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Good publishing takes time. Time to write well. Time to edit well. Time to find the right agent. Time to find the right publisher. Time to edit again and re-write. Time to design well. Time to market well.
While there can be a lot of activity, it still feels like “time” is another word for “wait.” No one likes to wait for anything. Our instant society (everything from Twitter to a drive-thru burger) is training us to want things to happen faster. Business experts claim faster is better (see Charles Duhigg’s book on productivity Smarter, Faster, Better). Many years ago I wrote about how long it takes to get published, which gave an honest appraisal of the time involved in traditional publishing. Reviewing that post from half a decade ago reveals that nothing has changed!
A successful author learns how to wait well.
Waiting for the Agent
Why can’t agents respond faster? Don’t we just sit around all day and read? We try our best to reply to submissions within eight weeks and are relatively good about that. But if your project passes the first review stage and we are now reviewing your entire manuscript, remember that reading a full manuscript is much more demanding than reading a few pages in a proposal.
If you are already represented, all I can say is that agents do their best to be responsive to your questions and phone calls. Crisis Management is part of our job description. Remember that one of the first things a First Responder must do is triage. Some issues are more critical than others, which can create consternation if yours is next in line instead of first.
But if your agent is unresponsive that is a conversation for another blog post.
—Steve Laube is a literary agent and owner of Christian Writers Institute. http://www.stevelaube.com/
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Are you interested in ghostwriting or collaborative writing? Cec's newest book for writers--Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method--is now available for preorder.