I was wondering what happens when YOU (or other agents) pitch projects to editors. Do the editors usually respond right away? Do they take weeks or months to respond to your pitch, or is it usually days? And once you send them a manuscript, how long does it normally take them to let you know they want to take it on? Do they let you know they like a project before they take it to acquisitions, or do they wait until they’re able to make an offer? Sorry for the long-winded question; this is just a subject I’ve always found fascinating.
Well Jesse, I’m afraid my answer isn’t going to be all that fascinating. There are so many different answers to your questions that it boils down to: there is no answer.
How the process works depends on a bunch of variables, such as:
The relationship: How well the agent and editor know each other (if at all).
The project: Is it a hot project, or a normal project? Does the agent anticipate strong publisher interest and competitive bidding?
The author: Is it a well-known author or celebrity? A mid-list author? A brand-new author? Possibly a brand-new author who’s already received a ton of buzz for some reason?
The timing: Is it around the holidays, or late summer when things take longer? Or a normal non-holiday time of year?
The editor’s personal style: Some people are frequent communicators, some aren’t. Some are quick responders, some aren’t. Everyone has their own personality. Most agents know the styles of the editors they frequently work with.
So, you can probably see that it might take an editor less than a day to respond… or it might take weeks or months or they might never respond, depending on all these variables.
When they’re interested in a manuscript, it might take a few days to a few weeks to get an actual offer (or a pass).
Usually they let us know they’re taking it to committee, but occasionally they don’t.
There are no general answers here. Every day in the life of an agent is full of the excitement of the unknown.
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