First off—congratulations! If you’re worrying about when to nudge on a submission, then you probably got a request from an agent. That’s so awesome, take a minute and pat yourself on the back.
A lot of queriers worry about when to nudge—when is it too soon or too late?
When To Nudge
First: Check The Agent’s Website
The agent or agency will often have a specific time frame somewhere on their website that states when they welcome writers to nudge. They might say they read within the next six weeks or two months, and nudge if you haven’t heard from them since. But what if the agent’s website doesn’t say?
For Full Requests?
Three to six months. You really should wait at least three months before you nudge. If you feel three months is too soon, then try six months. Most writers nudge either at three months or six. Those are the two golden periods.
For Partial Requests?
Three months. Three months is definitely the standard for Partial Requests. You needn’t wait until the six month mark here.
You DON’T. Sorry, but it’s very unusual to nudge on queries. Unless the agency website specifically says you can nudge. There are a few that do, but others usually just have a NO RESPONSE/NO INTEREST policy.
What NOT TO DO When Nudging
There is really very little more annoying than a writer who continuously emails about a partial or full or query–once or twice, in regards to a partial or full is completely fine.
Five times about a query you just sent last week? Not so much.
Agents want to find clients they will work well with, so put your best foot forward. Don’t look like you are going to be difficult to work with.
Imagine this, if you are pushy about a query or a full or a partial—what does that say about you overall? The whole publishing process is a long hard road, and patience and determination are very important. Don’t look like you’re impatient. No one wants an impatient client.
Also being pushy is rude. It’s like you’re telling the agent that they don’t have anything better to do than serve you right then and there—someone who isn’t even their client yet. Agents make no money off reading queries or partials or fulls.
Agents make their money when they sell manuscripts, so it’s kind of crazy to think about how much time they spend reading potential clients work that may never make them any money.
Be respectful of their time, and don’t make a bad impression.