You sit at your computer and squint at the screen, rereading what you have written one last time--for the fifteenth time. Satisfied, you move the mouse until the pointer on the screen hovers over the SEND button. You pause, savoring the moment. Ah, the sweet taste of victory. You click, and your query letter shoots out into cyberspace and is delivered instantaneously into the inbox of your agent of choice. You sit back and wait. An hour passes. Two hours. Four. You wonder what's taking so long and imagine he must be out of the office. You decide to check again tomorrow. There will definitely be an answer by then.
But there is no response tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week. Two weeks go by, and you are practically pulling your hair out in frustration. How damn long does it take to read a friggin' email?! You write again, asking if the agent received your initial query. When another week passes, you write again. Several days later, you write a fourth time. Congratulations. You have become Stan.
Be patient. It generally takes an agent two to three months to respond to a query letter. He probably gets hundreds of them every week, and it may take awhile to get to yours and longer still to decide whether or not to ask for more or pass. Agents don't sit at their computers all day waiting for the next query. They have numerous other agenty responsibilities to the authors they already represent.
In fact, you may never get a response. Agents aren't obligation to respond to you, just as you aren't obligated to respond to every email that you get. It isn't your God-given right to receive a response. No one owes you anything.
Wait four months. If you haven't received a response, drop a friendly reminder asking if the agent has had a chance to review your initial query. If you still don't get a response, fugidaboudit. There are other agents in the sea. You are querying multiple agents, aren't you?
Back to Blogging... [Chip MacGregor.com]
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