Hello Miss Snark:
I sent thirty queries, including the first few pages (10, 20, 50, whatever the agent requires) of my manuscript. It has been eight weeks and only half the SASEs have come back. What percentage of "just following up" messages do you receive from writers in whom you have some interest?
I understand that hundreds of submissions must arrive weekly (daily?). I guess that I'm asking if an agent can lose the initial submission from a "please send me more" writer as easily as from a "blechh, please go away" writer.
Happens all the time.
Right this very moment I'm on page 143 of a 211 page novel that I've had here since...hold on to your lid, September 2005. Now before you faint dead away, let me just say that I HAVE been in email contact with Mr. September a couple times in these last 11 months. He's been good about sending hilarious emails, and I like his stuff enough not to get huffy about being nudged.
There is no, zip, zilch, nada way to graph out an x/y relationship between time to respond and ANY other factor. Each agent works differently, and most agents don't even handle the incoming submissions as a regularly scheduled thing. I sure don't. I do them when I can. Sometimes I'm really prompt. Sometimes-more often- I'm a slug.
Don't fret. Don't nudge. Go read something really juicy.