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  1. Angela Ness

    Angela Ness New Member

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    Agents How long??

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Angela Ness, Jul 28, 2019.

    Following a standard synopsis and 3 chapter query, an agent said they enjoyed it and requested the full mss. That was almost 4 weeks ago. I appreciate it's a bit soon to expect a response but anyone got any idea on how long I should wait before doing a polite follow up?
     
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  2. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What does their website say? Usually there will be a time frame they quote. I can't say I remember what the average is. Maybe someone like @deadrats or @TWErvin2 could tell you?

    A publisher requested my full recently too and on their website it said 10+ weeks or more. So I'm expecting something like 2 months personally, perhaps 3 even, after which I think I'd send them a follow-up email.

    It's hard waiting. I know. Right there with you. Hang in there and congratulations on the request! :cheerleader:Crossing my fingers for you.
     
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  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    I have not been in the agent search arena for a while, so I am not really up to date on expected wait times. What Mckk indicated, checking the website, a good place to start.

    Sometimes a longer wait is better. Quick answers usually result negative results. It's no fun waiting, but the best thing to do is to focus on your next project. My gut says four months is not too long to wait for a full manuscript evaluation (for representation). It's more than just if it's a really good book, but it is a decision on the part of the agent, if it's something that the agent think he or she can sell to publishers.

    Wishing you the best of luck in this effort!
     
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  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Agree regarding the quick responses. Often not a good sign. I mean, I've had basically 99% rejections so far, (could be 100% if the full request doesn't work out) but I find I prefer the ones that made me wait. At least I can believe maybe they actually read it and thought about it if it's taken them a month or two to get back to me. But when something comes back as a rejection the next day or the next few days, I always feel like they probably never made it past the query, if they even read the query. I mean, either way I can't be sure, but it's easier on my mind when a rejection comes only after a long time.
     
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  5. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I think two months is reasonable, though it is hard to wait on the first one! The fact that they requested the manuscript is a significant plus, because your initial query probably also included the first couple of pages. Had they not liked the manuscript you would have heard by now. Good luck and congratulations!
     
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  6. Angela Ness

    Angela Ness New Member

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  7. Angela Ness

    Angela Ness New Member

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    Good luck to you too.
     
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  8. Fletch

    Fletch New Member

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    Can I just ask what is a time period between getting your story accepted by some magazine and getting it published?
     
  9. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Totally dependent on the publication.
     
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  10. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Normally there is a clause in the contract which discusses how long they have the rights to publish the story, before reverting back to you. That will give you the time frame at least. Otherwise, a lot depends on the magazine. Is it monthly or quarterly, for example. Is it for a particular themed edition?
     
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  11. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    The quickest for me was about four months. The longest (a story that will come out this fall) will have been closer to a year, slightly less.
     
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  12. Fletch

    Fletch New Member

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    It seems to be the case. The thing is that I've sent the story a long time ago and they should have contacted me by now (at least according their official "response time") but I've noticed that they are planning to make a "particular themed edition" of the magazine that they plan to publish next year (a theme that my story does touch) so I guess they are keeping the story in their queue until sometime next year so that they have more stories to choose from. In the meantime, I can't send my story anywhere else and may wait over a year to get a response if it's accepted or rejected - so how fair and professional of them is that?
     
  13. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Have you actually signed any contract at this point? If you've signed nothing, then I'd keep submitting the story to other places.

    And if you have signed and basically got yourself locked in with this magazine, then I'd say it's well within your rights to chase them up and basically say "Hey, what the hell is going on?" You surely must have an editor you can contact?
     
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  14. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    If they've accepted your story, what does the contract say? Is there a contract? Does it indicate payment upon acceptance, or upon publication? When do the rights revert back to you? Upon or after publication? Is there a clause that discusses when the rights revert to you if your story does not get published--how long do they retain the rights to publish it? I have not written and had short stories published in some time, but if I recall, most indicated a year or rarely up to two years after acceptance, rights reverted if not published in that time frame. If you signed an open ended contract, that could be a concern.

    I guess the second focus would be the reliability of this market. Has it been around long? Does it publish regularly, or is it intermittent? Is their information online about this market? What 'reputation' does it have among writers?

    Even though this particular story appears stalled, don't let that deter you from writing and getting more out there. Writing and being an author is a learning process...I don't know where you fall within this spectrum, Fletch, but from 'newbies to 'veterans' continue to learn things along the way.
     
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  15. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You can withdraw your story at anytime so really it's perfectly fair. If you don't want to wait, you don't have to. I've had places take over a year to get back to me. It's how it works basically. There is a lot more than reading submissions that goes into putting a publication out. Your story (though it may be wonderful) is not their top priority. And there's nothing stopping you from writing more stories to send to other publications. One story should never be so important that a long wait seems unfair or unprofessional. Long waits are good things so try and relax or even forget about this one for now. Write more. Write a lot more. It will make you think less about this one.
     
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  16. Fletch

    Fletch New Member

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    Come on, they have no “simultaneous submissions” rule. I haven't met a magazine yet that doesn't have that. So if I submit it to someone else... it would be highly unprofessional of me to do it and, as it apparently goes, I wouldn't be able to do any work with them ever and would probably get on bad rep with other magazines because they all apparently talk and gossip writers to each other.
    And that's what I'm talking about: they want you to be professional and are very anal about it, but when it's their turn to be professional then they just play how they want.

    They have been existing for a long time and have been collaborating even with famous writers.

    Sure, but then again from what I understand editors hate when writers withdraw the story for any reason.

    Sure, very neatly said and I guess you would be completely right but then there is a monetary component. Imagine if someone was to take this seriously and *drumroll* decided to write for money: he/she writes a story and sends it to editor who holds it for a year and then rejects it, so then writer sends it to another editor who rejects it after five months and then the third one picks it up after eight months and then it takes few months to publish it. I mean it is a business nightmare for a writer.
    And yes I am probably now coming off as arrogant for wanting some editor to pay me now for the story that he/she wants or just rejects it and move on (because I could sure use the money). But I know, I know, there's nothing I can do about it which all makes me more depressed to write anything new knowing how the process will go.
     
  17. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Fletch - I write novels, not short stories, and have never submitted to magazines before. In novel queries, simultaneous submissions are the norm. Agents even advise it. However, I appreciate you're deeply frustrated. You seem to think there's nothing you can do but honestly, as I said, unless you've actually signed a contract, of course you can do something.

    As I said, take it up with them. Write them. You have every right to chase them up to see what's up with the progress. Don't just withdraw your submission without communication. Ask them what's going on. See what they say. See how they respond to you. Based on this, you will know whether you should be patient and just wait, or if you really should withdraw the story. Because if all they're gonna do is stall and stall despite you having voiced your concern and are treating you without any respect, do you really want to work with them? Have a bit of faith in your story - if they've accepted it, there's a good chance another magazine will accept it.

    If they've planned to publish your story and it's just publication schedules that's getting in the way, they'll want to reassure you because probably rearranging everything because they've lost a good story that's gonna make them good money is a royal pain in the butt. You're not some pawn they can just discard - good stories don't come by that often. It's a mutual relationship. The story is yours and if it's good, they'll wanna hold on to it, which means, they'll likely tell you what's up because they're not gonna want you to pull the story.

    The world is huge. You really have limited options here. Keep venting and ranting and do nothing, or write them and ask what's going on. You can't know what you should do either way until you've heard from them. Then you have the choice of: wait, or withdraw the story.

    Now the only question is: what do you wanna do?

    ETA: I noticed your response to Deadrats further down your reply - I think what she's saying is: you shouldn't be waiting for the publication of one story before writing your second to begin with. Therefore your scenario of waiting a year just to be rejected and then writing another isn't relevant. Submit, and start writing a new one. As soon as that one's done, submit and write still another new one. You should essentially have multiple stories on submission at any one point and be writing something new before anyone ever gets back to you.

    What you should not be doing is: Submit, stop writing. Basically, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    And as long as you haven't stopped writing, keep submitting.

    If your frustration lies in thinking the one you've submitted and got stalled on is your best work - probably think more carefully about who you really wanna submit to before submitting. As well as that, you're always improving, so your best work is never the one that's been submitted anyway. Again, have some faith in your work. If you believe you can write better than your last story, the frustration would be easier to cope with I think, because you won't think you've lost your bargaining ticket.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Fletch -- The way things work is there is a team of slush readers. These are usually volunteers or paid a small stipend. They are the first line of defense. They weed out the pieces that should be definitely rejected. Those are the quickest rejections because your story dies there. If a slush reader thinks your story is pretty good it will get passed up usually to an editorial assistant. Now you have to wow them with your story in order to get it passed up again to their boss. Once it's in an editors hand they'll give it a read. Depending on what they think, your story could make it to an editorial board meeting. This is where your story will be discussed both in terms of quality and its fit with the magazine. Your story is likely not to be the only one on the table at this meeting. There's going to be competition every step of the way and you could get rejected still at any point. I've had two places email me that my story had made it to the final editorial meeting. One worked out for me, the other didn't. But I made it to the end zone with both those pieces.

    Other places say nothing until a final decision is made. This is something that again has both worked out in my favor and not worked out. However, making it really close usually means you'll get some sort of encouraging note from the editor, which could mention how far your story made it in the process. It could also tell you why your story ended up rejected which could help you before you submit it somewhere else. Or it could be just a form rejection regardless of how far your story made it. Personal rejection can be quite rare, but then so is acceptance.

    You have to understand how many submissions these places get. It's insane. Everyplace gets more submissions than they have time for. A lot of places have submissions windows where you can only send in a story during a few certain months. And, although some places do not take simultaneous submissions a lot of other places do. If you are serious about short story writing I suggest a subscription to duotrope. It's $50 a year or you can pay monthly. It's basically a database of journals and magazines with a bunch of stats such as response time. You can actually see a sampling of pending submissions and how long they've been out along with recent rejections and acceptances (along with how many days both took), pay ranges, submissions per year, submission times, author interviews, if they take simultaneous submissions or not, and more. It's also very searchable and you can track your submissions. It will also tell you if your submission has been out longer than normal and even when it might be a good time to contact someone about your submission. If you want me to check some stats for you or average wait times for your publication, PM me the name of the place and I can look it up on duotrope for you if you want.

    I try to refrain from emailing to check o a submission. The only thing it's ever gotten me is a pretty quick rejection response. I just rather wait.

    As far as doing this professionally, I am a short story writer and essayist. @Mckk is right about what I was trying to say. You don't just want one story out. I've got 15 or so out if no more spread across about 30 to 50 submissions. I try to keep 50 submissions out all times, but I've been slipping a little. Some places don't take simultaneous submissions. That's fine if you are willing to play by their rules. I do send stories to places like that. I have one publication that I almost always send a story to first and I wait on them. Same with my essays at a different place. Both have bought pieces from me. These two publications are important to me and the pay is good. It's not that they take everything I write, but to me they are worth the wait. But the key really is to have an army of stories ready for battle. I've constantly got a short story and essay I'm working on. I know I need new ones ready to go. And keeping a number of things out on submission will make you both forget about what you're waiting on and give you more chances out there.

    I've said this a few times on the forum, but I truly believe what we can and will write is always going to be better than what we have written. So, I write a lot. I start to realize that my new stuff is a lot better and I wait for some of the old ones to die off with rejections as I stop submitting them. It's almost foolish to have on story on submission. Not meant as an insult to you, but these places do take a long time and there is a ton of competition. And if you wrote one great story, you can do it again and again. You're probably going to want to publish in more than one place anyway. So, do your part (the part you can control), and write more stories to put on submission other places. Once you have a new story you like better, you won't think so much about the one you're waiting on. And keep doing that until you would have to look in your records for what's been sent where and how long it's been out.
     
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  19. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Fletch -- I just wanted to add that my longest submission is at 536 days. I'm going to just wait and see how it plays out. But you're not alone in long waits. It happens to all of us.
     
  20. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Duotrope sounds like a really good option. And if you sell even one story per year, you've probably made back your subscription cost. (I don't know how much short stories sell for, but I'd suspect it's at LEAST $50.)
     
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  21. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Duotrope is great. I couldn't live without it. I've been using it for years. It used to be a free service and there are free options out there. I just find the free ones don't really give you as much or as accurate info. All of the stats are based on users entering submissions and responses. I find that more writers use duotrope. It's something that the other professional writers I know all use. And you're right that it can pay for itself, though, I did go through a few years without making a sale.

    As far as pay ranges go, you can sell a story for nothing or up to $5k. That's the price range I'm aware of. Most stories will sell for a few hundred. I've been paid from $0 to $1k. But on duotrope, you can see the pay ranges before you submit. I know a lot of these publications pretty well. There are definitely places I would be happy to get into that don't pay, but I've found that can be just as hard as some places that pay very well. But I think @jannert is right. You will eventually make your money back and then some. And duotrope just makes everything easier.
     
  22. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I just had a look at Duotrope's site. This page lists the requirements the publications must meet before they can be listed on Duotrope. It's pretty impressive. It refuses to list vanity publishers, or legitimate publications that don't meet expected publication frequency (and either seem lackadaisical or to be actually failing.) It's clear they don't want authors wasting time OR money.

    https://duotrope.com/about/listingcriteria.aspx
     
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  23. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Fletch, you recently wrote:

    At the beginning of your questioning in this thread you wrote:
    Are you mainly discussing the 'Time from Submission to the Time of Receiving an Acceptance?' Or are you mainly focused on 'Time from Acceptance to Publication'?

    I have been responding as if your work was accepted. If you've not, then it is a whole different story.

    That said, if you want to make money in writing, rarely is it a 'strike it rich right away' scenario. It takes time...to improve your writing and to build momentum as an author. Write a story, research markets, select the best one (or ones--if they accept simultaneous submissions) and then write something else...send it off. Keep at it. If a story gets rejected, send to the next one(s) on the list. Maybe review and revise it, if you think it may need it. Be sure to keep a spreadsheet, when something was submitted, to what market, expected reply, and result (plus a slot for notes/comments). Also keep track of other markets you researched for that story, so you don't have to do the research again.

    Duotrope, as mentioned is something that can help a lot. There is the Story Grinder and Ralan.com too, depending on what genres you write in.

    Very few authors make a living writing short stories. I will also add that the best paying markets get the most submissions to wade through. The competition is very stiff, but rewarding if you succeed.
     
  24. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Member

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    six months.
     
  25. Fletch

    Fletch New Member

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    wow, so that's possible? I always thought you had to first write short stories and then if you make some name of yourself you get to write a novel. So how does it go? Someone writes a novel and just sends /uploads it to a publisher?
     

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