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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: mysticatical on March 30, 2021, 08:15:54 AM

Title: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on March 30, 2021, 08:15:54 AM
I have sent out several full MS now. I have seen in some forums, stories about people querying an agent, sending the full MS, and then getting the call the following day. If this doesn't happen, is it likely the agent will pass?
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 30, 2021, 08:31:54 AM
I've been agented twice--the first offer came in about two and a half weeks after submission, the second around a week post-submission (give or take!) With that said, experiences seem to vary widely--from QT I've seen offers ranging anywhere from a couple of days after submission to a few months. Sometimes the agent consults with others at the agency to gauge whether or not they're going to make an offer (which can take a while!)

Long story short--don't worry! Not receiving an offer within days of submission doesn't mean anything (I suspect too that reading times are taking longer now).  All the best to you on your subs, and crossables crossed for an offer!!!!!!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 30, 2021, 08:39:36 AM
Hi Mysticatical,


This is my first time ever querying so I'm far from any semblance of authority. I can share what I've experienced and read so far.


I started querying around mid-Feb and have been invited to submit four partials and four fulls. Of these, I've already been turned down by one partial and one full. The others have been out there from a few days to four weeks.


I have read of people receiving offers over a year after submitting their fulls and sending several nudges. So even a ghost can come back to life in the literary realm.


I hear nudges are appropriate about 2-6 months after submitting or when you have received an offer from another agent, of course.


Remember, agent time is like time near a black hole. Five minutes to an agent = author has aged a year. :wink:


Sincerely,


Richard
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 30, 2021, 08:42:32 AM

Dear HesterL,


Thank you for sharing your highly valuable experience. You must be a splendid writer with an impressive platform and/or commercial concept to have been agented twice.


Do you mind me asking what do you think has been the key to your agenting success (aside from dazzling looks and charm)? Also, may I inquire as to why you sought a second age after you already had an agent from a prior book?


Thanks!


RCL

I've been agented twice--the first offer came in about two and a half weeks after submission, the second around a week post-submission (give or take!) With that said, experiences seem to vary widely--from QT I've seen offers ranging anywhere from a couple of days after submission to a few months. Sometimes the agent consults with others at the agency to gauge whether or not they're going to make an offer (which can take a while!)

Long story short--don't worry! Not receiving an offer within days of submission doesn't mean anything (I suspect too that reading times are taking longer now).  All the best to you on your subs, and crossables crossed for an offer!!!!!!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 30, 2021, 10:41:04 AM
Aw, Richard, you are too kind! :) (And LOL on the dazzling looks and charm--I wish! :))

My personal belief regarding getting agented (and this is me speaking generally!) is that it's heavily dependent on luck. This isn't to dismiss my writing (I'm not that modest, heh!), but there are a lot of truly fantastic writers out there who have issues getting an agent (or selling a book). Briefly, the book I was agented for first time round never sold and my agent and I eventually parted ways (she's a fabulous agent, btw--it's just that she was going in a different direction regarding what she wanted to acquire at that point). Re: agent number two, she's also fantastic--unfortunately for me she quit agenting about a year after she signed me (it was for a second book which didn't sell either).  Which is kind of a roundabout way of saying luck plays heavily into the whole deal--your book might well be good enough to get an agent, but if it doesn't sell (and that's dependent on a whole bunch of other factors, many of which are outside the writer's control!) you may end up writing something new and (possibly) needing a new agent. It's the long game!

(And sorry, mysticalgal--didn't mean to hijack your post!) I'll just close by saying I had wonderful experiences with both my agents and I'm working toward getting agented again (hopefully, anyway! :)) And all the best to you, Richard, on your journey!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 30, 2021, 11:43:36 AM

Thank you, HesterL for sharing your two dramatic query journeys. It must be so incredible to secure an agent but then so challenging not to sell what are obviously two outstanding manuscripts. So don't keep us in suspense, did you elect to self-pub these two? And if so, what are they titled so that we might buy them on Amazon?


And, mysticatical, sorry indeed for taking us on this tangent with HesterL, but I hope you may find her sharing as highly fascinating and educational as I have.

Aw, Richard, you are too kind! :) (And LOL on the dazzling looks and charm--I wish! :) )

My personal belief regarding getting agented (and this is me speaking generally!) is that it's heavily dependent on luck. This isn't to dismiss my writing (I'm not that modest, heh!), but there are a lot of truly fantastic writers out there who have issues getting an agent (or selling a book). Briefly, the book I was agented for first time round never sold and my agent and I eventually parted ways (she's a fabulous agent, btw--it's just that she was going in a different direction regarding what she wanted to acquire at that point). Re: agent number two, she's also fantastic--unfortunately for me she quit agenting about a year after she signed me (it was for a second book which didn't sell either).  Which is kind of a roundabout way of saying luck plays heavily into the whole deal--your book might well be good enough to get an agent, but if it doesn't sell (and that's dependent on a whole bunch of other factors, many of which are outside the writer's control!) you may end up writing something new and (possibly) needing a new agent. It's the long game!

(And sorry, mysticalgal--didn't mean to hijack your post!) I'll just close by saying I had wonderful experiences with both my agents and I'm working toward getting agented again (hopefully, anyway! :) ) And all the best to you, Richard, on your journey!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on March 30, 2021, 04:58:31 PM
I've been agented twice--the first offer came in about two and a half weeks after submission, the second around a week post-submission (give or take!) With that said, experiences seem to vary widely--from QT I've seen offers ranging anywhere from a couple of days after submission to a few months. Sometimes the agent consults with others at the agency to gauge whether or not they're going to make an offer (which can take a while!)

Long story short--don't worry! Not receiving an offer within days of submission doesn't mean anything (I suspect too that reading times are taking longer now).  All the best to you on your subs, and crossables crossed for an offer!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing! Those are amazing stats, well done on doing so well. Your books must be fantastic.

I am a panicker so it's reassuring to know that I shouldn't necessarily expect a call the next day, haha.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 30, 2021, 04:59:43 PM
Aw, thank you Richard! I didn't self-publish them, but that's definitely something I'd consider in future!  :)
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 30, 2021, 05:00:52 PM
My pleasure mysticatical! Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions--I'll be back in the query trenches probably in the next few months or so...(ack!)
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on March 30, 2021, 05:12:54 PM
Hi Mysticatical,


This is my first time ever querying so I'm far from any semblance of authority. I can share what I've experienced and read so far.


I started querying around mid-Feb and have been invited to submit four partials and four fulls. Of these, I've already been turned down by one partial and one full. The others have been out there from a few days to four weeks.


I have read of people receiving offers over a year after submitting their fulls and sending several nudges. So even a ghost can come back to life in the literary realm.


I hear nudges are appropriate about 2-6 months after submitting or when you have received an offer from another agent, of course.


Remember, agent time is like time near a black hole. Five minutes to an agent = author has aged a year. :wink:


Sincerely,


Richard

Over a year after?  :eek: But yeah you're right - an agent I submitted to in January didn't confirm receipt then I saw her at a literary festival and she said she hasn't read it yet and looks forward. Hopefully she wasn't just caught off guard/being nice to avoid saying, I attempted reading it and it was terrible!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on March 30, 2021, 05:55:45 PM
Hi Mysticatical,


This is my first time ever querying so I'm far from any semblance of authority. I can share what I've experienced and read so far.


I started querying around mid-Feb and have been invited to submit four partials and four fulls. Of these, I've already been turned down by one partial and one full. The others have been out there from a few days to four weeks.


I have read of people receiving offers over a year after submitting their fulls and sending several nudges. So even a ghost can come back to life in the literary realm.


I hear nudges are appropriate about 2-6 months after submitting or when you have received an offer from another agent, of course.


Remember, agent time is like time near a black hole. Five minutes to an agent = author has aged a year. :wink:


Sincerely,


Richard

Over a year after?  :eek: But yeah you're right - an agent I submitted to in January didn't confirm receipt then I saw her at a literary festival and she said she hasn't read it yet and looks forward. Hopefully she wasn't just caught off guard/being nice to avoid saying, I attempted reading it and it was terrible!

Thank you! Can I ask what genre you are writing in? And how many agents did you submit to? What was the offer like? Did they discuss revisions or was it more like 'I loved it, everything was amazing!' I hope I get an offer in a week or two. Waiting on a fair few full MS that are with agents :S
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 30, 2021, 07:50:21 PM
Hi mysticatical!

So my first offer was on a YA thriller/suspense. On that book I queried maybe twenty-five agents (I'll have to check my QT stats for the exact number!) The offering agent e-mailed me to request a Skype call and, during the call, she felt me out regarding how open I was to revisions (I actually thought at one point the call was for an R & R, lol!) I loved her suggestions and at the end of the call she made the offer.

Book number two was a quiet YA contemporary. I only queried about ten agents that time around and the offer came about a week and a half after I started querying. We discussed everything over text and e-mail, and the edits pre-submission were pretty minimal. 

I hope this is helpful!!!!! Let me know if you have any other questions, and I'm keeping everything crossed for your subs--sounds like you've got a great manuscript!!! :)
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 31, 2021, 03:37:34 AM

Thank you for your kind offer regarding questions, HesterL. I will hit you up in this forum if I have any of a general nature or via PM if it's more specific to my work.

Look forward to having a proven veteran rejoin us in the query trenches. But it may not take you long given your fast track record in the past. It's taken me six weeks querying about 50 agents to garner nine requests for MS or proposal (since it's a memoir, one agent asked for proposal instead). I don't hold our high hopes as I do not have a huge author platform and am not surnamed Obama or Trump (thank God!) nor do people recognize me purely by my first name like Beyonce or Cher.

Best wishes to you both! And fret not, Mysticatical, as you are off to a fantastic start.

My pleasure mysticatical! Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions--I'll be back in the query trenches probably in the next few months or so...(ack!)
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: hesterL on March 31, 2021, 08:47:49 AM
Richard, that is an AWESOME request rate!!!!!  :clap: All crossables crossed for you for an offer, and feel free to reach out anytime!!!!!! Looking forward to hearing about your journey!!!!!!! :)
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: kciswriting on March 31, 2021, 09:59:08 AM
Mysticatical,

Brent Weeks, best selling fantasy author, mentioned that his agent, Donald Maass, offered representation 9 months after requesting a full. So if an agent doesn’t make that call right away, it doesn’t mean he/she has written you off.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 31, 2021, 11:28:21 AM

I think it was Victoria Griffin of Blue Pen who wrote in her blog how it took her five years of querying to get her first agent. Sandra Lu (who just rejected my query the other day) got back to her with an offer to rep over a year after requesting her full...

Mysticatical,

Brent Weeks, best selling fantasy author, mentioned that his agent, Donald Maass, offered representation 9 months after requesting a full. So if an agent doesn’t make that call right away, it doesn’t mean he/she has written you off.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on March 31, 2021, 03:33:39 PM
Mysticatical,

Brent Weeks, best selling fantasy author, mentioned that his agent, Donald Maass, offered representation 9 months after requesting a full. So if an agent doesn’t make that call right away, it doesn’t mean he/she has written you off.

Good luck!

Wow that's mad! Thanks for sharing. It reassures me. Every minute that passes I feel like I'm further from representation. I know that's not the reality, but my brain tells me it is, haha. I wonder if an agent is reading it right now :S
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on March 31, 2021, 07:27:35 PM

Mysticatical,


I know the feeling. You can go quite quickly from elation (receiving a request for a full yesterday) to dispirited (received three query rejections this morning) in this rough-and-tumble literary realm.


Hang in there, I'm sure an agent somewhere is reading your work (or soon will be) and enjoying it.


Sincerely,
RCL

Mysticatical,

Brent Weeks, best selling fantasy author, mentioned that his agent, Donald Maass, offered representation 9 months after requesting a full. So if an agent doesn’t make that call right away, it doesn’t mean he/she has written you off.

Good luck!

Wow that's mad! Thanks for sharing. It reassures me. Every minute that passes I feel like I'm further from representation. I know that's not the reality, but my brain tells me it is, haha. I wonder if an agent is reading it right now :S
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on April 01, 2021, 08:35:02 AM

Mysticatical,


I know the feeling. You can go quite quickly from elation (receiving a request for a full yesterday) to dispirited (received three query rejections this morning) in this rough-and-tumble literary realm.


Hang in there, I'm sure an agent somewhere is reading your work (or soon will be) and enjoying it.


Sincerely,
RCL

Mysticatical,

Brent Weeks, best selling fantasy author, mentioned that his agent, Donald Maass, offered representation 9 months after requesting a full. So if an agent doesn’t make that call right away, it doesn’t mean he/she has written you off.

Good luck!

Wow that's mad! Thanks for sharing. It reassures me. Every minute that passes I feel like I'm further from representation. I know that's not the reality, but my brain tells me it is, haha. I wonder if an agent is reading it right now :S



Thank you! I really hope that's true. Even better, someone has a clear vision for it to improve. I keep trying to imagine it being true as if magical thinking will make it happen. It would change all of our lives.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on April 01, 2021, 11:53:46 AM
Indeed it would, Mysticatical. And I am sure you will succeed in publishing your MS one way or another.


I wish you a splendid new day.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: Miss Plum on April 01, 2021, 12:27:13 PM
Agents sometimes go so long before they say Yes to requested materials that they approach almost timidly.

I queried one of the top 5 nonfic agents and he got back to me in one day with "Please send the proposal." I sent it. A couple of other agents also read my proposal and offered me rep, and I was considering them. Then Mr. Top-Five entered my Inbox after about 7 weeks. "If this project is still available, I'm interested in repping it." He even KNEW it might have slipped through his fingers -- but there you go.

btw, I did wind up going with him, and he couldn't sell the book. Another brush-with-success story for another day.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: kciswriting on April 01, 2021, 12:52:06 PM

Mysticatical,


I know the feeling. You can go quite quickly from elation (receiving a request for a full yesterday) to dispirited (received three query rejections this morning) in this rough-and-tumble literary realm.


Hang in there, I'm sure an agent somewhere is reading your work (or soon will be) and enjoying it.


Sincerely,
RCL


1 full request vs 3 rejections? I still consider that a success.  :clap:
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on April 01, 2021, 12:56:23 PM

Thank you for sharing, Miss Plum. You're like the third author in this community who landed an agent but then the agent couldn't sell the book. I wonder whether QT or other source has stats on what percentage of books repped by agents get trad published in the end?


On a related note, from QT it appears that most agents end up offering rep to about 2-6% of the authors from whom they requested MS. And before that, it seems the majority of agents request partials or fulls from about 1-5% of author queries. So it is quite a remarkable achievement to be trad published these days...

Agents sometimes go so long before they say Yes to requested materials that they approach almost timidly.

I queried one of the top 5 nonfic agents and he got back to me in one day with "Please send the proposal." I sent it. A couple of other agents also read my proposal and offered me rep, and I was considering them. Then Mr. Top-Five entered my Inbox after about 7 weeks. "If this project is still available, I'm interested in repping it." He even KNEW it might have slipped through his fingers -- but there you go.

btw, I did wind up going with him, and he couldn't sell the book. Another brush-with-success story for another day.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: Miss Plum on April 02, 2021, 10:36:12 PM
Quote
I wonder whether QT or other source has stats on what percentage of books repped by agents get trad published in the end?
I've seen this question raised on other forums. The stats, as I recall, were a bit discouraging. Getting an agent is just placing yourself at the foot of yet another summit.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: Johnny 5 on April 03, 2021, 02:29:48 AM
 :badday: Those figures are heavy.

I try find hope in seeing it as an elimination game. As long as you follow guidelines well, choose the right agencies, the right agents, have a good story, a well written manuscript, are friendly and easy to work with, willing to make changes and take advice, can meet deadlines, have no baggage that will impact your relationships with this process, can continue to create more work . . . those must lift you up into the single figure percentages.

Luck must then just ride in on its horse and glue it all together.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on April 03, 2021, 04:05:20 AM

Hilarious, my good friend Jonny, but sadly true. One good thing though, we've been speaking in percentages across all queries. If we are superior authors with superb manuscripts that reflect our extraordinary literary and commercial savvy (which is true for all of us in this esteemed forum, of course), then our chances may even ascend into high single digits!
 :clap:

:badday: Those figures are heavy.

I try find hope in seeing it as an elimination game. As long as you follow guidelines well, choose the right agencies, the right agents, have a good story, a well written manucript, are friendly and easy to work with, willing to make changes and take advice, can meet deadlines, have no baggage that will impact your relationships with this process, can continue to create more work . . . those must lift you up into the single figure percentages.

Luck must then just ride in on its horse and glue it all together.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on April 03, 2021, 06:47:31 AM
I am sitting here anxiously wondering when/if my agents will come back to me  :'(
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: Johnny 5 on April 03, 2021, 06:55:36 AM
Holding thumbs for you mysticatical

 :cheer:
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on April 03, 2021, 07:02:50 AM
Holding thumbs for you mysticatical

 :cheer:

Thank you  :) crossing my fingers for all of you, too. May we all receiving exciting and life-changing news soon!
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: Odd John on April 03, 2021, 07:09:34 AM
All of this detailed anxiety (which I share) at the last reminds me that I will write no matter what. Why?:

            a) It's in my bones, my marrow.
            b) I enjoy it (mostly). Mostly in the sense of personal satisfaction.
            c) It beats doing what I used to do too much of, hanging around in bars shooting pool and such.
            d) After a certain period of time, I'll self-publish. There's always a chance of being "discovered" later.
            e) I feel a "duty" to write.

That's the whole ball of wax, made into a candle and burning at both ends.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: mysticatical on April 03, 2021, 07:26:53 AM
All of this detailed anxiety (which I share) at the last reminds me that I will write no matter what. Why?:

            a) It's in my bones, my marrow.
            b) I enjoy it (mostly). Mostly in the sense of personal satisfaction.
            c) It beats doing what I used to do too much of, hanging around in bars shooting pool and such.
            d) After a certain period of time, I'll self-publish. There's always a chance of being "discovered" later.
            e) I feel a "duty" to write.

That's the whole ball of wax, made into a candle and burning at both ends.

Good, because we have to first write for ourselves! I feel this too, like I'll keep writing no matter what. It's a compulsion. But it would be nice if one day  a novel I wrote took on its own life and went out into the world.

Note: I am a professional writer anyway, with a non-fiction book deal and journalistic bylines. If you need to write and you are persistent and you read a lot and you have a flair for communication, one day it'll happen.
Title: Re: Do most offers come in quickly after a full MS request?
Post by: richardclin on April 03, 2021, 01:17:52 PM

That is a fantastic attitude, Jonny. I applaud and thank you for it.


And hang in there Mysticatical! I think taking deep breaths, looking out the window, and keeping in mind Jonny's fine points are the way to go when the stress builds up for you. And I've heard from quite a few extremely talented authors in this community who have gone on to very happily and successfully self-publish. A couple said they did it for the sake of their mental health and have never looked back at querying again even after they have achieved self-published success. So please don't despair. The world will see your work one day one way or another. And the world will be better for it!


 :award: 

All of this detailed anxiety (which I share) at the last reminds me that I will write no matter what. Why?:

            a) It's in my bones, my marrow.
            b) I enjoy it (mostly). Mostly in the sense of personal satisfaction.
            c) It beats doing what I used to do too much of, hanging around in bars shooting pool and such.
            d) After a certain period of time, I'll self-publish. There's always a chance of being "discovered" later.
            e) I feel a "duty" to write.

That's the whole ball of wax, made into a candle and burning at both ends.