Waiting on agents

(509 Posts)
IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 13:24:12

I'm a regular but frequent name changer, if that matters to anyone.

My first novel went out for query at the end of last month. So far I have a great success rate - 11 rejections, 3 partials and 1 full. The first partial only went out on 5 Feb but the wait is already killing me! I've been taking the rejections really, really well but I know a rejection on a partial or full will sting.

I'm trying to put my energy into writing my third novel - 48k words in - but I can't write continually and whenever I have a spare moment I'm impatiently drumming my fingers on any hard surface I can find.

No reason for posting this thread except that I need to keep my hands from refreshing Gmail every 10 seconds even though it's way too early to expect replies, I have desktop notifications AND it updates itself automatically.

wordassociationfootball Fri 12-Feb-16 13:27:52

Exciting. No advice, but the thinking about it goes back of mind a bit as the days go by.

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Feb-16 13:31:08

Best of luck with it. When you talk about partials, are you not sending the first three chapters out with your submission? At least if you get a rejection when you've sent them a full manuscript you should get a bit of advice with it. It does still sting though, as you say!

IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 13:36:38

I'm submitting mostly to US agents who only allow you to paste 5-10 pages in the query email, and then ask for 50 pages if they're interested. Some of them give a bit of feedback even with partials, which would be lovely!

The one who asked for a full right away must have been pretty taken with my first 10 pages, and according to Query Tracker she doesn't request very often, so double fingers crossed on that one.

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Feb-16 17:55:38

Are you American? Did you submit to Jenny Bent? Just wondering why you're submitting overseas before the UK if you're British.

IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 22:10:27

Not Jenny, but I have submitted to Beth Phelan at her agency. That was only a few days ago and I haven't had a response yet.

I've submitted to a mixture but US agents are much more receptive to my genre (contemporary romance). All four requests have been from US agents, and nine out of my 11 rejections were UK agents.

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Feb-16 22:11:44

My friend and I submitted to that agency and got identical rejections!

Have you seen Carina Press?

IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 22:15:12

I think I've only had one personalised rejection, all the others were forms! I hope you got representation in the end?

I was invited to submit my manuscript by a Carina editor - US, not UK (the UK one has a pretty bad reputation) but I'm holding off while I try to get an agent. If I exhaust my agent options, I'll be trying small publishers directly. It's a long old slog.

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Feb-16 22:22:10

Yes, I got representation in November and my book was submitted to editors yesterday!

What have you heard about Carina (UK)? I'm friends with someone who's been accepted by them. There are tons of British agents who'll deal with romance - I would approach them rather than going straight to publishers.

And yes, it is a long hard slog. You need a really thick skin and a lot of patience to survive it.

IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 22:27:26

Carina UK - mostly rubbish communication, false promises. They seem more disorganised than unethical/sketchy, but still not something I want to deal with.

I'm not eschewing British agents, and I've still got nine queries out to UK agencies. I'll definitely exhaust those before going to publishers. I really, really wanted Madeleine Milburn but I'm pretty sure it's a no as she responds very quickly if she requests.

Curioushorse Fri 12-Feb-16 22:30:23

Hi. My husband had two full manuscript requests by top agents over two months ago. He's still waiting for a response....and doesn't like to ask in case it comes across as badgering. Really tense. He only sent it off to eight agents though. Of them, he only got one written rejection (though we're assuming that the others were also rejections but just couldn't be arsed to email).

My brother had a book published in the summer, however. He reckons that, over the course of four years he had over 100 rejections. He also ended up with a total of four agents accepting him. He accepted one, but ended up swapping to another. There was the whole other, second, awkward stage of dealing with publishers too. Erm, it's like the whole agents thing again. You set your sights on getting an agent, but then.....the agent has to get you a publisher.

It's really grim.

I'm sure you've already consoled yourself with the fact that you're obviously awesome just to have had requests from agents, but just to say it again, well done you!

IceRoadDucker Fri 12-Feb-16 22:51:10

Thank you Curioushorse, that was really encouraging and it sounds like your husband is doing very well. I'm sure he already knows, but it's industry standard to chase up an agent after 90 days of no word, unless they specify otherwise in their guidelines/emails. Fingers crossed for him.

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Feb-16 18:13:10

CuriousHorse, what I found helped was telling the agents that others were reading the full MS - they were, I wasn't lying! I just wrote a short note and by the next day it was read. I know from speaking to agents, too, that there's nothing that gets them going more than knowing someone else might beat them to it. Best of luck to your husband and congratulations to your brother, too. Why did he leave his first agent?

MissBattleaxe Mon 15-Feb-16 11:19:07

If there's one thing I've learned, and Imperial will know this, it's that agents are often SLOW. I wouldn't badger if I am not on their books yet, although Imperial's advice is very good.

I'm also curious- why did he leave his agent? I've heard that's fairly uncommon.

IceRoadDucker Tue 16-Feb-16 17:06:25

Still waiting, of course. It gets harder every day!

writes furiously to keep her mind off it

MissBattleaxe Tue 16-Feb-16 17:43:08

I think you need to brace yourself for a longer wait. Did you submit at the end of January? It could take MUCH longer, so sit tight and don't take any delay as a personal slight.

Sometimes your work is good, but just falls on the wrong desk at the wrong time. Sometimes it's not good. Sometimes their list is full of your genre and sometimes they'll just be too busy to prioritise new work when they have a caseload already.

Don't give up but don't watch your email account like a hawk, because the Law of Sod says nothing will happen if you watch it.

Helmetbymidnight Thu 18-Feb-16 14:33:47

I'm waiting to hear from agents too - send off full ms to one agent this monday. Eek. (Thats only four days, right? Shit)

Other than that, got one 'no' so far from someone recommended here smile

Ooh, so now would be a good time to send out some more, do you think? With a 'blah blah is looking at it?' Hmm I don't think I've got the balls!

MaryPoppinsPenguins Thu 18-Feb-16 14:39:37

I submitted a partial MS after it was requested by the Marsh Agency and they took 6 months to get back to me.

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Feb-16 14:49:28

That is an agency I would avoid, MaryPoppins.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Thu 18-Feb-16 15:05:20

Oh really? How come?

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Feb-16 15:07:02

Bit of unethical behaviour going on regarding my MS. It's a while ago now and I'm pretty certain the two people involved have gone, but I bear grudges!

Helmetbymidnight Thu 18-Feb-16 15:22:29

Imperial, have you got a publishers as well as an agent now?

Helmetbymidnight Thu 18-Feb-16 15:26:13

Wow, this query tracker site is really something.

I can see I will be able to procrastinate for hours on that.

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Feb-16 16:35:15

It went out at the end of last week. A couple are interested so far. I'm on tenterhooks!

Which is the query tracker site?

Helmetbymidnight Thu 18-Feb-16 17:02:23

Ah fab imperial, that's (tentatively) great news!

Someone mentioned query tracker up thread- I think it's an American site that gives you the lowdown on agents return rates - however none of the ones I sent to were on it...

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