How long does it take your agent to read your material?

question for published authors --

How long is too long?
I've had the same agent for almost twenty years, and this will be my 20th book if it sells. My agent used to read material in two weeks. Now it's taking over a month, and I wonder if I was just spoiled before. I'm currently not under contract and this is a full manuscript. I could understand the long wait if the material was contracted and just a duplicate of material sent to my editor, but it's not. I've been in touch with my agent and at this point he simply hasn't had a chance to get to it.

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Very good question. My last novel took a month. And yes, I've wondered just like you. I have a feeling that, short of having had a best seller, the author has to accept that the entire machinery (that includes responses from editors) slows down while folks concentrate on more urgent business. Patience is perhaps the most important quality one can bring to the process.
I.J., thanks so much for the response. I also wonder if agents, just like editors, are spending a lot more time on other aspects of the business.
What other aspects? You want them to stay in touch with editors and watch the publishing news and deal with foreign agents and publishers, and build their business. In the end that benefits you. Yes, they are very busy. Mine is the senior agent and takes hardly any new clients. I'm lucky she took me on and kept me, but like you I worry that I may have become too much of a burden.
thanks, Jon! I feel better for me, and worse for you. :D
I've only publised a few short stories, but I've been working with an agent for about a year now on my first novel. She usually takes a week, two at the most, to read anything I send her. My manuscript is currently with an editor for a second read. She (the editor) had requested a few changes, which I made, and she's had it for nearly two months now. As of two weeks ago, she still hadn't finished reading it due to late manuscripts from a couple of her established authors but promised to "get back to us" last week. I'm still waiting.

I think editors and agents are just being more selective as to what they think will do well in the market these days. Even my well-established writer friends are having to wait longer to get feedback. Like, I. J. said, short of having your name on the best seller list, it's just a waiting game.
one to two weeks is fantastic! as far as editors --i've had a manuscript sit around for over two month, and I've had one read the day it arrived.
Time is what agents (of any kind) have that they can sell - well, time and a bitchin' Rolodex. Perhaps your agent feels the need to invest in someone new just now.

In an odd way, it may bespeak a high level of confidence in you.
In an odd way, it may bespeak a high level of confidence in you.

oh, i doubt that, but thanks for the thought. :D


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