Miss Snark's Diet Plan for the New Year

Dear Miss Snark,

Thank you for your informative blog! I hope that you have time to make a suggestion on the following situation:

An agent has had my manuscript on referral since last March. Last July, I called and was promised that I'd be put on top of the pile. In December, I sent a note indicating that I was still interested in working with the agent, and hoped to hear from him at his convenience. I suppose that my manuscript hasn't been opened yet, or I would have received some response. Should I give up hope?

Give up hope? Time to give him a Bronx cheer!
Ten months is a tad long to have someone's ms, and not return phone calls.
At the VERY least, you have to respond to "are you still considering this".

I'll be honest. I've had manuscripts that long. It's not my preference but sometimes with big ass novels, I just don't get to them as fast as any of us would like. However, if the writer emails to me and says "so, honeybuns, are you like still alive" I always answer promptly.

This guy is behaving like you don't matter. Well, f that. You do. And is this the kind of repsonse time you want in someone working with you? I think not.

Email the twit and tell him your new year resolution is to lose some weight --starting with his fat lazy ass.

Or, wording of your choice.


Anonymous said...

I recently got a rejection from a book from 1999. It was my first novel and I'd totally forgotten I'd sent it to this person.

The irony was, he was cleaning off his desk to become an agent and *I* was one of the authors he was seriously considering repping.

But I decided if he took *that* long to (not) respond to things, how in the world was he going to be as an agent!

Anonymous said...

I know someone who received a rejection from an editor nine months after her book had been published (to great reviews and good sales)...but I think your 1999 submission must set some sort of record.

Anonymous said...

Or, wording of your choice.

My New Year's resolution is to slough off some dead brain cells.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say, my new year resolution is to slough off dead brain cells...starting with you.

Kirsten said...

The problem is that if the agent in question gets the "highly recommended!!!" treatment on agent listing websites, and you've MET HER at a conference and verbally pitched your book, and she told you she was interested, and then she responded to a follow-up query and requested a full . . . and only THEN went silent . . . argh!!! it's so hard to cut the agent strings!!! But this post was the final kick I needed. I just left a v/m for my probably-never-to-be-agent's assistant. If she doesn't let me know w/in a week that she's still interested in my ms, I'm going to query other agents. It's been five months, I'm dying here!!!

Laurie said...

Miss Snark,

Speaking of timeframes, how long can one reasonably take to send in a requested manuscript? Let's say you requested a partial or a full from an RWA contest finalist (if you were an agent that judges contests, that is), when would this request "expire"?

CB said...

Thanks for the advice. It's tough to hop off of the nice referral route and return to sending queries to agents. I'd sent a few in the interim, but now I plan to send more.