View Full Version : How long before I give agents with full a nudge?

08-04-2013, 07:47 PM
I'm probably overeager, but I have two fulls out and was wondering, how long after sending an agent a full maunscript before you give them a polite nudge?

I'm just asking in general, but my YA full is out with two agents at the moment (who've had it since the tenth of May '13 and the twentieth of June '13 respectively) and am just worrying about it!

Thank you :)

Corinne Duyvis
08-04-2013, 09:00 PM
Wisdom varies. Some say three months, others say six months. Do the agents' websites give any indication? One option is to take whatever time frame they estimate and add two weeks or a month or so.

08-04-2013, 10:01 PM
If the agent's website gives a timeframe, add about a month to it, and then nudge.

If there's no timeframe, probably something in the four to six month range would be reasonable.

08-04-2013, 11:58 PM
I nudged at the three month mark, then again at the six month mark. But the most important thing for my sanity (and my eventual agent-ing) was simply continuing to query other agents. Until an agent offers, they're really no more a sure thing than any agent you've queried.

Also, hard as it may be, I suggest to continue writing. Sometimes that takes the mind off of waiting to hear back.

(And good luck!)

08-05-2013, 01:40 AM
Six months if when you sent it, you got a confirmation that they received it (personal, not automatic). Three months if you're just assuming they got it. That way, you're not waiting six months for something that ended up in the void. Also, if the agent is on twitter, be sure you're following them. A lot of agents will update how far they are in their requested fulls.

08-05-2013, 02:57 PM
Note that it took my agent 3 months to read my latest draft, and I'm a client.

08-05-2013, 04:20 PM
First choice: The agent's stated reading time plus one month.

Second choice: Three-six months.

Further: Nudge twice, with three months between nudges, then forget about it unless you get an offer from another agent. Then tell the tardy agent they have a specific period in which to respond.

Still further: You may never get a response for either subs or nudges. I had this happen with two agents who not only never responded but who also wanted paper copies. Expensive no-responses, those.

Keep querying.

Keep writing.

Develop some serious patience. The wait-for-agent is just the first of many waits in store.


08-06-2013, 06:46 AM
What Phaeal said. Except if you mailed a manuscript to an agent and they don't reply, come to NYC and get it back. (ok, not really.)

08-06-2013, 05:26 PM
Heh, I'm sure those two MSS long ago hit the recycle bins.

08-06-2013, 05:49 PM
Phaeal is right.

08-06-2013, 10:37 PM
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies! Neither agent replied to say they had received my manuscript, and neither have stated reading times on their websites, which makes it a bit more difficult! Only one has twitter, and she hasn't tweeted anything about being up to date I don't think.
I shall probably send it off to a few more agents to take my mind off things ;)

10-04-2013, 07:28 PM
What sort of thing should I say if I do decide to nudge the agents? I don't want to come across as pushy or nagging, I just want to know where I stand.

Any suggestions?

10-04-2013, 07:36 PM
I just go with a very simple, "Dear Agent, On (date), you requested the full of my manuscript (TITLE). I am just checking in to see if you received it and whether you are still considering it. Thank you."

10-04-2013, 10:59 PM
I've had an offer from someone else... That'll get them reading.

Siri Kirpal
10-04-2013, 11:04 PM
I've had an offer from someone else... That'll get them reading.

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I wouldn't do that unless it's true. Dishonesty can backfire. And they might ask whom the agent is.


Siri Kirpal

10-05-2013, 01:20 AM
Coupland, that can work, you bet. It has a bigger chance of not working. Often if I'm backlogged...oh who the hell am I kidding, I'm ALWAYS backlogged. If someone writes to say they have an offer, I almost always let the project go. I figure they've got someone who is more eager than I am and that's a good thing.

10-06-2013, 09:23 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I wouldn't do that unless it's true. Dishonesty can backfire. And they might ask whom the agent is.


Siri Kirpal

This. When I did nudge with offers, a few of the agents did ask who the offers were from. One of them replied along the lines of, "Ah, I know Agent A and she's fantastic. You'll be in good hands." before backing out. Another asked if I had a preferred agent out of the ones who had offered, and who it was, before throwing their offer into the hat as well. If I'd lied, it wouldn't have taken long for the lie to come out, and I'd probably be on several agents' shit list for a long time.

10-06-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks guys! I've already received a reply from one of them, who said she emailed me a while ago to ask me to resend the file in a different format, but the email must have got lost in cyberspace. So I have resent it now and fingers crossed. It's a bit stupid but I'm kind of pleased she remembered me and my manuscript even though it was ages ago :)