Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Turnaround Time

STATUS: It was a hugely, crazy day and I have 10 minutes to blog before my evening commitment.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DIDDLEY DADDY by Chris Isaak

I have a new goal this year. For current clients, my goal is to turnaround a read for a proposal with sample chapters in a matter of days (I’m actually achieving this!). If a full manuscript, two weeks.

So far I haven’t managed the latter. It’s taking me more like 3 weeks—edging into four (for which I’m always feeling incredibly guilty about). I do, however, always send my clients email updates with where they are in the queue and my estimated read time (which is invariably off by a couple of days but not usually more than that).

I’m in awe of agents who turnaround in less than a week consistently. I think I’m a fast reader but I guess not that fast.

So why so long for the turnaround on a full?

Well, it comes down to only being able to read at night or on weekends. And if you end up actually having a life while also being an agent (something I would argue is kind of scarce for agents), an evening commitment will nix an evening reading slot. That means it has to wait for the weekend.

There are only four weekends in a month. I can do maybe one full and half over a weekend. Depends if I’m just reading or if I’m doing the edit (as in for revisions before submission). And if there are five or six client manuscripts in the queue…

You can see where the turnaround time starts getting stretched.

Still, I’m committed to this goal. Now if I can just convince my clients not to all submit within a week of each other…