Jun 21, 2013, 1:40 PM
Post #4 of 4
in this occupation--and, especially if you are doing screenplays--patience is the cardinal rule. waiting a few weeks, a few months, even the better part of a year is not unheard of in this business; in fact, you will find such waits as the norm. someone waiting until summer (or even fall) to respond to a submission or a communication sent around the holidays comes with the territory. one cannot read anything into that. a rejection, even an acceptance can come after a piece had been held and considered for seven, eight, or ten months. this is especially true for longer form pieces, such as book-length projects. there are all these people sending all these pages and there are only a few eyes available to read them. the slush pile grows larger and larger and, typically, a person reading the work gets further and further behind.
it has gotten much worse in recent years than it was in the 1980's and 1990's. back then, most places in publishing had legions of unpaid interns to read; if one sent a manuscript to a publisher or to a magazine, the response came, typically, within the time period specified by their information. now it is not the case.
nevertheless, your wait does not seem unreasonable, as i have had pieces, plays, and books whose editors/publishers needed almost a year to respond. it would be wise to let the agent call you: contacting the agent before the agent is ready tends to incite the agent or editor to pull your piece and send a rejection immediately, as you may give the impression of being hard to work with or demanding. if you are concerned that it may not have been received by him, a quick communication to see if it had been received is appropriate, but, again, do not request a response, because he will give one quickly, and you will not like it.
the option that always works for most work is to simultaneously submit. but, if you do that, make sure all parties know it is a simultaneous submission. simultaneous acceptance happens more frequently than you may thing (it did to me, twice, and involving the same editors) and not everybody is so excited to work with you that they would overlook such a faux pas in literary courtsey.
j. e. robinson