My full has been under consideration for close to six months (including a revision request after one month that I completed) with my dream agent who’s from a top NY agency. The last I heard was from the assistant (who “loved” it) with an assurance that she’d review the revised version (that week) and get back to me soon. Soon has stretched into two months. I know via Internet searches that the agent has been busy with this and that (e.g., signing two other clients, RWA) during that time. So I’ve been querying widely, writing, and trying not to get antsy.
My question is this: Is it common for agents to sit on manuscripts they like (for whatever reason), or is a six month stretch a sign that the love’s been lost?
Ok, maybe I’m just an antsy nitwit.
I'm getting ready to sign someone who's been in the holding pen for more than a year. There were lots of reasons this happened, but very little of it had to do with the quality of his writing (which is brilliant and I'm thrilled to be taking him on).
When I'm looking at a full novel it does take awhile. I try to read it more than once, I spend time thinking about the market, figuring out how I would position something, and most important talking to the writer to make sure s/he's not a loon. I'm looking for clients who will be with me unto the ends of time and I've had a couple whack jobs recently and I want to learn from my mistakes so I don't do that again.
Short answer: yes, six months is pretty normal here. Other agencies may differ. It's ok to email with "howdy, just wanted to check in and let you know you look right cute in that Halloween mask, oh you're not wearing one, oops" or something less holiday oriented if you'd like.
Keep writing the next novel.