What Silence in Publishing Really Means

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

calendar_agenda The dreaded silence. Everyone who has submitted a project to an agent, or works in the business knows about silence.

Here’s my guide to what silence from agents and editors really means and why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions:

1. We haven’t read it

This is the most common reason. If you’re nudging an agent after 4 weeks and you think, “4 weeks! They’ve had it forever! They must have read it by now.” Honestly, for an agent, 4 weeks is not a lot of time. Depending on the time of year those can be a busy 4 weeks of client deals, conferences, editor lunches, proposal writing, pitch writing, and client manuscript editing. I’ve talked about this before–that client work comes first–but if you think about it: reading a manuscript takes 4-6 hours for me. That means if multiple clients send me their work AND I have multiple unsolicited manuscripts…

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