I’ve been querying a novel with a good response rate for more material. Some rejected early on, and then I hired a freelance editor recommended by my Sisters in Crime chapter leader, an award winning author. The editor, who has worked with many traditionally published authors, enjoyed the story and said her edits were light. She ending up charging me less than the original estimate because it didn’t require much work.I began querying with renewed vigor. More requests! And now...I’ve been waiting anywhere from 5 months to over a year to hear back from four agents on the full. What...what on earth? Is this timeline normal?I’ve mildly nudged the 2 who’ve had it the longest and still nothing. I recognize that we are now in A Very Strange Time and responses may be delayed, but I celebrated a 1 year anniversary with anagent long before this. NB: they are all reputable agents. Is it time to assume these are rejections and retreat, weeping?
There are two problems here.
The first is slow response time.
The second is lack of communication.
I'm not one to point fingers about laggardly response times.
I've got things in my to be read stack that have been here a year or more.'
That's NOT the norm, which I am reminded of (to my everlasting mortification) when I see agents on Twitter say they are all caught up on fulls as of the previous month.
So yes, it can take a while.
Some of us a good long while.
BUT, in my defense I will say that when an author nudges, I do reply.
To hang on to something for a year, and not reply when nudged, that's a bad combination.
I understand not wanting to be nudged. It's VERY embarrassing to be reminded one is being a slowpoke.
If you've sent something, and it's been a year without any kind of communication, the first thing I'd advise doing is make sure the agent is still alive, and still working, and moreover at the same agency. All three of those things can cause delayed replies.
But, if the agent is alive, and in the right place, and still not responding, well, now you know something you didn't know before.
It's up to you about withdrawing.
Some authors do, just to keep themselves sane.
Some authors don't, thinking "well, ya never know."
Do the one that makes you feel least-crazy.
|Mt. St. Helens May 18, 1980|