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

Literary Agents -- Response Time?

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G.E.Plum
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Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby G.E.Plum » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:05 pm

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?

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shadowwalker
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:52 pm

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.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby Brien Sz » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:25 am

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.

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robjvargas
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby robjvargas » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:20 am

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.
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pls
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby pls » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:49 am

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.
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G.E.Plum
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby G.E.Plum » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:08 pm

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.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby shadowwalker » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:07 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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DrG2
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby DrG2 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:13 am

I hope you didn't ONLY query that agency. No need to wait for a response. Query other agents.

G.E.Plum
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby G.E.Plum » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:24 pm

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.

tiffanyreyes
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Re: Literary Agents -- Response Time?

Postby tiffanyreyes » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:20 pm

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. :/

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