Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dear O'Abby: How long should I wait to hear back from an agent?

Dear OA Abby, 

After reading Pat's WEP entry, I have to wonder...

How long should someone wait to hear back from an email to an agent, editor, etc before checking if the message was ever received? Is there an especially, non-naggy way to say, "Hey! Just checking if you got this. Pass or love, just want to be sure it made it to the inbox."

- A writer who isn't  a canned meat product made mainly from ham

Dear Not-Spam (I hope I can call you that),

This is a good question.  Many agents have an expected response time on their websites, so my advice would be to look for this, and add another two to four weeks to it before nudging for a response.  If there is no response time listed, Query Tracker can be a good resource because other authors often post how long it took for them to get a response.

Or the agent may be a "no response means no" agent in which case you can assume that no reply after  around six weeks is a pass.

If you've done all this, and the agent doesn't mention being a non-responder, it's perfectly okay to give them nudge if it's been a long time.

I would make it something really short and sweet like:

Dear Agent Snail,

I'm enquiring about my query for (Awesome Novel title in a category this agent represents) which was sent on (date at least 8-10 weeks ago, depending on the agent's reported response time).  I know email can be glitchy, so just wanted to check you had received it.


Not Spam

And include the original email under the new one so the agent won't have to go trawling through their in box to find it.

Like all things to do with agents, just keep it professional and polite.

Good luck with your book.


1 comment:

  1. This was such perfect advice, with a nice dash of humor. I loved the Not Spam tagline.


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