Helloooooo Miss Snark,
Love the blog and I have a question (well, two actually) that I am hoping you might be able to help me with.
First, what is the appropriate amount of time to follow up with an agent who has requested a full manuscript? I know that they need sufficient time to get to it, and I thought I read somewhere that 3-4 months was long enough before bugging them about whether they have gotten to it. I have had three agents request full manuscripts but none of them indicated a turn-around time to read it. I am coming up on the three month mark for the first agent to request it and am wondering whether it would be a good time to follow up and see where I stood.
Second, there seem to be plenty of web sites and resources around for sample query letters, but do you know of any that give examples of how to word an appropriate follow-up letter? Not that I couldnt write a polite follow up on my own, but I am just wondering if there is a standard format that should be used for these.
Thanks in advance
Well, I'm so glad you asked. You don't even want to know how many manuscripts I have here that are four months old. If I've learned one thing from you all, it's to be religious about staying in touch with people when I have their work. They may think I'm a sloth but they know I've got it and I'm not dead.
90 days is industry standard on a full. LOTS of people take longer, me included right now. I've read some things in under six weeks, but other things just don't get read that fast.
Follow up is businesslike: Dear Miss Sloth, Thank you for your interest in my Huge Ass Tome Of Fabulosity. I sent the full ms on October 10, 2002 and I am just checking in to see if you've had a chance to take a look at it. I'm very interested to hear what you think (insert sound of sucking up here). Love, and kisses, Thomas Pinchin
I know it drives you crazy that it takes so long. Since I do all my own reading, my speed depends on how busy I am with other things. Right now, its nutso. That's a good thing for my clients, and me, but it's hell on wheelbearings for the queriers.