Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How long should I wait for my agent to respond?

Dear Mr Lukeman, I have been offered (email) representation by a very prestigious agency. I really wanted to go with them, so I responded with an immediate acceptance. The agent emailed back that she was thrilled, and would be sending out an agency contract, and was looking forward immensely to speaking with me on the phone. Since then, (two weeks ago)nothing. I have sent two tiny, non-'prodding' messages, and received a brief response to each, to the effect that the agent is very busy, but will contact me soon. I asked briefly about the contract. No response. Is it likely she has changed her mind? Does that happen after an extremely enthusiastic and firm offer of representation. I am so bewildered. Please help.

To begin with, I covered this topic in depth in my free ebook. Please visit and download it for free and read it.

That said, in this case I would back off and give it 2 more weeks and see what happens. In the scheme of your career a few weeks is not a big deal, and if the agency is as great as you imagine then it may be worth it. It can take you a lot longer than that to find a new agent. Also, the fact that she said she would contact you and you, instead of waiting, emailed her twice in 2 weeks, might raise red flags for her. Not to excuse her behavior--she should have followed up if she said she would--but this might be her perspective. Agents are swamped and it was also a holiday week.

If nothing happens in two more weeks then you can be more alarmed and outright prod her. If she still doesn't respond then you may want to look elsewhere. As I say in my book, every agent and author have different styles of communicating, and if you two are not on the same page it might never work. The real question is whether her silence now means she will do a poor job with the submission--and one can never know the answer to that. An agent might be in touch always yet ruin a submission--while another might never call you but do a great job!