Saturday, July 13, 2013

Should I prod agents?

Hi! My question is about receiving editorial feedback from a prospective agent. If you speak to an agent on the phone and they send you detailed notes and ask that you revise and re-submit, is it appropriate to contact the other agents who have your full manuscript and let them know that you are doing an R &R? Or just say nothing and hope that they get back to you. I want to use the best professional etiquette. I have three fulls out there and am about to begin a revision and wondered if I should prod these other agents again or let it go. The other fulls have been out from 6 months to 3 months. Thanks! 

In general, an agent should respond to a query letter within 2-6 weeks, and to a 300 page manuscript within 8--12 weeks, or 16 at the most. If that time has come and gone, feel free to prod the agent.

In this specific case, I would not necessarily tell the other agents that you are revising, because, while it is hopeful, nothing has actually happened. The agent who likes it may still reject it. And if you force other agents hands with a tight deadline, and the original agent does not offer, then the other agents may think he didn't like your revision. Plus you don't want to bias them, to tell them that the work you first submitted needs, in one opinion, revision. Let them read and decide on their own--especially since hearing another agent wants a revision won't help land anyone else.

So just revise as requested, and continue to wait to hear from the others--unless the aforementioned time limit has passed, in which case prod them with a quick, general request for a response.

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