An agent asked for my full manuscript 3 months ago (June) after asking for my first 50 pages in February, nearly a full year after the agency received my initial query.
While I can appreciate that agents have a long line (and a busy job!), I've had time to write a sequel to that book in the time it has taken to query and educate myself further on the publishing industry, marketing, etc.. I nudged politely just to make sure the full didn't get eaten by a spam filter but have had no response to the nudge after more than a week and a half.
That said, after many beta reader reviews, positive comments, and consulting with a respected literary agent in May who thought self-publishing could be a successful path forward for these books, I'm strongly considering self-publishing. I am concerned by the lack of response of the literary agent and have used the time waiting for her response to create a business and marketing plan to make sure I don't lose my shirt on self-publishing. I'd love to chat with the literary agent if she believes my series has potential in world of traditional publishing but I'm getting nothing except for radio silence.
What should I do? I don't want her to think I'm impatient by checking in but no answer to my emails leaves me without even the ability to have a conversation about what might be best for my books and I don't want to keep waiting if the world of traditional publishing isn't the right fit.
Let me give you some perspective here:
Oldest requested full in my queue as of the day I write this:
Queried on 5/15/15.
Full received 5/15/15.
Notes sent to author 9/29/15.
REVISED ms sent back to me: 5/9/16
Depending on how you count I've had it for three months or more than a year.
The manuscript that has waited the longest with NO notes, o revisions requests has been here since 11/9/15.
Just under a year.
I have 26 requested fulls from non-clients. Here's some data on them:
|JReid requested fulls as of 9/26/16|
The first thing you can see is that I've got a lot of projects here that are much older than 90 days after initial request. Sure, some of that is due to writers sending revisions, but most of it is I just haven't gotten a block of time to read their work yet.
So, you ARE impatient, at least on my calendar. Your calendar and mine are probably not in sync though, which is one thing to remember.
The second thing to remember is you're NOT getting any kind of assessment about what is best for your books or whether your series has potential. The ONLY thing you're going to know is whether she wants to rep the project or not. I don't take on things that go on to find good homes and very happy readers.
Third, you're NOT going to get a chance "to chat" with this agent most likely. I have actual clients I've never spoken to on the phone, and most writers who get a pass on their full get it by email. I'll answer some questions about the book if they have some, but I don't get into any kind of assessing or analysis with them.
Fourth, you're putting all your eggs in one basket here. Why aren't you querying other agents? Why aren't you querying other projects?
The worst thing you can do for your career is wait around doing nothing. For starters it will make you nutso (to wit, your email here to me) and for finishers it will NOT move you forward.
Self-publishing is certainly a way to get your books in front of readers much more quickly than the traditional publishing route. I've heard there are authors making tidy sums via self-publishing. Indeed, it might be the right route for you. What I know about self-publishing comes only from the authors who write to me after they've done that, usually somewhat woefully, and mostly saying "it was a whole lot harder than I thought it would be."
So, to answer your question: this agent isn't anywhere near overdue on responding to you. If you think she is, and you know this kind of lag time will make you crazy, that's information you should factor in to your decision about how to proceed.