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Agent response times
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Dontwaketheneighbours · 16/08/2017 16:53

Hi everyone

Would anyone care to share their experience of submitting to agents and how long you had to wait for responses- be that a rejection, request for full MS or the elusive phone call from an agent? I'm just trying to distract myself and also not get disheartened with each passing day I hear nothing. I know it's a long process but just wondered what others experiences were?

Thanks

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Dontrocktheboat · 16/08/2017 22:13

Hi, I submitted to about 10 last year, there was quite a bit of variation! I think one didn't get back at all. Of the two who requested the full manuscript one was around 5 weeks after and the other 2 months (she apologised for the delay.) I think the longest I had between submitting and rejection was 4 months (also with an apology for delay).

So it is kind if how long is a piece of string!

When did you submit and what responses have you had so far?

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 17/08/2017 07:01

Thanks dontrock that's really helpful to give me an idea. I submitted 6, one last Friday and the other 5 this Monday and Tuesday- so early days yet and no responses so far. I have another couple to submit to once the responses start to come back. Did you have success with the 2 full MS requests?

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Dontrocktheboat · 17/08/2017 09:14

Hi, think is definitely early days to hear anything - don't forget it is summer holiday and agents may be away/ just have come back from holiday and catching up. I put them all to the back of my mind immediately after submitting but think this was possibly a defence mechanism so did not have to contemplate the horror of a proper agent reading my work!

Of the two full manuscript requests one turned it down but gave suggestions for revision and said she would be willing to look at a redraft/ something else. The other took a while, a phone call and a meeting before offering me representation - that was on January and I am still redrafting it based on her notes. So after initial euphoria has been a long, tiring process (though it has definitely improved!)

What genre is your novel? Hope you hear something soon.

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Dontrocktheboat · 17/08/2017 09:17

Maybe should add to that I am juggling 3 kids and a job so not writing anywhere near full time and could probably have got through the revisions much sooner otherwise!

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 17/08/2017 09:27

Thanks dontrock, congratulations on getting an agent, a long process but will all be worth it in the end. My genre is hard to define but probably sits in the thriller category. Juggling a family and a FT job here too, it's hard to fit writing in sometimes isn't it! I wish I could write as my job! Good luck with the revisions, what genre do you write in?

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chuckading · 17/08/2017 17:29

I contacted an agency in March who still haven't replied. Assuming it's a no. In comparison I've had a lightening speed rejection today. Submitted at lunchtime today and rejected a few hours later! It was the nicest rejection I've had though.

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 17/08/2017 18:01

That was very quick chuck, there seems no pattern to the responses at all. I suppose agents read them when they have some spare time. Have you submitted to many others?

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Dontrocktheboat · 17/08/2017 18:37

Thanks don'twake, hopefully it will be worth it in the end though am not taking it as a given that having an agent will always lead to publication....fingers crossed though! I would love to write full time too, currently only work 3 days though have a pre school child. Impressed at you managing to write with full time job.

I guess I would class mine as literary fiction it is not a particular genre. I got some good advice here about targeting agents interested in the kind of thing you write and also those building their lists.

Good luck with your other submissions, chuckading!

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Aloneinacrowd70 · 18/08/2017 09:49

I was going to start a thread along similar lines, so thank you!

I have subbed to 11 agents since March. I have so far received 2 standard rejections, and nothing at all from anyone else, so my experience is it may take a while to hear anything, if indeed there is any response at all...

I've had 2 full manuscript requests from 2 agents I subbed to previously, and one in particular really liked it, but in the end didn't take it on, so I feel it was a near miss. So I feel my MS must have some merit - but it's still pretty dispiriting not hearing anything at all. Am about to go trawl through agent websites and start submitting again...

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 18/08/2017 11:15

Hi Alone, 2 full requests is greet so yes at least you know you have something! I've still heard nothing although it's very early days. Good luck with your next round

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GetAHaircutCarl · 18/08/2017 13:18

Some agents will give an estimate of response times in their websites.

If you haven't received a response after that period I think it's fine to send a gentle nudge just checking they received your sub.

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 18/08/2017 16:30

Thanks Carl. I think I've just assumed that if they don't respond quite quickly it must be a no - but it seems it's more to do with how busy the agents are ans whether they've even had time to read the submission - maybe there's hope for me yet! I suppose in some ways a rejection might be quicker as they have nothing to weigh up/ consider?

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GetAHaircutCarl · 18/08/2017 16:35

Honestly don't read to much into response time. It completely depends on what else is happening in the agency as to how much priority the slush pile gets.

And subs do go astray. Agencies are often small and run by a lot of part timers/free lancers. Do chase if you hear nothing. They won't mind.

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 18/08/2017 17:04

Thanks Carl, that's reassuring Smile

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VisitorFromAlphaStation · 18/08/2017 17:17

I got a totally wrong association here about 'agents' and thought about estate agents and what not, but anyways what is it you are you writing about? I've got a colleague who is a part time writer and had the book - a thriller - published on e.g. Google Books from where I downloaded it. It's published with a very small publishing house where it doesn't cost anything (apparently) to publish an e-book. I don't suppose this (epub) could be something to consider??

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 18/08/2017 18:55

Hi Visitor, I haven't really looked into epublishing, I'm going to try the traditional agent route first I think.

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VisitorFromAlphaStation · 19/08/2017 06:11

Why not also do a search for "how to publish epub books"? It seems pretty simple if you ask me. The .epub format is what you read on phones and tablets (for instance) although if it's Amazon it's called .mobi or so I've read.

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MumblesintheAttic · 23/08/2017 09:35

Hi dontwake, I was obsessive about keeping records when I started submitting in March this year, so I just had a look for you!

I submitted to 15 agents in March, and had two form rejections, two nice personal rejections, and three requests for full manuscript. Once I'd accepted an offer of representation, I emailed the remaining 8 agents, so no way of judging how much longer they might have taken to reply, if ever (I had emailed them after the first full request too).

I had form rejections on the 4th day and at 3 weeks post-submission.
Personal rejections at 2 weeks and 3 weeks.
First full ms request at 22 days. I then emailed all those yet to reply, and had a 2nd full request at 32 days, and a third at 33 days. I accepted the 32 days one in the end.

I'm sure August response times must depend on conflicting factors - with a bit of luck, you submitted to agents who like to browse through their submissions on a sun lounger, but if not they might not see yours until September. Good luck, and I hope you start hearing back soon!

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Madhairday · 23/08/2017 09:40

I've submitted to agents I've never heard back from at all Sad

With full MS requests, one was around 3 months and took another 2 to get back to me (it was a very nice no), the other was within 2 weeks and I'm still waiting on their response on the full ms after a month.

Others have wildly varied. Some the same day (form rejections), some within a couple of weeks (we like it but...) One took 6 months for a form rejection!!!

Seems no rhyme or reason.

Good luck.

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Dontwaketheneighbours · 23/08/2017 10:08

Thanks Mumbles, I'm very glad you kept such good records, that's really helpful. Congratulations on getting an offer of representation.

And thanks too mad, getting full MS requests must mean you're doing something right. Hope you hear something back soon. The waiting is the worst isn't it!

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