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  1. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    This has been labored over many times, but still confused w/ simultaneous submissions

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by JCKey618, Aug 22, 2010.

    For clarification, I am talking about novel submissions to literary agents.

    I've done research and have read many different things. Some say it is a courtesy not to do simultaneous submissions as it is annoying for an agent to get excited over a query just to discover it has already been scooped up. Others say that with the long amount of time it takes for agents to get back to people, it doesn't make sense to only do one at a time.

    I know that some agents will specify their preferences, but I wanted to clarify the 'unwritten protocol' for when this is unspecified. Not okay to send to multiple agents? If so, what are best practices? Okay if done at a moderate pace (3-4 at a time or so)?

    Also, I have a question more specific to my situation. As mentioned in another thread, I just submitted to a well-established agent, referred to her by her colleague/friend. This is my first submission ever (I didn't do the video, thank you guys for the advice!), so now that I have a query/cover letter template ready for my novel, there is a strong urge to send to more! In this case, since I was referred AND the mutual friend has informed her that I will be sending something, should I wait a few weeks until I start sending to others? I have no way of knowing how likely she is to respond, but at the same time maybe this situation calls for extra courtesy on my part because she might be more inclined to read my manuscript because of the referral?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can't be sure if you're only referring to sending/submitting sample chapters or the full ms that the agent has requested, or if you're referring to the query letter as the 'submission'...

    please clarify further, so i can answer your questions properly...

    what did you send to the agent you were referred to?... a query letter, the full ms, or sample chapters?... in any case, there's no reason for you not to query other agents, while waiting for a response...

    however, if her submission guidelines require an exclusive submission and you've submitted the ms, then you're only bound to not send out mss or sample chapters to others, but are free to query as many as you wish... as for courtesy, since she won't know if you're querying others or not, how does that factor into the situation?...

    fyi, it's standard practice to 'send out' as many query letters as you can... and mss or samples of same are usually only 'submitted' after being requested, thanks to a successful query...
     
  3. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Ah, sorry for the confusion. I mean basically whatever an agent would ask for in their 'query.' For example, I only sent the first 20 pages to my first agent because she requests this of everyone who sends in a query.

    So it sounds like I can (and should) send out more queries?
     
  4. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I'm no expert, but I've always heard you can send out as many queries as you want. When it comes down to requested partials, always notify an agent you have other partials out.

    If you could only do one query at a time, and the response time could be months away, no one would ever get a novel published. It would take years!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course you can send out as many queries as you want... no one who's legit [and sane!] would demand an exclusive query...
     
  6. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Thanks for the Responses. For want not to put even another post on the front page, I'll ask another question here: what's the protocol for new writers with manuscripts in different genres?

    I have two completed manuscripts, one is adult-level horror and the other is young reader's fantasy. I have spent a lot of time and love on each and they both fall pretty well within their respective genres, in my opinion. Should I be querying them both out separately to agents in their fields? Or should I just choose one and stick with it for this run?

    I guess another way to give insight to this question is to ask another one: can an author only have one agent at any given time? If an author writes in two different genres does said author only have the choice of either finding an agent who represents both genres (which shouldn't be that hard with horror and fantasy) or only publishing one of the books if the agent only specializes in one? Or can one person have their independent works under different representations?

    Hopefully, my question isn't too confusing. Basically I have two novels of different genres and target audiences, both, I feel, ready for this stage, and I am trying to determine the best route to take.
     
  7. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Query them out separately to agents who represent that genre. Even if you query both to some of the same agents, they should be kept separate. As for multiple agents, I wouldn't worry about that at this point. But if you do have an agent who wants to rep one of your books, I'd give her first crack at the other. If she doesn't think the other is right for her, query some others.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...to query agents who handle each genre separately... if some handle both, you still must query each ms separately, but may refer to the other ms at the end of the query...

    ...see above... makes no sense to even consider querying for only one, if both are ready to submit...

    I guess another way to give insight to this question is to ask another one: can an author only have one agent at any given time?

    ...a writer can have more than one, if the agents don't handle the same type of books...

    ...see above...
     
  9. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Hmm, this is all very helpful, an interesting. I always assumed that representation limited to the person, not the books.

    Well, I guess I have another query letter to write!
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the agent represents the book really, since that's what's being sold, not the writer...
     
  11. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    I have been sending out email queries and am about to begin snail mail ones. A lot of email queries ask for either just the querie or a few pages of the sample.

    It seems that a lot of snail mail query guidelines ask for sample chapters. Most specify, but some just say 'sample of work.' What is the standard in this case? First 5 pages? 10? 50?

    Just trying to be as professional as possible.

    Also, if I send the letters in #10 envelopes, then the return envelope will need to be folded. Is this okay or does it look unprofessional? Is it better to send bigger enevelopes?
     
  12. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I don't see a problem with a folded envelope, but are you sure they'll return the manuscript? I know of a lot who don't, and in that case the envelope only needs to be big enough for the letter of response, not the whole sample.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    folded sase's are normal/expected, when query is sent in a #10...

    when sending sample pages, it's best to use a manila envelope and not fold... 5 pages is good enough for those who don't specify a number...
     

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