If agents offer responses to queries and requested material (4 to 8 weeks is standard) it might seem like a long time to wait. You’ve just sent them the most important document you’ve ever written! (Or something to that effect…) Here’s why it’s worth the wait:
- Not only are agents trying to balance incoming queries and combing them for projects that pique their interest, agents are simultaneously managing the projects and careers of the agents they do have.
- When you get an agent you’ll want and expect them to give their full attention to you, so you have to respect how agents divide their time in the process leading up to that stage.
- I know weeks seems like a long time, but an agent doesn’t have time on a daily basis to check queries let alone read manuscripts that are not from clients. Agents read queries and requested material once all the other work is done, and even then it takes days and weeks to make time.
- We do feel the weight of the query inbox on our shoulders and know that there are manuscripts staring at us, waiting to be read. Because we’re busy we expect you to let us know when you have offers of representation so we can get to your material faster. Give all agents a week to get back to you once you have your offer.
- Don’t take delayed response times as a sign that agents aren’t interested. They might just not have gotten to the material yet.
Final thought: Only check in with agents if it has been much longer than the response time stated on their website.
Any questions about agent response times?
Image via NPR