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Author Topic: How long have folks waited for agent's notes?  (Read 1697 times)
skribbler
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« on: July 14, 2017, 04:11:15 PM »

I think I know the answer to this. I finally got my agent in May after more than a year of looking for one. She was very excited about my quirky not-for-everyone literary fiction manuscript. She really wants me. But she said she wouldn't be able to turn to it to make notes and discuss what to do to get the book in shape for submission before the "both of June," a typo I spent weeks trying to guess at rather than just annoyingly ask her what she meant. I'd decided it would be best to assume 4th of July would be the soonest she'd be able to look at it. I got impatient, though, about 6/20 or so and did ask if it was possible we could discuss it by the 4th, since summer is my slow time at work and most ideal time to work on re-write. Ever since, we've been making appointments week by week to discuss, which every time she's had to break because she isn't ready.

Please tell me she isn't a flake, she just has a lot on her plate (she's the name agent at her firm), and I need to simply work on my second book while I'm waiting on her notes/edits. Would love, though, to hear from others who've lived through slow starts with their agents. Especially if the story ended happily.
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Rachael846
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 04:20:43 PM »

Well, it took a little over two months to get my edit letter, but...that's exactly how long she told me it would take even before I officially signed with her. So...
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skribbler
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 05:07:26 PM »

Exactly what I needed to hear, Rachael. Thanks.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 08:23:01 AM »

I mean, for me it's like a week or two.

But those aren't, like, edit notes but instead "I've read it, let's talk strategy" sort of thing and then we proceed from there.
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Rachael846
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 10:44:06 AM »

And in my case it was edits and comments in the manuscript and a 3 page edit letter.
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skribbler
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 05:44:10 PM »

I kind of think this is going to be notes and edits, or at least an informed conversation in more depth than our initial one. I stopped pinning her down for an appointment, which I think had her feeling cornered, and just said I looked forward to talking when she was ready.

On the bright side, we got a puppy this weekend, which is so much work I've pretty much forgotten all about my book. (And day job, which could be a bigger problem than the slow agent.)
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 10:06:56 AM »

I got a puppy a few weeks ago! And yes, they do wonders for keeping your mind of the stressful authoring business!
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 11:22:27 PM »

Frankly, I haven't been this stressed out since my son was born 21 years ago. But like him, I'm hoping the puppy gets indepen . . .   Shoot. That hasn't even happened to my son yet.

Anyway, it's going to make re-writing after notes a walk in the park.
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skribbler
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 02:40:18 PM »

Now that September's almost here, I find the fact that I was complaining in mid-July about not getting agent's notes a little quaint. I keep getting e-mail about every ten days that she'll have them ready in a week. This is all to say to those who're still on the hunt for an agent to remember that through every door is another door.

I'm real happy I have representation. Will be even happier if I get a publisher someday. It ain't over 'til it's over.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 02:56:45 PM »

Don't do what I did. My agent sat on my manuscript for seven months with the continual promise that she'd work on it, she'd work on it, she'd work on it... When the notes came back, it was clear she'd skimmed through and wasn't paying attention. I should have walked out the door then and there. I should have walked at about the three month mark, actually, but she kept me hanging on with the same line, that surely eventually when the time was right she'd give me notes.

She also told me she didn't have time to write an editorial letter, then two days later tweeted about how much fun she was having writing a different client's editorial letter. Yes, I called her on that garbage. Don't put up with this much longer.
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 01:17:46 AM »

My editor from MacMillan/St.Martins/Wednesday books is sending my at the end of the weekend, hopefully. I signed with them sometime in October.

Granted, she's been busy because of the new imprint she's heading, another editor going on maternity leave, and my novel ended up being pushed back slightly (from Fall 2018 to Winter 2019 which is just a few months because they believe it'll sell better) so it all made sense.

I'm not entirely sure what an agent would be like with edit letters because I don't have one.

I have representation but it's different. Got a very different arrangement.
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 09:25:29 AM »

Four months is too long without an explanation. More importantly, the fact that your agent is not communicating honestly is not acceptable. If she told you "I'm having surgery and I won't be able to get you your edit letter for four months," that would be one thing. But she's not keeping her word to you, and that shows that she isn't valuing you the way she should.

Get her on the phone and lay down the law.
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skribbler
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 04:15:28 PM »

I'm going to call her soon.

Part of my patience is due to the fact that I've worked in publishing for the last thirty years, and as frustrating as it is, this kind of thing isn't completely a surprise. And it's not limited just to agents, and it's not limited just to bad people. Authors do it, editors do it, reviewers do it . . . agents do it. It is probably the most procrastination-prone industry in the world.

That said, it's time for some behavior mod.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 09:12:04 AM »

I keep getting e-mail about every ten days that she'll have them ready in a week. 

So my editor is like this. But man, I would not stand for this from my agent. You need to have a talk with her.
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 04:51:49 PM »

I wrote to her this weekend, asking her specifically not to promise deadlines she couldn't keep. Even if she needed another three months, fine. But not another "next week" with the best of intentions. She immediately got back to me saying, "Ok, let's say two more weeks." Lucy once more places the football for Charlie Brown . . .
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