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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Literary Agents -- Response Time? : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:05 pm
by G.E.Plum
What is a reasonable length of time for a literary agent to take to respond to a query? Two months ago I sent a query to an agent, with a synopsis and the number of pages requested on their website.

I have heard nothing from them. Should I keep waiting, ask them if they ever received my submission, or give up and try another agency?

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:52 pm
by shadowwalker
You may never hear from them. Many, if not most agents simply don't have time to respond to every query sent them. This is why it's a good idea to send out queries in batches, so you're not sitting on your hands before sending out the next query, waiting for a response that isn't coming.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:25 am
by Brien Sz
After two months, it is time to move on. Is there a modicum of hope, yes, but in my own experience, it is rare that after two months you hear anything. Start sending out other submissions. I wouldn't worry about offending agents with multiple submissions. In fact, I'd be honored to have them fighting over my work.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:20 am
by robjvargas
I have heard of writers that "nudge" the agent. A quick note via snail or e mail to state that you are sending your query on to other agents, usually with something along the lines of "I would still welcome an offer should you reconsider."

I haven't seen any backlash from agents about that idea.

I guess it depends on how important that particular agent is to you.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:49 am
by pls
The longest response from an agent that I can remember was six months or so. Needless to say, I'd moved on long ago on and submitted no more queries to her.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:08 pm
by G.E.Plum
Thank you all for your replies. I am really disappointed in this agency because their website says they are very open to unpublished authors and invite queries even if you don't have a "platform." On the website they sound interested but apparently in real life they are not.

I am also discouraged with this forum because it took me five minutes to log in tonight. It said I was logged in but would not let me post anything, and when I clicked on LOG IN it kept taking me to some profile page but not to the log in page. I had to click on LOG OUT and log back in. This is no way to set up a BB. Besides the fact that the help page says contact the owner wiht problems but gives no link for doing so.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:07 am
by shadowwalker

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:13 am
by DrG2
I hope you didn't ONLY query that agency. No need to wait for a response. Query other agents.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:24 pm
by G.E.Plum
True, shadowwalker, but it would be nice, having expressed interest in new authors, to take the time to send a form reply "doesn't suit our interests (at this time."

Clear cookies? Hmm. Other BBs don't have cookie crumbs messing up their sites.

Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:20 pm
by tiffanyreyes
I definitely understand where you're coming from, especially with how flaky the internet can be and you have to wonder if they even RECEIVED your email/form. But unfortunately, many agents will state on their site that they simply don't have the time to reply personally or even with a convenient auto reply. It would be nice, but for whatever reason, a lot won't do it. :/