Hello everyone and happy Easter!
I recently read a wonderful article by Mirka Breen titled “Email Response-Time Etiquette.” In it, she discussed how there are varying opinions about what is an acceptable response time for e-mails and how response time is affected by the type of e-mail account.
For a personal e-mail account, a few hours to a week is acceptable depending on the urgency of the message and the type of e-mail it is. For professional e-mails, there should be a response within 48 hours. However, when it comes to an agent responding to a writer’s query, the response time could be months, and some agents will not respond at all.
It is important to recognize that agents not only receive hundreds of queries, but they have to go through them, pitch projects, and communicate with editors and established clients. Do not be antsy or rude if an agent doesn’t respond right away or at all. If you have not heard back from an agent within four to six months, assume that the agent is not interested in the project and move on.
Below are some additional articles that Mirka Breen recommended and that I found useful.
“Ask the Agent: How long should an agent take with my submission?” by Chip MacGregor
“Justin’s Case” by Janet Reid
“What Is An Appropriate Response Time To Email?” by Laura Vanderkam
“What are acceptable email response times?” by Crystal at MommiFried
In my opinion, a good way for writers to handle e-mailed queries is to set the highest response time standard for themselves. After all, as writers, we have a project which we need an agent to love, and agents get hundreds of queries. Don’t let someone else’s project catch their eye first. If an agent asks for something, respond within 24-48 hours.