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View Full Version : How Long Does it Take/How Long Should I Wait?



WildcatJim2112
05-28-2015, 01:56 AM
Got my first full manuscript request from an agent! For you folks that have been through this, how long until I should start getting antsy about not hearing anything? It's only been 11 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes (but who is counting?) since I sent it. At what point do you follow up with them to see if they have any questions?

Aggy B.
05-28-2015, 02:19 AM
If they send a response ("Thanks. I've got your MS and am looking forward to reading it.") they'll usually give you a basic time frame for expecting a response. If an agent does this, I add a month to their predicted time, then nudge if I haven't heard back yet.

If they don't give you a time frame, I usually check their website for an indication of what typical response might be (usually mentioned under submission guidelines IF they mention it) and/or cross-check with the reported responses on Querytracker. Then I add a month and nudge if I haven't heard back by that time.

If there is no available indication of when they might respond, I usually nudge around 3-4 months. (Depending on the time of year. Winter holidays can add time to a response, or if I see them mention on Twitter about being at a conference/book fair/etc.) If I don't hear back regarding the nudge after a month, I nudge again. Politely of course. And always responding to the same email thread for the query/MS submission to help keep the nudge from winding up in a spam filter.

Response times can be all over the place though. I got an offer of rep in a couple of weeks when I was querying. Most of the responses (rejections) were in the 3-6 month range. One was nearly 18 months (long after I had signed with my agent).

Congrats! And best of luck.

mayqueen
05-28-2015, 05:56 AM
Congrats! But you should definitely break out your patience hat and put it on. Nothing moves quickly in publishing. I've waited between one week and two and a half years to hear back on full requests. So it could be soon or it could be a while from now.

Aggie is right that the standard time to send a polite nudge email is between three and four months. Log the date however you feel is best (I use a combo spreadsheet of my own making and QueryTracker) and do your best to forget about it. Keep querying and work on something new to help get your mind off it (and have something else in the pipeline in case this doesn't work out).

Sage
05-28-2015, 07:25 AM
Most people nudge at 3 months, if they haven't heard anything back. There's no point in asking if they have any questions about the novel, though. If they haven't responded, they probably haven't read it yet.

3 months is probably the average for hearing back. Some agents will read fulls overnight. Others might take up to (or beyond) a year.

Keep querying. Then you can be waiting on several requests instead of just one ;)

Lena Hillbrand
05-28-2015, 07:41 AM
Agree with the advice above, and let me add, keep querying! I've had responses within days, and some still out after a year. I've nudged with very little success. But keep your fingers crossed and don't give up!

LaneHeymont
05-28-2015, 09:03 AM
Nudge at three months.

Putputt
05-28-2015, 09:52 AM
Make a note to nudge at 3 months, then try your best to forget about it. Keep querying. A request for a full can end in a yes, a no, silence, an r&r...it's best to just not think about it.

LJackson
05-28-2015, 07:15 PM
So, for those who recommend that OP continue her querying, what is your strategy? Every two weeks, two months? 10, 20 queries a time?

mayqueen
05-28-2015, 09:20 PM
I do batches of five every... whenever I feel like it. Which is about every two or three weeks. I try to send another batch whenever a wave of rejections has come in and/or I've reached the "no response = no" closure period for a couple.

Thedrellum
05-28-2015, 09:27 PM
I would definitely suggest sending out another query immediately after receiving a rejection or logging a no response. I kept between ten and fifteen in the air at any time.

Putputt
05-28-2015, 10:43 PM
Depends on the category and genre you're querying. I write YA, so I literally had over 100 good agents to query, which meant I could send out more at a time. I sent out a batch of 10 for the first couple of weeks, and from then always made sure I had anywhere between 10 to 15 queries out at any given time. I paused after I got over 20 requests, just in case the agents came back with similar crits about the MS. I queried over 70 agents before I got an offer.

If you're querying something that not many agents rep, for example high fantasy, I'd go at a slower pace. Maybe send it out in batches of 5 instead of 10. You want to query widely, but you also want to make sure you don't burn through all your options and then find out there's a fatal flaw in your work.

WildcatJim2112
05-28-2015, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the responses. I'm in the middle of editing the first draft of the stand-alone sequel to the original novel in question. Will put on my patience hat as advised and keep querying.

saturn60148
06-19-2015, 09:34 PM
Hey guys another question about nudging. I was invited to send a partial from a Twitter contest and was wondering what you thought the appropriate time to nudge was. (Just FYI, the agent is usually closed to queries so her inbox probably isn't as flooded). Didn't get a confirmation of receipt, but I saw on query tracker that a few people received rejections within a few days, so I think the agent is responding. Anyways let me know what you guys think!

waylander
06-19-2015, 11:28 PM
3 months is standard on a partial

Putputt
06-20-2015, 10:12 PM
Hey guys another question about nudging. I was invited to send a partial from a Twitter contest and was wondering what you thought the appropriate time to nudge was. (Just FYI, the agent is usually closed to queries so her inbox probably isn't as flooded). Didn't get a confirmation of receipt, but I saw on query tracker that a few people received rejections within a few days, so I think the agent is responding. Anyways let me know what you guys think!

Does the agent or agency not have that information on their website? Usually agencies will say stuff like "Please send us a reminder if we haven't gotten back to you by 8 weeks" or whateverballs.

I'd nudge after 3 months. In the meantime, I'd still query other agents.

P.S. Just because an agent is closed to queries doesn't mean her inbox isn't as flooded. It could be flooded like crazy still, which might be the reason why she closed herself to queries. She might still be playing catch-up with all the queries.

saturn60148
06-22-2015, 05:05 AM
There's no information on response times, so to be safe I can wait the 3 months. Thanks for the advice guys!