What does a good working relationship with an agent look like?
I've been with my agent for more than a year, and don't hear from her often. She's submitted my work to three publishers (that I know of) but I've only received feedback from one (a very kind rejection with suggestions on revisions and an open door to read my next book).
In the past year, I've had a baby, so work on my third novel took longer than I expected - I'm just wrapping up revisions, then it will go to beta readers, then I hope to have it completed by end of March.
I've emailed this agent twice since the new year, first on Jan 4 with outlining my goals and timeline, asking her opinion on whether I should attend a national conference & try to personally meet with editors, asking if she's gotten feedback from the other two publishers, detailing my plans for the rest of the series. All organized & concise. The second time was to follow up a week and a half later, as I hadn't heard anything back - not even an acknowledgement of receipt of the email. She's the president of the agency and I understand she's busy, but hearing back even from the assistant would be great at this stage! Still haven't.
I would love to know if this is typical for a relationship between an agent and an unpublished author - if not, what is? After working so hard to get an agent it's disappointing to say the least to only hear from mine once every 5-6 months and to not hear back at all in a timely manner so far this year. If this IS normal, I don't want to overreact and rock the boat!
Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
This is NOT a good working relationship because YOU are not happy with it. There are no standards about this kind of thing. If you're not happy, it's not working.
I have fallen behind on communication with my clients from time to time. It's not something I'm proud of and in fact is something I work hard to avoid. But it does happen.
BUT, if I get an email or a call that says "hey, this is a problem for me" from a client, I smarten up and pay attention.
Thus, you need to make your unhappiness known. Say to her what you said to me. She can't fix a problem she's not aware of.
And emails can go astray. Or get buried. Or maybe her assistant was supposed to reply.
Let her know you're unhappy. See if things change. If they don't, well, you know you need an agent who is better at communication than this one. That national conference is probably a good place to meet one.