This is a question I’ve answered in my past life as a BookEnds blogger, but since this is a new life on the blog and a new world I thought I’d tackle it again.
During a recent #askagent session on Twitter I was asked how long is too long to wait on a query. I hope my answer wasn’t too confusing to the Tweeter, but ultimately two minutes is too long to wait. I can see agents everywhere freaking out right now.
What I mean by that is you should never sit and wait. Once a query leaves your inbox you need to consider it gone and move on. Never sit around and wait for an agent to answer and by that I mean “sit and wait” instead move on to the next query and your next writing project. When you get an answer you can check the agent off your checklist, but until then consider your query alive, the agent well and yourself busy with something new.
These days there are too many agents who follow the “no response means no” tactic for authors to wait around. In some respects I tell authors to send off a query and consider it rejected until they hear otherwise, or until they receive an offer (then absolutely bug the agent). If the agent is one who guarantees a response than you should follow up when, and only when, the time frame as per their guidelines has passed.