A Snarkling channels Harold Lloyd

When my (lovely) agent sends my manuscript out to editors and after a month (or two) we've heard nothing, is that necessarily a bad sign? (So far it as been; I've had 11 passes.) Is it ever possible that the editor is giving it an extra-careful look or getting another reading in-house? I've had some near misses (lots of positive comments and a few editors asking to see my next novel) but each time there's been a relatively long wait and then a pass. I keep reading about writers whose agent sends out their manuscript and a week later they've got an offer. Is there any reason to hope after two months?

1. no
2. yes
3. yes

I hope this is what your (lovely) agent is saying too. My experience with editors is they can make instant decisions (usually no) and quick decisions (yes) but they can also dilly dally around like they have something better to do than read MY submission to them. I've sold novels that have been on an editor's desk for a year. I've sold novels in a week. To the same publisher.

Your agent will do the follow up to make sure you don't get lost in the shuffle (Miss Snark sold a novel once that resurfaced from a forgotten drawer so the editor said although Miss Snark did not quite believe that)

Forget this novel that's making the rounds. Think of it as your college student kid who's out in the world. When it needs attention, you'll get a call. Meanwhile, plop yourself down in front of that computer and write that next book editors are asking for. Don't fret. Write!!


KBob said...

Good topic, Miss Snark!

I'm dealing with long waits right now, on manuscripts that aren't necessarily agent-friendly (sweet category and novellas), so I don't have an agent to nudge the process along.

Just got a rejection on one that had been on a desk for 13 months, and called to follow up on another that had reached the 1-year mark. On the plus side, the editor I talked to there had just read it and was taking it to the editorial meeting this week. I have no idea how long it takes from this point, but at least I know it's moving in some direction.

And yes, I've finished two manuscripts since sending these out, and am working on a third. :)

Paul M Jessup said...

God, ain't it the truth. This is the whole reason why I'm going to look for an agent soon. I just spent 5 months with an editor, who kept calling me and discussing the work but never once actually giving me a yes or a no.

And I hated being the guy who had to call him and haress him and see what's up. Eventually I gave up and then called him and asked him to give me a straight up yes or no.

He told me that it was a no because of my additude. I can't deal with that every again. So, I'm rewriting my non-fiction proposal and shipping it around again. Although, to tell you the truth I'm this close to just ditching it and working on my novel to cool off for the next year or so.

Desperate Writer said...

I had a manuscript requested after a query (unagented, but the author I worked for was my reference, if that means anything.) They (asst. editor) called and said after reading it, they were passing it up to a Senior Editor. Senior Editor kept it well over a year, and then Senior Editor quit after having a baby and went into business herself as an agent with a limited client base. As it happened, the author I worked for got a bee in her bonnet about something, I have no idea what, menopause, carrer uncertainty, whatever. She was between contracts for the first time in a long time, and incertain where she was going to land. Anyway, I no longer do a lot of work for her. This is about the same time the Senior Editor resigned from her publishing house. (Did I mention Senior Editor was also my author-boss's editor?) Well, Asst. Editor got all the work SE left piled on her desk, I think. After all that time, a trip to the publisher's party at RWA Dallas and a hopeful discussion w/said editor, and after getting my hopes up because it was the closest I'd ever been, I was ultimately rejected, and not even with more than a form letter rejection. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. And I got the feeling that I slipped through a very wide crack, and tried very hard to believe the Senior Editor was more of a professional than to have my "boss's" weird spell influence her in any way. I mean, it's ridiculous to even entertain the idea that this Editor would do that, no matter the long-standing relationship with the author I knew. But knowing the author as I do, she has a way of delivering her own truths she forms about people when she speaks to others, and in my creative mentality paranoia, I wonder what "truth" she formed about me and relayed to others, namely this SE.

Whatever the case, I was "that close" and didn't make it, and that helped me evolve into a "desperate writer."