I'm wondering what your take would be on my current situation. I sent my YA manuscript to a publisher a year ago. Writer's Market gave a response time of 4 - 6 months.
Well, Writer's Market may or may not be accurate. But a year?
In November I sent a letter asking what the status of the manuscript was (mostly because I wanted to send the manuscript in to a contest. In January I received a form letter stating that the publisher was still considering the manuscript. I could call in 2 months if I didn't hear from them. In March I got the same form letter saying that if I didn't hear within 1 month I could call. I called last week and the receptionist said they were still reading the YA manuscripts and I should hear something soon.
"Still reading the YA manuscripts"? As though they had had only one shipment?
Now, I'm new to this, so I take anything that isn't a "no" as a good sign. But I'm wondering if maybe I'm reading too much into the "still considering." Does that mean at least one person read it and liked it? Or could it mean that they just didn't get around to reading the manuscript until now? I know every publishing house is different, but what's your professional opinion?
I hope the person sending those letters is properly embarrassed. A year?
A year is not a good sign, but it's true that, even so, your manuscript might be being read for the first time so long after submission. But you shouldn't think of anything submitted so long ago as an exclusive, and no publisher has the right to expect such an accommodation.
Once again, we see the importance of submitting widely and persistently. Some houses take far, far too long, and it'll serve them right if they miss their chance at something good.