantime communication is important. A confirmation of receipt shouldn't be too much to ask for, and a response that curt makes me wince.