Follow up on submissions-timing

A snarkling wonders:

What would be a reasonable time for a follow-up on agent-requested submission? We're talking here agents from (major agencies). Would it be 4 weeks...6 weeks or much longer post submitted requested material? And no, none of the submissions were "simultaneous." All were a different (and completed) novel. One was a complete novel request. One half the novel.(don't know why but that's what the agent wanted) and the rest were the usual 50-pages or 3 chapters. All requests were by e-mail - submission was hardcopy. I guess I'd like to know when I can e-mail asking whether they've made any decision, and if the answer is "no," then I'd like to move on in my agent search. Thank you for taking time to answer. Best regards.

First place to look for the answer is on the agency's website. Most will give you an idea of time. I know mine does and I got the idea from seeing it other places.

Second, ask the agent when you send the work in: When should I follow up with you? It's NOT an unreasonable thing to ask and if an agent gets huffy about asking...well, you've learned something.

Third choice is what I think of as standard time: 4 weeks for a query, 12 weeks for a full novel. Then email to touch base. Turnaround on full novels can take awhile so don't panic if you don't hear from them. Six months is maximum.

And you don't have to finish with one agent before you query another. Very few expect exclusivity any more, and those that do should only get it for a month or less. There's a post on exclusivity buried in the archives somewhere. I think I need an index to this blog!

Hope this helps!

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