View Full Version : Is this typical for the industry? Or do I have a lame-duck agent?

11-15-2016, 11:46 PM
Been with Agent about a year now. I signed, we polished up my MS, & then Agent sent out 1 batch of pitches/queries to 15-20 editors.

That's it. That's all that's happened.

We had a couple of full MS requests & subsequent passes. No solid feedback except for the generic "liked it but didn't connect with MC blah blah."

There are still 2 or 3 full MS requests with no response. (Agent claims they "nudged" those editors recently) Agent says we should wait for feedback on those before moving forward. But it's been almost A YEAR now!

I'm itching to send another round of pitches/queries, but I'm following Agent's lead - since they are the professional. Is this typical? Going a full year between each round of pitching/querying?

Old Hack
11-16-2016, 11:32 AM
It doesn't seem ideal to me.

Does your agent have an impressive record of selling books to great publishers? Have you spoken with your agent about the rejections you've had so far, and if there's a pattern to them which might signify that the book needs any reworking?

You can't send out any queries: it's your agent's job to do that for you. But I can understand why you're itching to move on.

Speak to your agent. Consider if this is how you want your books represented. I think I'd probably consider moving on. But bear in mind that you're not likely to find another agent willing to try to sell this particular book now it's been on the market for a year.

11-16-2016, 03:52 PM
How long have your fulls been out? If it hasn't been a long time, I would wait. One year isn't that horribly long in the publishing business. But I can understand maybe sending out another batch, maybe at the six month mark. It all depends on those fulls you still have out. If it's been over six months, yes, I would urge your agent to send out another batch, or what is the next step for my book. Is your agent willing to send out another batch? Because some agent/authors part ways after one batch and that's it. That's what happened to me with my first agent. She didn't want any more to do with it. I would talk to your agent and ask how she wants to proceed. If she's just sitting on everything and constantly waiting, and no new batches and it goes over a year and beyond, then yes, I would cut her loose.

Marissa D
11-16-2016, 09:40 PM
15-20 editors in one blast seems kind of...unfocused. Do you think your agent did a good job of targeting specific editors whom he or she thought would be a good fit for your manuscript?

11-17-2016, 01:27 AM
The last novel of mine my agent circuated got a lot of no replies. I know he has sold a lot of other clients to big players

11-17-2016, 03:36 AM
15-20 editors in one blast seems kind of...unfocused. Do you think your agent did a good job of targeting specific editors whom he or she thought would be a good fit for your manuscript?

I think this can really depend. In my experience, sometimes a large submission pool like this is done with an auction or pre-empt in mind. My first time on sub, I had around that number of editors in the US reading the book and about 10 in the UK reading and my agent at the time's goal was an auction or pre-empt and both happened, partly because there was a sense of urgency from the start. But obviously, you can't guarantee an auction or a pre-empt, so it can be a gamble. I was very fortunate.

However, in this poster's shoes, I would be probably thinking about having a talk with my agent. If you've nearly exhausted this round of editors and you've been on sub a year with just one round, it's time to talk about plans for the future. Is another round of submission in the cards? What about new work? It's time to lay out a plan, with their input and advice if you want to stay with them.

If you want to stay with this agent, I'd probably go to them and go "Look, waiting a indeterminate amount of time until these editors may or may not get back to us is not really working for me. It's been a year. I need more forward momentum on (this project/my career/new project), can we have a discussion about how we do that?"

While wait-times (sometimes long ones!) on submission can be normal, an agent who lets submissions languish for a year without doing much nudging may not be an agent that is a good fit for you. Going on sub doesn't mean everything goes into a standstill until you get all the rejections or an offer. Nothing would get done if that were the case! For example: I was on sub for about two months out of this year. As soon as we were out on sub with the project and our focus didn't have to be 100% on that anymore, my agent and I were sitting down and discussing and planning out the timing for the next three projects, as well as discussing the options if the first round of submission didn't get any offers.

11-18-2016, 11:45 AM
Not one single bloody aspect of the bloody publishing business can be categorized as "typical".


12-01-2016, 10:27 PM
15-20 editors sounds like pretty much everyone who could possibly offer you an advance. I'm confused as to what a second round would look like? Electronic non-advance paying publishers? I can see why the agent wouldn't be so keen. 100-1 the agent doesn't earn enough from that situation to make it worth his while.

I would, however, be concerned that the hit rate was so low. For whatever reason, that pitch wasn't very effective.

12-22-2016, 01:24 AM
I'd move on or ask her to send out another batch. However, if she hasn't even reached out to you then I'd say move on.