Dear Miss Snark:
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and consider myself a loyal snarkling. Thanks for all the stellar advice! Hopefully you can help me out with my questions.
What is a reasonable amount of time for your agent to finish your reading your manuscript? I sent my agent my second manuscript more than a month and a half ago, and she still hasn't read it. Worse, she keeps putting me off with emails saying, "I'll finish it this weekend and we'll talk next week." She's sent me one of those every week since the first day I sent it to her.
I'm tired of waiting for a "next week" conversation that isn't coming. Do I chalk this up to "she's just really busy?" Or do I give in to my insecurities and realize that maybe "she's just that not into me?"
My first manuscript, after three close calls, didn't end up selling and I'm worried that she's lost enthusiasm for me as a client. Should I keep mum and hope for the best? Or should I dig deep and broach the topic with her?
When you say a month and half it sounds like forever. How about this: 45 days, and 12 of them weekend days. And how about the idea that agents sometimes like to go to the circus on Saturday instead of read?
Yes manuscript reading is part of our job and yes getting to it promptly is always the goal. But I'll tell you, good intentions do not get pages turned and stuff happens like you would not believe.
Right now, you've got an agent who is responding to your email and hasn't said "quit bugging me". If you are emailing her every week to find out if she's read your manuscript you ARE bugging her. Quit it. And it sounds like you started emailing her the week you sent it. If that's the case, you're lucky your agent is not Miss Snark, or your literary executor would be handling your royalties.
Give her another six weeks of blissful silence. In the meantime start working on the next novel.