News Feed Forums Agents & publishing No replies to queries after nearly three weeks – should I be worried?

  • No replies to queries after nearly three weeks – should I be worried?

    Posted by Annie Bentley on 29 August 2023 at 16:39

    Hi writers πŸ™‚

    I’ve been querying my novel this month, and have sent off 9 queries covering a span of 17 days (including weekends and a bank holiday).

    So far I haven’t heard anything back – not even a form rejection! To compare, I had more email rejections (usually in the first 10 days) in my previous round of queries in 2021 and only 3-4 agents that were a CNR after 12 weeks.

    I don’t know if agents are just less likely/slower to respond in the current climate? Is it a potentially positive sign that I’ve not yet received any outright rejections? Or if agents were going to show interest, would they likely have done so by now?

    Anyone else experiencing something similar? Am I reading too much into it?

    Thanks for any replies πŸ™‚

    Sara Jane Potter replied 3 months, 2 weeks ago 8 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Rose Blakeney

    29 August 2023 at 18:07

    Hello, Annie

    The absence of a response isn’t unusual in that length of time.

    Agents would say that they receive so many submissions that it can take them quite a while to deal with them so I don’t think you can read anything into this silence but there are many who just won’t reply. You could chase them up and I believe the right length of time to wait is 6 – 8 weeks but you’re unlikely to make them quicker by doing it. I’d say wait about eight weeks, then assume you’ll get no response and just carry on submitting to others.

    It’s frustrating not to hear anything but it’s an experience common to all writers trying to gain an agent.

  • Stuart Smith

    29 August 2023 at 21:53

    Agree with Rose 100%. I’d add that it’s been the summer, people are away on holiday and that probably makes for more delays.

    On the other hand, I sent some submissions out on 14th February, and received one reply last week (from an agency with the usual ‘you’ll hear from us within eight weeks’). Handwritten, very encouraging … rejection, of course. It can be a very frustrating business – you have my sympathy. I don’t know if I can spot a pattern in the timing.

  • Anna Johnston

    31 August 2023 at 01:05

    I’ve been told it’s not unusual to wait up to 3 months for some agents

  • Genevieve Puttay

    1 September 2023 at 15:48

    Admittedly there are some exceptions to the rule (my fastest rejection was 11 minutes and my slowest rejection was two years), but in general, I found most agents replied within three to six months. Of course, I’d still drive myself crazy staring into the void for clues, trying to ‘translate’ response times! πŸ˜…

  • Ali Donnelly

    8 September 2023 at 11:48

    I just received a reject last week… to a query I sent out in February! I had written it off a while ago. But yeah, my experience is that agents are slow, their query lists are long, and nothing for a few weeks is very normal.

  • Alex Cargas

    25 September 2023 at 20:26

    It took my now agent about 3 or 4 months to reply with a request for a full manuscript, then a week or two before she offered me reputation. Publishing is slow and agents and editors are super busy.

  • Sara Jane Potter

    12 November 2023 at 14:20

    It’s all a nightmare. I just posted about my experience with this on another agent thread. Just now. And I’ve forgotten the name of the thread already πŸ˜…. This game shrivels ya brain. πŸ˜…