To the peerless Miss Snark:

I am frustrated. My manuscript has been out with two editors for four months now. One has not been responsive when my agent nudges him, and the other finally responded by saying he was rereading the novel -- he'd begun it and then got sucked into the vortex of a couple of big projects -- and would get back to him within the week. This was about two weeks ago.

I guess the question is: at what point does an agent give up on an editor and just send the ms somewhere else? Is lack of responsiveness a bad sign, or are they just too busy or too rude to answer? I'm hoping, of course, that the editor who said he'd get back to my agent a couple of weeks ago is circulating the manuscript internally and not just blowing it off, but I fear it may be the latter. . . .

Your agent is the best one to answer this. Ask him/her.

I'm a trifle surprised your novel is only with two editors if it's taking this long. My practice is to get a project OUT to editors, particularly if the first and second are lollygagging about. I'll send it to an editor that I think will be really interested for a short exclusive (like a week or ten days) but after that, the push is on.

But again, your agent should tell you what's going on here.

To reassure you: I've sold projects to editors who lollygagged. More than one in fact. You're not necessarily being brushed off.


Rick said...

Miss Snark, I'm sure it varies for every agent, but when do authors' pings for updates on ms status shift from reasonable to annoying? Mine told me several weeks ago that she'd pass on news when she had it, but nothing since. Should I ping her again, or just get on with my job (the sequel) and let her get on with hers?

And, dare I ask, how often does "lollygagging" by an editor mean that an ms really is getting passed around internally?

Anonymous said...

I wonder about the holiday season. Do publishers come to the end of their budget in December and would that effect an editor's buying power?

tambo said...

My editor had my first manuscript for six months before she came back with an offer. Relax, be patient, and let your agent worry. :)