Author Topic: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt  (Read 1484 times)

Offline mysticatical

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Two agents requested my full MS last year and I haven't heard back yet.

1 requested it just over a week ago and I'm yet to hear.

Note: I've sent to a total of 6 so far. Once hasn't got back to me at all and it's been 3 weeks. Two sent very encouraging rejections commenting on the beautiful writing and atmosphere--one said she didn't connect with the voice, the other thought there was too little story. Having re-visited her page, I think she is more into commercial literary fiction but I thought it worth a go.

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 01:09:38 PM »
Thanks for the reply. Yes, it's quite frustrating, particularly given they were so eager last year/one reached out to me! I'd love to hear from others.

Sounds like I'll be waiting for news. I'm not sure whether to stick to my batch strategy, or whether to be impatient and send to more.

Offline littlewritings

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 01:36:23 PM »
Publishing is an extremely slow industry and agents will always put their clients' work first... so if they have a bunch of client manuscripts to read, they'll likely read those first.

It's definitely not unusual for agents not to confirm receipt and it's also not unusual for an agent to take several months with your manuscript. I would say it's okay to nudge after 3 months, but don't be surprised if the answer you get is something like "It's still in my to-be-read pile". (And nudging after 6 months is obviously fine, too.)

Some agents are super fast and respond to requests within a few weeks, but I would say those are an exception. Sadly, there's also a bunch of agents out there who are known to ghost authors on fulls, so I would recommend looking at the comment sections for the agents who have your material to see if that's something that could possibly happen to you.

Good luck!

Offline Viddiest

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 05:35:41 PM »
Have you looked at the response times for your agents here on querytracker? I obsess over that stuff. :) So worth being a premium member to get that kind of info.

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 07:05:37 AM »
I have premium and no one else who has logged their queries has heard back from these agents yet so... hopefully they're just being super slow.

Offline sjforti

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2021, 07:40:33 AM »
Also in this boat and wondering what to do.  At least with QueryManager, you know it was received.  But I've got one via email that's at the 4 month mark, and no way of knowing if it was caught by a spam filter due to attachment and not read or if it's just too soon.  The agent noted they were backed up, but also said that meant it could be "a few weeks" before getting to it, which I thought was surprisingly quick.  Do I nudge?  Sit tight and not poke Shroedinger's request?

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2021, 11:28:30 AM »
Haha, I have the same feeling. Until we nudge and get a "no" it could be a "yes"! I wish nudge one of the two who didn't confirm receipt in a week or two, I think. She contacted me rather than me contacting her so it would be weird of her to just ghost me... If 4 months have passed, I would probably nudge.

On the other hand, today I got a full request in less than 20 minutes. The agent "loves my voice and style" so fingers crossed he reads the full as quickly.

Offline Viddiest

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2021, 01:22:24 PM »
That’s fantastic mystical. BTW, I did dm you. Did you get it? Not showing in my messages so checking?

Offline richardclin

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2021, 02:08:42 AM »
Sorry, littlewritings, but what do you mean by "agents out there who are known to ghost authors on fulls?"

Publishing is an extremely slow industry and agents will always put their clients' work first... so if they have a bunch of client manuscripts to read, they'll likely read those first.

It's definitely not unusual for agents not to confirm receipt and it's also not unusual for an agent to take several months with your manuscript. I would say it's okay to nudge after 3 months, but don't be surprised if the answer you get is something like "It's still in my to-be-read pile". (And nudging after 6 months is obviously fine, too.)

Some agents are super fast and respond to requests within a few weeks, but I would say those are an exception. Sadly, there's also a bunch of agents out there who are known to ghost authors on fulls, so I would recommend looking at the comment sections for the agents who have your material to see if that's something that could possibly happen to you.

Good luck!

Offline Odd John

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2021, 05:43:37 AM »
To Richard:  This is a pretty fast Forum. Likelihood of getting a reply to a post over 1 month old from the original poster? 50/50

So, in answer to your question, this means that the agent has failed to respond to a submission even after requesting and receiving a full manuscript. He's acting like a "ghost". Hope that clears this up for you...
My inferiority complex masks my superiority complex. It's very convenient.

       - John

Offline richardclin

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2021, 10:14:28 AM »
As usual, John, you crystalize everything quite clearly. Thank you very much.

To Richard:  This is a pretty fast Forum. Likelihood of getting a reply to a post over 1 month old from the original poster? 50/50

So, in answer to your question, this means that the agent has failed to respond to a submission even after requesting and receiving a full manuscript. He's acting like a "ghost". Hope that clears this up for you...

Offline littlewritings

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2021, 01:39:01 AM »
@richardclin It's already been said, but yeah... I did mean that some agents will enthusiastically ask for your full manuscript and then you'll never hear from them again and they won't respond to nudges (often not even when you have an offer). So basically they quietly pass on your manuscript and leave you hanging. (I honestly wouldn't have an issue with that practice if it was clearly stated somewhere that you may never hear back, but that's usually not the case.)

Offline richardclin

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2021, 04:23:45 AM »
Thank you, Little Writings, for more color behind the clarity. As I journey further into this world and away from the corporate arena I left behind last year, I still feel astounded by the communication mores of this industry. From all accounts, agents are way overloaded, so time for them is like time passing near a black hole. A few hours spent with our manuscript to them is like 3-6 months to us in the author world. This I can understand and fully empathize. However, this ghosting practice you speak of feels rather odd and regrettable.

I too have six partials/fulls out but more recently. I already plan to wait a few months before nudging them based on everything I read in these fine forums.

Good luck to you on hearing back positively from your agents soon!

@richardclin It's already been said, but yeah... I did mean that some agents will enthusiastically ask for your full manuscript and then you'll never hear from them again and they won't respond to nudges (often not even when you have an offer). So basically they quietly pass on your manuscript and leave you hanging. (I honestly wouldn't have an issue with that practice if it was clearly stated somewhere that you may never hear back, but that's usually not the case.)

Offline mysticatical

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2021, 12:46:14 PM »
Just a note that I spoke to one of my ghosters at a zoom lit fest (it was agent speed "dating") and they said they haven't read it yet!

Offline richardclin

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Re: Slow responses after sending my full MS/no confirmation of receipt
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2021, 01:46:38 PM »

That is terrific news, Mysticatical. I'm very happy for you!

Just a note that I spoke to one of my ghosters at a zoom lit fest (it was agent speed "dating") and they said they haven't read it yet!