2.21.2006

How Long waileth the author

You stated in a recent reply that it takes you sometimes 90 days to read an entire manuscript. If you send a manuscript to a top editor in one of the major houses in New York, about how long does it take? I know an agent has no control of this, but ballpark. My agent recently sent my novel out, but I did not ask him how long he thought it would take. I guess I didn't want to seem anxious.


Sometimes overnight, sometimes a weekend, sometimes a month, sometimes a year.
There's absolutely no standard whatsoever.

Generally if I'm doing a big push on a book I think will sell fast and well, I try to get someone to buy it on an exclusive, or preempt over a weekend or a week. Generally however, novels get read within a month or so if you're doing a big push.

Things I'm just sending out cause I've already done the big push and the damn thing didn't sell, those can take longer.

I pretty much pull a submissiion if I haven't heard from someone in 120 days. Sometimes we go back and forth with "I'll get to it soon" and "have you gotten to it" for another couple months.

I've also had editors send rejection letters, then actually read the ms a year later, and reject it again.

Try not to worry about this if you can help it. There's no way to control it, and there's no measure of "what's standard".

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I've also had editors send rejection letters, then actually read the ms a year later, and reject it again."

Ahh, so that happens to agents too! That makes me feel a smidgen better.

kathie said...

A timely question for me. My agent said the same thing as Miss Snark. It totally interferes with my fantasy life that I can't pinpoint exactly when I should be getting my offer...hehehehe. It's excrutiating to wait, but that's what will make it so great in the end.

Lynn said...

Do you have to wait 90 days to get an agent to make up his/her mind? I'm going batty.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark sounds right on here: my ms was sent in, not read for 6 weeks, then read in 2, then bought after a week of meetings.

a big NY house, too...(I still can't believe it! :)

MJ said...

Miss Snark,

I think I am now in a position to be considered a snarkling (yippee!). After looking over the Craptometer (last week of 2005), and also looking over some of the entries from the beginning of the blog, I think I am obsessed enough that I can, indeed, take on this title faithfully.

Like the other readers, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer questions from us nitwits, et al, and never ever, losing that biting humor.

I hope you don't mind, but I put up a link to your blog on my blog: The Novice Writer. If you do mind, do say, and I will take action and chop off the link.

MJ

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark has been called out!
http://sandrablabber.blogspot.com/2006/02/miss-snark-made-oops-cartoon-for-kim.html

lyfe said...

Interesting entry Miss Snark. I'm also a novice writer who just found your site, one I'm adding to my blog for future references.