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When is silence a rejection?

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#1 Keeppositive


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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:27 AM

How long do you wait after querying an agent before you realize silence is the Kiss of Manuscript Death? Are the 6-8 week timeframes really how long it takes to hear back? I have received 8 outright form rejections, but the others are silence. How long before I know the silence is really rejection, and I should move on?

#2 dogsbody


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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:48 PM

I mean, you should be moving on regardless, in the sense that you should be querying other agents before hearing back from others. 


But you never know? A lot of agents adopt "no response means no, thank you," but then a lot of them deal with horrendous backlogs. Some writers talk about getting page requests months and months after querying. Sometimes they have a deal with a publisher before an agent gets around to replying! 

#3 bigblackcat97



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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:45 AM

Dogsbody is right, always be moving on. Also, follow agents on Twitter - some will post when they are at Inbox Zero or that they have caught up to queries through a certain date. Then you'll know if the silence is a rejection or a backlog.

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#4 Litgal


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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:48 PM

agree with the previous folk BUT I would say pace yourself in moving on. Move on too quickly and you can burn through a lot of your list before you realize you have a query problem. So early on think small to medium batches and if you are not getting any requests then take a long hard look at your letter.

Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

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