Last week's blog posts and comment trail on the waiting game got me thinking.
There was a certain brave contingent who pushed back on the idea of agents taking so long to read things. Some suggested just pulling the manuscript from consideration if the agent took too long. (You can see how long it took for most of my requested fulls on yesterday's post)
Here's why doing that is a TERRIBLE idea.
The amount of time it takes an agent to read your manuscript is just the first in a series of estimates you'll experience in your publishing career.
When I send your manuscript to an editor, there's a wait period. If you get impatient with that time and tell me to just pull it from submission, you're pretty close to being an ex-client. This kind of behavior would damage my ability to work with editors. Guess how eager I am to do that.
When your editor acquires the manuscript and makes an offer, there's a wait period while we negotiate the offer, and then while we negotiate the contract. Get impatient, say "fuck this noise I'm going to self-publish", you will be an ex client.
When your book is slated for publication and gets bumped to the following season for reasons you don't approve of (and yes this happens) and you say "fuck it, I'm canceling the contract" you are an ex-client with a bill to pay back the publisher, INCLUDING the commission cause we don't refund that if we've done our job.
When your book is published and the trade reviews don't come prior to publication (that does happen) or the people you've asked for blurbs don't respond in a timely manner, and you take to social media to wail about people and PW failing you left and right, well yes, you're still a client, but you've gotten
a tongue lashing you'll never forget. And damaged your relationship with me pretty badly.
Impatience can damage or kill your career.
If you don't know this going in to the query process, well, you know it now.
And if you're a savvy writer, you'll figure out ways to manage your impatience.
You'll figure out ways to measure what's a realistic wait time, what's too long, and how to overcome problems caused by delays.
In other words, you won't complain, you'll strategize.
***always a dangerous thing