View Full Version : Oh no - agent ignoring me - part deux

09-29-2014, 04:07 PM
Dear AWers,
Hope everyone has been doing great. I posted here a few months when my first agent dumped me out of the blue after ignoring my mails for yonks. You all were so kind and supportive and helped me immensely.
I got another agent almost instantly. Things were going great (do you sense the "but",? :)) and for the first few weeks, there was quick and courteous email communication. It has been close to 4 months since I made yet another round of edits as per the agent's ideas. I had a call with the agent and he suggested some more changes and said he would send me a marked-up draft. This was two months ago and he is yet to send me the promised notes.
To say I am despairing is putting it mildly. I know this is a slow industry. I know patience pays. I know politeness always works. But surely two months to send a mark up is too long?I got an email 3 weeks ago promising the draft soon. To date, there is nothing.

I have never been a patient person and I am of the strong belief that the universe teaches you lessons you refuse to learn. I can take all of that (sometimes with some good whining, but I try) but I am beginning to wonder if I will be dumped again, if it is another dead-end, if the novel will ever see the light of the day. It is honestly killing me on the inside.
I don't want to be that problem writer and get a bad rep from agents. But I want so badly to just move to the next stage and eventually to subbing. Any advice or suggestions will be gratefully accepted. If I am doing something wrong or have unrealistic expectations, please, please let me know.

Many, many, thanks,

09-29-2014, 04:13 PM
You've gotta be patient
The agents may have got turned off by your stream of inquiries and just been like, "later for this."
Then again, they may not have. Just something to consider.

09-29-2014, 04:15 PM
Thanks Ken. I only mailed the agent twice in the last two months (took a lotta self control :))

09-29-2014, 04:19 PM
Oops, I didn't realise I had created two threads in error. So terribly sorry, mods. Could you please delete this one?

Apologies again,

09-29-2014, 04:43 PM
I remember your earlier thread. I have no advice to offer, but just wanted to give you a :Hug2:


Lady Chipmunk
09-29-2014, 05:22 PM
Without knowing a lot of other details, it is impossible to know what the real deal here is, but there are possibilities that do not mean you're about to get dumped:

1) The suggested changes could be more substantial than initially thought, so the the mark-up is taking time,

2) This agent could have suddenly gotten swamped, and the mark-up got put off in place of more time-sensitive matters,

3) Something could have gone wrong in the agent's life and therefore made things take longer. They are people too, and sometimes life just explodes.

I'm not a particularly patient person either, so I feel for you. I'd be going nuts as well. However, it sounds like this agent at least responded a few weeks ago, so communication isn't at the radio silence stage.

Maybe it would be helpful for you to talk to the agent and get a clear sense of his timeline. It may be that while you expect mark-ups coming soon to mean in the next week, in his mind soon is within three months. Getting on the same page about that sort of thing could smooth out some of the anxiety you're facing, and if you address it calmly and politely as a "I just want to understand this process" rather than "This is taking too long, what is wrong with you" then it shouldn't cause too much trouble.

I am not, however, an agent, so what do I know. :)

09-29-2014, 05:35 PM
Thanks so much, Netz. Hugs right back at ya.

Thanks Lady Chipmunk - much, much appreciate your reasoning. I like the idea of asking about the process so I will do just that in a week's time or so. In the meanwhile, I will try not to repeatedly click the 'Send Receive' button on mail inbox.Thanks again :)

09-29-2014, 05:55 PM
Btw, the Thick Skin BallTM is still out of stock, but I've got your name on the list from last time. Will dispatch as soon as I'm able to. ;)

09-29-2014, 06:02 PM
I have an agent who sometimes forgets stuff. I'll send a requested manuscript and I don't hear back for weeks/months. That has happened a couple of times since signing with her in April. But she does get back to me eventually.

Agents are extraordinarily busy, especially good ones. My agent gets up at 5:30 a.m. every morning and usually works a good 10-hour day. I don't understand how she does all the things she does with all the clients she has, but she does them. So I just wait. It's all I can do. In the meantime, I work on the next thing. Publishing is a slllloooowwwww process. So try not to worry. He's working for you, he just has a hell of a lot on his plate.

09-29-2014, 06:23 PM
You are allowed to call them.

09-29-2014, 07:59 PM
My agent gets up at 5:30 a.m. every morning and usually works a good 10-hour day.

Doesn't everybody? I mean, there are so many writers who work a full day AND then write, too, that a mere 50 hour week sounds like a vacation.

Can those who DON'T work at least a 10-hour day please raise their hands?

I'm AT WORK by AT LEAST 4:30 a.m. and so are a lot of other folks.

Not picking on you, popgun, but this whole notion about how busy agents are and how hard they work is no excuse for poor communication.

Admittedly, I have an old school agent, but if I email him he will reply within 24 hours. If he says he's going to do something, he does it or let's me know why there's going to be a delay. And, as a professional, I do the same. I'm busy, he's busy, but we've set a two week turn around on his notes or my revisions. We're partners; I'm not his lackey with a begging bowl.

Efficient communication is a sign of mutual respect. You need to tell people what you expect from them and offer the same in return.

09-29-2014, 08:05 PM
If it were me, I'd send a brief email along the lines of:

"Hi, I'm just checking in on the edits... First, I want to make sure I didn't miss you sending them. And second, I'm working out my writing schedule and want to make sure I have enough room on my plate to tackle them when they come in. Do you have an update on when you'll be sending them?"

09-30-2014, 12:37 AM
In addition to all the great advice/suggestions given, may I also suggest that you start on your next novel? It might help in taking your mind off of it while you are waiting (and stop you from refreshing your email 27.4 times per hour. :)). You said you have a hard time waiting and you know this industry is slooooow. I had a friend who was waiting almost a year for notes. Granted that is RIDICULOUS, but it happens. She finally called her agent and was upfront about her frustrations of the never ending, "Notes are coming soon" promises and she finally got them a couple of weeks later. Who knows what was going on with her agent (and it's a pretty good/reputable agent). As pp said, Life just happens. They are people, too. :)

But, I still say that trying to put it out of your mind and start writing something else is always a good way to go. You kill two birds with one stone (gosh I hate that expression...who throws stones at birds? :().

09-30-2014, 12:56 AM
Melly is very right - you'd do well if it's possible to start on the next book. If nothing else, if changes your focus. Good luck!

Laer Carroll
09-30-2014, 03:50 AM
mcCardey, I'm not a dog person. But IN RE your doggie portrait: AWWW!

09-30-2014, 04:09 AM
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. Your input is much, much appreciated. Knowing that I am not the only one makes me feel better in some skewed way.
I will start work on my second novel - I will be honest that I have only approached this task half-heartedly because I am getting pretty listless about the whole thing. But, I don't see any other way to cope at the moment and therefore, I have to put my first novel away for a bit and continue the second one.
I am just worried that these delays in communication perhaps mean that I will be waiting endlessly for subs and the agent won't follow-up on those either. But hoping for the best is a panacea, yeah?

Thanks again all of you.
Love and hugs,