STATUS: Well, today couldn’t be nearly as exciting as yesterday. I mean I can’t expect an offer every single day.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? MISUNDERSTANDING by Genesis
An author I have known for several years (because we’ve worked together at a couple of recent conferences) called today in obvious distress because her agent had had her proposal for three weeks now without response. What does it mean and what should she do?
Well first, I think she should take a big deep breath and a take a moment to examine her thinking. My guess is that the author has been playing a greatest hits record of all the worst-case scenarios and therefore can only imagine the worst possible outcome (and once in that mind set, it shapes all other thoughts from that moment on!).
It might be as simple as the agent not having had enough time to turn-around the proposal in a timely fashion.
Of course that’s never happened to me (ahem, coughs loudly).
So what does it mean? Possibly nothing and the agent has been time-crunched. Now it could also mean the proposal stinks, the agent now hates you, and is planning to drop you faster than a hot potato.
But I kind of doubt that.
So what should she do? Take a deep breath and then write a straight-forward and professional email that says something along the lines that she is very excited about the proposal and would like to simply check in on the status, make sure it was received, and when does the agent think he/she will be able to respond.
Then start a new project or go walk the dog or in some other way embrace life.
Now if the agent doesn’t respond to that email in 3 weeks, that might be cause to start worrying. The agent should at least reply to a status inquiry email.