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honeycomb
12-03-2007, 05:48 AM
Could this get anymore depressing? I've written this great novel, a real masterpiece, a pulitzer prize, a real page turner and I've only received four "send sample chapters" since I started quering a month and a half ago.

Am I missing something here? i've had my query letter reviewed by several people and it has been tweaked and tweaked.

Can someone tell me how long it takes to get a reputable agent?

ChaosTitan
12-03-2007, 05:52 AM
There is no rule or standard time. Some folks get an agent on the first query. Others can query from one end of their list to the other for years, before landing someone who wants to take them on. Others still never get an agent.

I'm glad you're proud of your novel, but six weeks of querying is just a drop in the ocean. Keep at it. :)

Julie Worth
12-03-2007, 05:57 AM
Can someone tell me how long it takes to get a reputable agent?

Five years and counting.

honeycomb
12-03-2007, 06:02 AM
Five years and counting.

Wow! Enough complaining.

Serena Casey
12-03-2007, 06:06 AM
I would say four requests for partials in six weeks is pretty outstanding, based on what I've learned so far.

Novelhistorian
12-03-2007, 08:53 AM
If I were you, I'd be dancing in the streets. Just watch out for traffic.

blacbird
12-03-2007, 10:00 AM
Finding an agent isn't much of a problem. In fact, I know right where hundreds of them are.

Getting one to agree to represent your work for publication is a different animal. If you're out there telling them you have "a real masterpiece, a pulitzer prize, a real page turner," you'll likely need a lot more patience than you apparently have now.

caw

waylander
12-03-2007, 01:56 PM
Could this get anymore depressing? I've written this great novel, a real masterpiece, a pulitzer prize, a real page turner and I've only received four "send sample chapters" since I started quering a month and a half ago.

Am I missing something here? i've had my query letter reviewed by several people and it has been tweaked and tweaked.

Can someone tell me how long it takes to get a reputable agent?

Five and a half years, but I've now got one.

4 partial requests in 6 weeks of querying is a fairly good hit rate

Marian Perera
12-03-2007, 02:51 PM
Eight years, albeit with different books (the early, crappy books didn't get any response, but the subsequent, better book did).

seun
12-03-2007, 05:27 PM
Four requests in less than two months? Mate, you should have a big smile on your face. The last thing you should be doing is thinking you're not getting anywhere.

Inky
12-03-2007, 05:30 PM
Pretend agents are a pair of Depends.
Now, saturate.
Send out those queries to any and all who accept your genre.

C.bronco
12-03-2007, 05:36 PM
Could this get anymore depressing? I've written this great novel, a real masterpiece, a pulitzer prize, a real page turner and I've only received four "send sample chapters" since I started quering a month and a half ago.

Am I missing something here? i've had my query letter reviewed by several people and it has been tweaked and tweaked.

Can someone tell me how long it takes to get a reputable agent?
I've haven't written a pulitzer novel, however, it will be a great commercial success with plenty of opportunities for action figures and other assorted marketing products. I forsee happy meal promotions for the movie.

2 years and counting. 1 year since I've figured out how to fix up my query letter and synopsis properly. I oughta start querying again; I've been kinda busy.

DeadlyAccurate
12-03-2007, 06:44 PM
Can someone tell me how long it takes to get a reputable agent?

Ten years and four novels for me. It still hasn't sold.

While I wish you the best of luck and hope you get an agent with this book, I also hope you're working on the next one.

And six weeks is nothing. In publishing time, it's a nonexistent time entity.

Birol
12-03-2007, 07:04 PM
Pretend agents are a pair of Depends.
Now, saturate.
Send out those queries to any and all who accept your genre.

I recommend looking beyond the actual genre they've published. What specific books/authors have they published? Are the books anything like yours? Research this market, the same as you would a magazine before submitting.

honeycomb
12-05-2007, 08:49 AM
Thank you all for the replies and encouragement!

Birol
12-05-2007, 10:57 AM
Out of curiosity, you told us how long you've searching for an agent, but how many agents have you queried in that time?

IceCreamEmpress
12-05-2007, 07:22 PM
Could this get anymore depressing? I've written this great novel, a real masterpiece, a pulitzer prize, a real page turner and I've only received four "send sample chapters" since I started quering a month and a half ago.

"Only"? You're doing fine! That's a great result.

Seriously, give it six months before you even start worrying an iota. Six months, or rejections from all of the people in your current pool.

It took six months to find my former agent for a novel that did quite well. Six months and 14 or 15 submissions.

honeycomb
12-06-2007, 07:18 AM
Out of curiosity, you told us how long you've searching for an agent, but how many agents have you queried in that time?

I would say every author that accepts women's, ethnic, fiction.

Shady Lane
12-06-2007, 08:13 AM
Eight months, three manuscripts....still working.

Chumplet
12-06-2007, 08:21 AM
Two years, fifty or sixty queries, three requests for partials, no takers. I finally sold my first two novels to small presses, and I'm still plugging away with my third. Maybe this will be 'the one' to snag an agent.

Please, pleeeeeze be careful not to declare your novel a masterpiece to agents. They get a little snarky when they hear stuff like that.

Birol
12-06-2007, 09:17 AM
I would say every author that accepts women's, ethnic, fiction.

You mean every agent, not every author, right? What I'm hearing you say is you took the shotgun approach?

Beyond finding out what the agents accepted work in your genre, did you do any type of research as to what they represent? You stated that your query letter had been reviewed by several people. What were their qualifications?

Maryn
12-08-2007, 07:29 PM
Darn, I was hoping the OP would have answered Lori's posts 16 and 21 by now. Oh well, busy time of year for us all, right?

Maryn, keeping watch on the thread

Birol
12-08-2007, 07:48 PM
They did answer #16 in a manner of speaking. Look at post #18. It's not a precise answer, but it does provide information in response to the question. I interested in hearing the response to #21, too. This is a good discussion to have.

clara bow
12-08-2007, 09:14 PM
]Five [/B]years and counting.

me too!

scarletpeaches
12-08-2007, 09:23 PM
Could this get anymore depressing?...

Yes. You could be me.

One partial request in all my thirty-one years. Get over yourself. Four requests in a matter of weeks? I'd kill for that sort of hit rate.

Provrb1810meggy
12-08-2007, 09:25 PM
Even though it seemed like a long time, what with the rejections and submitting three separate books and the fact that when you're my age everything seems longer, I got an agent last month after I started querying in summer 06...so somewhere around a year and three months.

And I consider getting an agent in that amount of time to be fairly lucky. Though some people get agents quicker than that, a lot of people--some of them have posted here--have spent much more time querying before they got an agent.

If there's one thing I've learned about the publishing industry, it's that it's slow. Though it's hard and you will probably obsessively check your email, you have to at least try to be patient.

Also, you have to be persistent. My first novel did not get an agent. My second novel did not get an agent. My fourth novel written (third novel submitted-the novel I wrote third is resigned to a spot in the drawer) did, however, even though I felt far along in the submission process and was worried that it wouldn't get an agent either. You know what I would've done then? Polish the next ms. and send that one out!

Horseshoes
12-09-2007, 03:36 AM
If you sent 100 queries and got four requests, then there may be a query problem, story problem or agent-picking problem. Also, if you sent 100 queries in that amount of time, you were shotgunning, which used up all your query-ables before you had a chance to tweak based on direct, pertinent feedback.
If you sent 10 queries and gout four requests, you're doing fine, except in the patience category.
Hang in there. To answer you question, some folks get an agent in less than a week, some never do. So that's how long it takes: somewhere between an hour and never. See? For the individual, it doesn't matter how long it takes someone else, it matters how long it takes that individual. My first took over a year, over 100 queries. @nd was same number of qs, about 4 months. Both were reputable, one is on most novelists top ten dream list. Neither got a sale. 3rd took a few weeks, about 40 queries. YM-will-V

honeycomb
12-10-2007, 04:42 AM
You mean every agent, not every author, right? What I'm hearing you say is you took the shotgun approach?

Beyond finding out what the agents accepted work in your genre, did you do any type of research as to what they represent? You stated that your query letter had been reviewed by several people. What were their qualifications?

Sorry all for not responding earlier. I'm still new to AW and sometimes I can't find my posts, but I figured out how to find them.

Okay. Yes, I did mean agent. Before I query I search AgentyQuery, Publisher's Marketplace, Agent's websites, Google and AW for works rep'd. I even contacted a couple of authors who were rep'd by some of the agents.

Anyway as far as the Query Letter goes, I had a friend of mine who is an author of children's stories and fantasies to take a look at it. Also I had one of my co-worker's daughter look at it. She is an editor for a magazine.

ACEnders
12-10-2007, 06:29 AM
Please, pleeeeeze be careful not to declare your novel a masterpiece to agents. They get a little snarky when they hear stuff like that.

I'm unpublished, but from what I've read on publishers' blogs and agents and authors' blogs - this statement is fair advice.


Yes. You could be me.

One partial request in all my thirty-one years. Get over yourself. Four requests in a matter of weeks? I'd kill for that sort of hit rate.

I haven't started querying yet, but I would have to agree from what I've learned so far. 6 weeks is nothing, and you already have four requests? Congratulations!!! I liked whoever said to dance in the streets, but look out for cars! lol (I forgot to quote them, sorry!)

honeycomb
12-10-2007, 08:46 AM
I'm unpublished, but from what I've read on publishers' blogs and agents and authors' blogs - this statement is fair advice.



I haven't started querying yet, but I would have to agree from what I've learned so far. 6 weeks is nothing, and you already have four requests? Congratulations!!! I liked whoever said to dance in the streets, but look out for cars! lol (I forgot to quote them, sorry!)

Again, thanks for the advice from all. I'm so new to submitting my work and calling myself an author so I get discouraged at times.

As for my statement about "masterpiece", "Pulitzer prize", etc. Of course, I'm professional enough not to aggrandize my MS when querying. That was my little attempt at humor. Ha ha! That's why I chose women's fiction instead of comedy :-)