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Waiting for response on full manuscript

(11 Posts)
hennessythegreat Sun 28-Jan-18 17:08:30

It doesn't get easier, does it? My last book had four full manuscript requests, none of which ended in representation for various reasons. I've since written something else, less commercial probably, more quirky definitely; I've not subbed it a great deal and I was quite surprised to get a manuscript request for this one. It's been ten weeks now and I'm bracing myself; all the success stories I've read seem to involve lightening response to full manuscripts. I've started on something else but I feel somewhat in the doldrums with my writing becoming more idiosyncratic by the day. It probably doesn't help that I am reading Charles Dickens and rediscovering what an amazing writer he was. Please come and cheer me up while I wait for another slice of doom!

NormaJeanne Sun 28-Jan-18 19:51:51

Hi Hennessy! I am querying too and I know what you mean about success stories. However, I do think that a few people on here got offers of representation after long delays, so perhaps one of them will be along to cheer you up.

Did you promise the agent exclusivity? If not I would submit to a few more. If you get another request, you can mention that to the first agent and it might hurry things up a bit. What genre is it?

Mine is historical fiction - so far one form rejection and silence from everyone else, including my dream agent. Dream Agent says to get in touch if you haven't heard anything within 6 weeks, so I have, but the best I can hope for is that it never arrived or they haven't got to it yet. Sent off a couple more submissions today but I won't lie, I'm feeling gloomy. I entered lots of contests but got nowhere and this feels like more of the same.

hennessythegreat Sun 28-Jan-18 22:27:15

Hi Norma, sorry you're also feeling despondent. Have you submitted other projects in the past, or is this the first? For a long time I was full of optimism and self belief, it's only recently this horrible doubt has hit and I can't seem to shake it.
No exclusivity. This one's fairly genre fluid - lit fic, I suppose. The last one was easier to shelf - psychological thriller. I might submit again eventually but I'm running out of steam on perky sales patter for now so I'll just carry on writing and hope the inevitable rejection comes with a bit of feedback.

NormaJeanne Sun 28-Jan-18 23:44:21

This is the second project for which I've tried to find an agent. I wasn't happy with the first book and ended up putting it in a drawer (after a long weary saga with an agent who seemed interested but wasn't), but I feel differently about this one. I think it's the best work I've done, which isn't necessarily saying much, but if I can't find representation then I'll self-publish. I have other ideas, but they are all sequels to this one, so I don't think an agent would be interested in any of them. So my plan is to try UK agents in the spring, if no joy, then US agents in the summer, and if still no joy, then self-publish.

I'm not surprised you're feeling the strain after 10 weeks of waiting. But your book must be good or the agent wouldn't have requested the full. Maybe give them a nudge in another couple of weeks?

What are you working on now?

hennessythegreat Mon 29-Jan-18 06:55:25

Long weary saga - about right! I had two revise and resubmits on the last one - one rejected, the other simply never replied. I'd edited the book to death by then.
You sound very clear headed and I wish you success. Self publishing is not something I feel I have the skills for - not so much the technical side, I can do layout and editing, but the promotional side, I'd imagine, is hard to get right and takes up a lot of time. Since you have a series in mind I'd imagine it could lend itself to that very successfully. You have belief in your book and that will carry you forward on the journey, whatever form the journey takes! Hope you have good news soon.
I've started something even more idiosyncratic and than the last one. Can't seem to help myself!

NormaJeanne Mon 29-Jan-18 14:26:14

Thanks Hennessy, hope you have good news soon too! smile

You're right, series work well in self-publishing, but I wish I could write faster. It took me over three years to write this book. Self-publishing is ideal for very prolific writers who can produce three books a year and then have plenty of titles to discount or offer free. However, there are ways round it. I have a friend who is self-publishing a historical series, with a new title about every 18 months to 2 years, but in between she releases short stories related to the series. My biggest issue is how to pay for professional editing and cover art, but I'll deal with that when it comes to it.

I'm not impressed with agents who don't reply to a R&R, but the same thing happened to me in the last go-round. This was an agent I'd been introduced to by another of her clients, and she'd met with me and spent some time discussing the book, so I overestimated her interest and didn't at first approach other agents. She asked for more material, didn't read it, months went by, she apologised, asked for more chapters and promised to read it all at the same time. Months later, nothing from her, and it was over a year since we'd originally met, so I emailed her saying politely that I wanted to submit to other agents, and never heard anything back from her. I'm not getting into that situation again - if anyone asks for exclusivity, I will set a deadline and stick to it.

hennessythegreat Tue 30-Jan-18 06:39:25

I like your friend's approach! you could create quite a anticipative buzz by releasing the short stories as a marketing tool. Do you have a website?
If you had a fairly clean copy maybe the edit wouldn't take too long/be too pricey. I used to work in publishing (non fiction) and the freelance edit bills did vary substantially as they were charged by hour. Choosing the cover art would be a real perk of self publishing I think as you have complete control over this - even if you have to foot the bill too!
Yes the r and r's were painful. I think I lost my way a bit by listening to too many opinions. It must have been even worse to have meetings and the amount of feedback you did for it to end in silence. Agents are used to saying no; I think after this amount of input it's rude to simply ignore.
Still no news here, am planning to chase in the next week or so; I'm sure I'd have heard if it was positive but chasing won't change the verdict and at least I can let it go.

NormaJeanne Tue 30-Jan-18 23:28:34

No website as yet but I will have one. Yesterday I got my fastest response ever - one of the agents I queried the day before got back to me...unfortunately with a no, but it was a personal response with positive comments, so I feel encouraged. Hoping to do some more submissions tomorrow.

I think definitely chase the agent, it can't do any harm and with luck you'll know where you stand! The uncertainty is the worst.

hennessythegreat Mon 05-Feb-18 18:03:14

A personal response is definitely encouraging.
I'd be up for one of those - sent a polite nudge to the submissions email and no response at all.

NormaJeanne Sun 11-Feb-18 09:37:40

I got a reply from the agent I nudged to say they couldn't find any trace of my submission, so it is worth doing. They suggested resubmitting by email, which I did, and they sent me a form rejection on Friday.

The tally is now: 5 submissions, 3 form rejections, 1 personal rejection, and another agent has yet to respond.

I really need to get more queries out there, but I am super busy at work atm and finding it hard to prioritise writing. It's frustrating!

How are you doing Hennessy? Still no response to your nudge?

hennessythegreat Sun 11-Feb-18 10:50:09

Not a sausage.
I'm busy at work too, new job and it's taking a lot of my head space. Started new book, going slowly. My querying mojo is definitely at a low ebb! the writing is the enjoyable bit so I'm focussing the spare time and energy I have on that.

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