Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Long Am I Supposed to Wait?

It's been three, fourth months since the Nice Agent Lady undertook to go through my ms. with an eye to sending me suggested areas for improvement (as we would have put it at my former employer, the Very Important Organization).  In our last colloquy I told her to take her time, but still...  Since I promised not to query further while she was working on it, I'm sort of stuck in limbo.  Despite its constant flow of heartache, I sort of miss querying.  I spend so much time working for TOM (the online Man) that I'm too exhausted at day's end to even think about, much less write, my WIP.  (Thank you, poverty.)  I'm sort of thinking giving her to September and then breaking my promise (heck, this is business after all), given that summer is a tough time to query anyway.  I don't know.  Is that fair, or should I feel like a jerk for even contemplating this?

8 comments:

  1. http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2010/05/should-you-give-agent-exclusive-read.html

    Good blog post about exclusives and the downside of them.
    Four months is a long exclusive, imo.

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  2. Travener - Are you actually exclusive with this agent as Ariel's comment indicates?

    I can't remember when exactly you last interacted with the agent but I think you're right - give her until the day after Labor Day and then hit her up again. Of course I have absolutely no experience in this area, so take what I say fwiw, but you asked and that's what I'd do!

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  3. Waiting until Labor Day is, imo, a mistake. No agent should have a four month exclusive, much less a six month exclusive.
    The problem with agreeing to what is an open ended exclusive is she has no motivation to get on it. She's got it to herself. I think you need to ask her when you can reasonably expect an answer and reasonably isn't another four, two or even one month.
    You have to be querying other agents and not hoping for this one to come through for you.
    I hope she does come through for you but if she doesn't and you're asked for an exclusive again you have to set the time table as in "yes, you have two weeks" to make a decision.

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  4. I would find a diplomatic way to email and ask. Especially if it's exclusive. You can't wait forever. Good luck! I was wondering if any movement had been made on that.

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  5. Wow, that is a long time to wait and not query. Sorry, man, I would take Ariel and Jennifer's advice.

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  6. I would definitely make sure she knew you were querying again though. Give her a date. These agents are all part of a very small little world, I watch them on Twitter, and it's all very up front, gossipy, and chatty. I think it would be impossible to covertly query...nice agent lady would certainly hear about it from some random agent friend or other. You know, Agent Friend "I read this query and it's not really for me, but it sounded just perfect for you, Madge. The author's name? Travener." Nice Agent Lady: "Reeeealllly??"

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  7. So, clarification: you promised the agent you wouldn't query, or you promised yourself? She asked you, or you volunteered? I thought I was up on your situation, but I missed this whole thing the first time through.

    I don't know, man. In light of that, maybe you oughta find a way to just check in with her after all and remind her you're still waiting.

    The only thing I'll say in defense of my original position is that if you weren't planning on doing anything between now and September anyway, and especially if July and August are as crappy times to query as some people say, then it doesn't make much difference to wait.

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  8. IMO, most agents who ask for an exclusive only takes about 2 months. You've waiting long enough, I would virtually poke her.

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