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When You Receive a Response From an Agent

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#1 portiaV18


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Posted 14 January 2017 - 01:30 PM

I am so confused and I need to know my next move.


An agent responded to my query and wanted to read my manuscript (3/30/16).  She said she really liked it and asked to see my second manuscript (7/1/16).  Now I can't get her to respond to me by email (I have sent 3, two months between each) and I left a message for her with her assistant.  I have just been asking her where do we go from here? 


She is a very reputable agent, but I can't help but feel that no matter how busy someone is, a short response by email takes no time.  I have started to think this is very unprofessional of her. 


One person tells me to wait.  One person tells me to move on.  Can someone tell me what my next move should be? 

#2 Zaarin


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Posted 14 January 2017 - 03:09 PM

Agents will always prioritize current clients over potential ones. That's just basic business sense. Six months really isn't unusual for a full manuscript, from what I understand. I'd recommend being patient. That being said, I've never had an agent request material, so I'm only passing on second hand information. Perhaps someone with first hand experience can offer better advice.

#3 julialynn


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Posted 14 January 2017 - 11:56 PM

First of all, congratulations!


Second, now is not the time to act. Now is the time to wait.


Yes, that's right, wait. Publishing is a very, very, very slow business. Like Zaarin said, agents are inundated with work for their current clients, and they will always prioritize their current clients. They also probably have a lot of other manuscripts to get through, and that's if and when they can find the time!


She's not being unprofessional; agents do not owe you a response or a quick email. And it takes a LOT of time to read, evaluate, and ponder over a potential client's manuscript. It also takes time to think of and draft a possible list of editors they might send it to. 


Bottom line, there's a lot going on behind the scenes.


For instance, I queried agents for eight months before I landed one. And who was it? It was the agent I queried in March, but she had somehow not gotten to my query and her assistant brought it to her attention in August. Within a month, she offered rep.

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#4 Niambi


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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:19 AM

Congrats! I hope that it all ends up going well for you.

It doesn't take much time at all, but we are all different people dealing with all sorts of issues. I wouldn't take it seriously, but at the same time I wouldn't wait.

You have things you need to do too, and unless you signed with her you can keep searching for another agent. You've made it this far already, don't sit back and wait months for someone to reply.

#5 RSMellette


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Posted 16 January 2017 - 07:16 PM

I would say both wait, and move on.


Unless the agent asked for an exclusive look at your work - which would include a deadline - you don't owe her anything. By the same token, you don't want to piss of someone who is clearly a fan of your work.


So... if you think you've waited a decent amount of time, then go ahead and query other agents. Is that rude? Yeah, a little bit - but it is business. You have to be fair, but not a doormat. 

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#6 mwsinclair


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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:26 PM

As RS said, unless the agent asked for an exclusive, you don't owe her anything. And agents know that writers simultaneously submit at the query stage. If you get another request for a full, and if that other request says, "I love it. Let's talk..." I believe you should feel free to talk. If that agent makes an offer, then perhaps you go back to the initial agent and explain that you have an offer. That would probably get her off the snide and onto your manuscript.

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