I have the impression that August is a month during which the publishing industry if not shuts down, then at least ramps down.
Nonetheless, I sent out a query, just one, to my 'dream' agent. Being accepted is a long shot, but if I was to be refused, I wanted to get it out of the way.
In the future, I'll send queries to multiple agents. After five years and many drafts, my manuscript is ready. I 'rested' it for several months, then re-read it, after which I gave it to several trusted readers. Even though it was August, I just couldn't wait any longer to get the process going.
Does August really affect response time? Should I not even start to fret until well into September?
Also, the agent does not list a time frame by which she says she will reply. To me, a reasonable reply time is 4-6 weeks. It has only been 3 weeks, but seems like a year. Now I wonder: will she ever reply?
Maybe I should just have a stiff drink and focus on my next project.***
I'm always amused when people think publishing shuts down in August. Not anymore it doesn't, and we're all the poorer for it, I must confess.
A lot of higher-echelon decision makers take vacations in August and early September, so it's harder to get contracts signed, or deal memos ok'd but that has NOTHING to do with queries.
Frankly, agents are behind on answering queries (well, I'm not, everyone else is) all the time.
The normal wait time for a query is 30 days. However, that means nothing to you because you will send queries out to agents starting now, and continuing until you get an offer. You can follow up in 30 days with that first agent, but chances are unless she's committed to replying to every query, you won't hear back unless she's interested. ( rant about "No response means no" here)
[And don't get me started on why you should not set your hopes on a Dream Agent. Oops...too late ]
*** that is always the correct course of action when querying