Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Expert opinion wanted

I might catch some slack for the decision I made when I granted an agent an exclusive on reading a partial of my manuscript. Apparently some frown upon this sort of thing, stating it limits your chances of finding an agent while you allow one person to lock it up.

Hmmm...I went with my gut on this and made the call I felt was right at the moment. She's a reputable and successful agent with a great agency based in NYC. (yes, I'm intentionally leaving the details out) These things added to my instincts are what allowed me to agree with her request for exclusivity.

One mistake I did make was not capping the time frame. It was never discussed in our email exchange. And so it is now going on close to three weeks with no word and I'm getting very anxious.

Of course I've researched the topic and found a number of thoughts but the one that stuck out was on a site that said it could take months for them to reply to a partial. Oh lord. Since it's an exclusive and the time frame was not addressed, I feel it's completely appropriate to send her a brief email. I'm just stuck on how long to wait before doing so.

And so here is where I ask for that expert opinion...How long do I wait before contacting the agent?

I have the four week mark in mind. But I'd love to know if anyone out there has some input. I'm still praying her reply includes a request for the whole manuscript but aside from that I'm super anxious for feedback on what made her pass. Either way I'm anxious to hear something. Anything but a form rejection, please not that!


ElanaJ said...

Rebecca, I'd give the agent 30 days, and then send an email, stating that you have other requests, and that you'd like to know if s/he's had a chance to look at your material. In the email, I'd make sure you let them know that you'll be sending out other material, starting on XXX date. (Maybe another week, so the agent knows his/her exclusive is just about up.) Hope this helps! :) Good luck.

beth said...

What I plan on doing is giving an exclusive with an up front time limit. That seems to be the best plan.

Sara Tribble said...

Most guidelines I read are 4-6 weeks, so I think you would be okay to email her after 4 and just ask for the status but don't seem pushy. You'll make it work :) Nathan Bransford has a good way to approach an agent about exclusives--check it out!

Lady Glamis said...

I agree with Elana. She is wise. Thanks for sharing this. If it happens to me I plan on making the time frame clear if they want exclusive.

Rebecca said...

Thank you SO much ladies! From your comment and my research I'm going with the 30 day mark. I'll come up with a super polite and professional email which will include my original commuincation to remind her of who the heck I am! That was a suggestion from the awesome Nathan Bransford (thanks for reminding me to check his blog Sara!)

Let's hope she sends me that much anticipated email before I send mine. That would make me smile. No matter what happens I'll no doubt be sharing!