I've been querying a non-fiction project that I am working on with another writer. We've been accumulating our share of rejections and so were really excited when an agent we queried asked for the full proposal. (This is an agent I have gotten rave reviews on from a fellow writer)
Of course now my mental illness springs into action as it's already been more than 3 months since she's had our proposal. We emailed her (briefly and courteously, natch) after she had had it for 6 wreks, and got a reply from her assistant that she was indeed reading it. More time passed and now at the 3+ months mark with no word, I learned that she had switched agencies. I emailed her again at her new agency, but it's been a week (4) and I haven't heard a peep (or a beep).
I understand that her current clients come first, but if she is not interested it would be nice to know so that we can move on. (5)
So I guess I have several questions:
1: what is a reasonable legnth of time to consider a full non fiction proposal?
2: If a full has been requested, would the " rejection by no response" rule still apply, or do they owe me a "no" even if it is a form "not for me" rejection?
3: Is there summer camp on Carkoon and what kind of cake does it serve?
(1) I generally ask for 30 days after receipt of a proposal. Right now I'm running about 90. I'm not proud of that fact, and I'm working pretty hard to get stuff read, but as you say, clients come first, and silly me, I've been selling stuff left and right and as soon as one contract is finished, another one rolls in. I do try to reply to pings but even with good intentions, I'm not always as responsive as I wish.
(2) You know my feelings about no response means no. (It's here if by some chance you didn't hear that rant.) Generally however, no response means no applies at the query stage. Yes, I've heard about vast silence on requested fulls and proposals but I'm really hoping it's not the norm.
(3) I do not know the details of what goes at at Carkoon. Much like Her Majesty Queen Victoria and the penal colony in Australia, I just transport people there, I don't visit.
Now, let's talk about what you're going to do with this information.
(4) Since this agent has moved agencies she's barely figured out where to get her morning coffee, and buy her lunch at this new office. Let alone where the best watering hole is. In other words, she's busy adjusting to the new office and her new colleagues. You need to give her at least a month here before pinging at all.
(5) And by "move on" what do you mean? Stop pinging her with reminders? Or start querying other agents? Because you should be querying until you have an offer. Reading a proposal is NOT an offer. Don't wait around hoping this agent will sign you. Seize the initiative and query widely. NOTHING moves a dawdly agent faster than "I've got an offer from one of your more nimble competitiors, slackerpaws."
Waiting is the pits. I know it first hand (you think editors respond instantly?? oh please, would that it were so.)
But I also know that the best way to deal with waiting is to keep moving. Keep sending your query out. Keep building your platform. Keep reading books in your field that can be comparable titles.
If waiting time is a glacier, your only job is to hang in there and keep moving.