A little over a year ago I received a request for an R&R from a literary agent — she sent a long and very helpful critique — and of course I was thrilled. I spent three months revising the novel and sent it back. About a month later I got an email from the agent saying “it’s not quite there,” with additional yet much more limited changes suggested. I revised again, this time it took about a month, then I sent the manuscript back to her. That was six months ago. After three months I sent a nudge—but she didn’t reply to me. And I still haven’t heard back. Here’s my question.
(1)Should I nudge again?
(2) Or should I consider this a “no”?
(3) Or is there still hope for me with this agent?
I’ve continued to query the novel during this time, with some hope, because this is the second agent who has been very interested in this manuscript, but
(4)I can’t query forever (or can I?)
(5)Once I reach a certain number of agents, should I stop querying and put the novel in the drawer?
(6)And what is that magic number?
From R&R Purgatory
(1) Should you nudge again?
Yes. Nudge every 3-4 months for another 12 months. You don't know what's going on her side of the inbox. I've gotten so far behind it's been mortifying. I'm currently shopping a proposal I had here for a year BEFORE we started revising.
(2) Don't assume no until you've given her a lot more time. And then you'll write to withdraw it, if only cause not replying to a full is rather rude, and she needs to be smacked across the nose like an errant puppy.
(3) There's hope of course. There's always hope. But at some point, her lack of response isn't just busy or life or any of the other things that can keep an agent from replying. After a year I'd say it's just bad manners (and bad business.)
(4 & 5) You can query forever but at some point, I HOPE, you'll have another project ready to go. If you query everyone for this, you eventually run out of options. The last thing you want to do is be this guy.
(6) It's the number of times you've queried as of today, plus one. In other words, keep going till you've got something new, or you run out of places to query. And by places to query, I don't mean you scrape the bottom of the barrel. Being badly repped here is NOT your goal.