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?
You're in the running for Client Most Likely to Be Voted Off The Island if you keep "pinging" your agent. She told you she'd let you know when there is news. Absent irrefutable evidence she is dead, drying out with Miss Snark at the sanitarium, or entering the convent leave her alone.
I have a client who does this. It drives me crazy. I have nothing new to say, and nothing of substance to add to the last update. The unspoken question is "why aren't things happening faster" and the honest to god answer is "hell if I know".
I have a vested interest in selling your project. I'm going to be stealing Killer Yapp's kibble for holiday hors d'ouvres if I don't sell stuff, so just let me do my damn job, and YOU go write.
You'll be the second ..no third...to know when we get an offer. Me first, then a relieved KY, then you.
And no, it doesn't mean it's getting passed around the office. It means the editor took too much to read, had a sudden increase in workload when another editor moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, or got inundated with projects HER boss told her to look at right away.
This harangue does not mean your agent goes months without speaking to you. I update clients once a month minimum, just to keep in touch even if nothing appears to be moving. There is a big distinction between "pinging" and "staying in touch". Don't confuse one for the other.