STATUS: Yesterday got away from me. Sorry for the blog silence.
What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? JUST SAY YES by Snow Patrol
I do think writers have a valid beef regarding how long it takes for literary agents to respond to a full manuscript. I’ve heard horror stories of writers receiving rejection letters a year later—even two years later. Some writers have never received a response. I sympathize as that’s rather ridiculous. Here at NLA, we really do try and turn around full manuscripts in 4 weeks if humanly possible. In our full manuscript request letter, we say we can take up to 2 months to respond just to hedge our bets.
When we send out our full request, we also ask writers to keep us in the loop regarding any other agent interest and that includes offers of representation. Why? Because we don’t ask for an exclusive time to read and if we are going to invest the time, we want a shot at it potentially. Who wants to waste time over the weekend reading a novel that’s no longer available because another agent has snatched it up?
I mean, good for the writer for getting an offer so quickly but yesterday, I was a little annoyed because that’s exactly what happened. We spent time this weekend reading a novel that was of interest to us only to receive an email first thing Monday morning saying the work was no longer available as the author had accepted an offer elsewhere.
Now I guess that the offer could have come in over the weekend and the writer did notify us as soon as possible but it’s rare for agents to offer over a weekend. Not impossible but it’s not the usual mode. Also, if the writer thinks other agents will potentially be interested, why not find that out before committing to an offer? At least give those with a full a chance to respond (and I get that this is completely self-interest on my part but it is my rant after all…). In this case, we only had the submission for 3 weeks.
So, that was a lot of hours taken away from client material and other projects that I’m not getting back and will need to make up this week by working late every night until I’m caught back up.
Makes me grumpy. Okay. I’ll get off it now and move on.