Sunday, April 01, 2007

Response Time, Yet Again

The Rejector's been a bit busy as of late. If you are ever are considering converting to Judaism, make sure to ask about Passover/Pesach in great detail. Don't let the rabbi leave out the part about how much work it takes to clean your whole house out and cook for special week when you can't eat normal food. Yeah.

Miss Rejector,

Without knowing I queried what turned out to be an agent assistant at a very prestigious agency and she asked me to email my entire novel. Would it be safe to say she is eyeing my book for one of the agents she works under? I don't think she has any clients, and has been at this large agency less than four months. I would guess you must have to put in at least a year or so before you can rep clients, right?

There is no standard for when assistant agents who are taking on clients are different from regular agents. The line is very wavy and not really relevant to you at all. All you need is a person who is going to take your manusript, edit it, care about it, promote it, sell it, and make sure the publishing house sells it. Whether they have "senior" or "assistant" in front of their agent title is irrelevant.

And as far as how assistants work, I would think you guys especially want to keep your to-do pile in check. From what I've read it seems you and your boss reject quickly, but I've heard many response horror stories. In my case the assistant has had my ms for over two months and just responded to my "checking-in" email to say stay patient and that she will get through it asap. For all I know she might not of read a single page. But overall, assistants are probably more on the ball, right?

A good assistant who has been hire to do the mail will do first-level rejections basically same-day, though same-day may be "the one day a week the assistant comes in." Either way, rejection is fast. Acceptance is slow. Three chapters doesn't take long to read. I can read a stack of partials in less than an hour. Then a full - even if I read it fast, that doesn't help because the agent has to read it and make the final, crucial business decision to put their time and money behind the project. That's a major decision and is made carefully. So there's really no way for me to answer your question, except to say, assistants are paid hourly, so we are expected to get the job done.


Anonymous said...

If rejection is fast and acceptance is slow, does that mean "no news is good news" on requested material? Is acceptance slow on partials as well as fulls?

Lisa Cohen said...

Yeah--the irony about Passover is that the event the holiday is based on was a forced, last minute exodus in which the Isrealites had NO prep time.

So why oh why have I spent the past 2 days cooking!!??@@#


But my no-fail-makes-even-matzah-palatable chocolate covered matzah makes it all worth while.


The recipe here.

Anonymous said...

valuable advice. with editors, NO can and often does happen pretty fast. YES takes longer--especially if it's the kind of YES that requires a manuscript be read by more people up the ladder.

it's good to touch base at reasonable intervals. but in the interim, try to interpret the delay in a positive way. it means you haven't been rejected yet.

Dave Fragments said...

I sympathize with you having to cook (and in advance). You're not alone. Even among the goyim!

I'm catholic and I buy and cook the holiday meals for my Mother. I've already bought a leg of lamb, trimmed it, boned it, made lamb stock. Tomorrow, I'll buy frozen vegetables. On Fiday, aside form the three hour service, I'll buy carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs and spices, bread, etc... And lunch for SUnday (five people). Snanks too.
Sunday I get to cook a stuffed chicken, leg of lamb, and the rest of the meal plus dessert.
I already bought chocolates which I can't eat (I'll die slowly and painfully).

Unfortunately, my writing goes on hiatus.

McKoala said...

Dave, you are a good son.

We go the pot luck route - except it's carefully pre-arranged. My contribution to Easter will be a pasta bake and a kilo of prawns.

RedWritingHood said...

Wasn't it an assistant that discovered Harry Potter? At least that's what I saw on Oprah and you can ALWAYS trust Oprah!

Anonymous said...

The editor in me compels me to point out that the Rejecter spelled her handle as Rejector in the opening line of this post. I know, picky, picky, picky.


LorMarie said...

To ljcohen,

Hhmm, I didn't even think about the irony of Passover. But anyway, I love matzah and I'm not even Jewish.

Jade McLyon said...

Rejecter, are you alive? It's been 10 days, and I'm needing the "Rejecter" fix, apparently! lol

Hope you're doing well!


The Rejecter said...

The Rejector will be back after Shabbos.