1. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    How long do I wait?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Thomas Kitchen, Sep 7, 2013.

    Hi all,

    I am currently being helped by Mammamaia (thanks for the help so far!) in regards to things such as synopses, query letters, and suchlike.

    However, I will soon send my query letter to a few agents (how many at a time is recommended?), and I was wondering how long is the standard waiting time to hear back from them. How long is too long? Should I be suspicious if the reply is sooner than a certain time? How long should I wait before I send out query letters to the next "batch"?

    Many questions, hopefully a few answers from some good people. Thanks. :)
     
  2. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    Its recommended not to send too many at once as most people want to refine their cover letter as they go on, if you've spunked your book over every potential agent in one go then you cant do that.

    There isnt a standard waiting time, might be weeks, months, years, or never. I would probably send a polite follow up if I hadnt heard back within a couple of months to make sure they got it.

    If you google there are plenty of literary agents who blog, I recommend reading some of them to get an idea of what they expect. Decent agents will receive thousands of submissions a year.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto above... i advise waiting 2 months beyond whenever the agent's guidelines mention is their normal response time, before following up...
     
  4. Misty'sMess
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    Misty'sMess Member

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    I like the idea of refining your cover letter as you go, I hadn't thought of that.
     
  5. EmmaWrite
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    EmmaWrite Member

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    Almost all agents and agencies say on their websites how long it takes them to respond to queries. In my experience, it's anywhere between two weeks and three months. The websites should also say whether or not the agents (or their assistants) reply to every query or just the ones they are interested in. If you haven't heard from them in a month, it's probably safe to say that particular agent is not interested.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would also revise your synopsis and anything else you might've included in your query. If zero agents get back to you, you can safely assume something in your initial stages have gone wrong.

    Why would you be suspicious if they reply faster than they said they would though? What's there to be suspicious about?
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Thanks for everyone's responses. @Mckk - suspicious was the incorrect word. What I meant is that when an agent gets back to you quickly, you have probably been rejected. Then again, maybe it's so good the agent needs to get back to me ASAP! :D
     
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