Once you’ve submitted, the worst part of the process is the waiting for an answer. After investing countless hours of hard work and creativity into writing and editing, it’s understandable that you want to receive a response as soon as possible. However, it’s important to remember that agents and publishers are often inundated with submissions, and the process of reviewing and deciding on a manuscript is time-consuming. This often leads to the question:

Should you chase an agent or publisher for an answer about your submission?

The short answer is no. Chasing an agent or publisher for a response can actually do more harm than good and here’s why:

  • It can be seen as unprofessional. Agents and publishers receive a large volume of submissions, and each one requires careful consideration. While it is understandable that you are eager to hear back, repeatedly contacting them can create a negative impression and may even harm your chances of being selected for publication. It can be viewed as pushy, unprofessional, or even rude. A good rule of thumb is to wait for the estimated response time that the agent or publisher has provided, which could range from a few weeks to several months.

  • It can be counterproductive. When you submit your manuscript, you are essentially asking the agent or publisher to consider your work and decide whether it is a good fit for them. Chasing them for an answer may make them feel pressured and less inclined to take on your project, even if they were previously interested.

  • It can waste your time and energy. The publishing industry moves slowly, and it is not uncommon for responses to take several months. Chasing agents and publishers for a response can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, taking away from the time and energy you could be using to work on your next project. So what should you do instead? Focus on your next project. Take a break from writing altogether. Read some more. Basically, whatever you want to that will take your mind off your submission. You know what they say about a watched pot…

In some cases, it may be appropriate to follow up after the estimated response time has passed. This is particularly true if the agent or publisher has not provided any updates or if you have not received a rejection letter. When following up, it is essential to be respectful and polite. Avoid sounding annoyed or frustrated as this can put off the agent or publisher. Instead, keep your tone friendly and professional and consider thanking them for their time and consideration. Remember, your follow-up is a chance to reinforce your interest in working with them and to maintain a positive relationship with the agent or publisher.

If you still don’t receive a response after following up, it is crucial not to take it personally or let it discourage you. It’s common for agents and publishers to receive a large volume of submissions and, unfortunately, not be able to respond to each one. In such a situation, it may be time to consider other options, like submitting to other agents or publishers.

So, should you chase an agent or publisher for an answer about your submission?

Essentially, chasing an agent or publisher for an answer about your submission is not recommended. It can harm your chances of being selected for publication, and it is often seen as unprofessional and pushy. Instead, be patient and focus on continuing to write and improve your craft. With perseverance and hard work, your manuscript will find the right publisher or agent and be successfully published.