I was chatting with one of my editor pals yesterday and in the course of the conversation, Editor Amazing mentioned a book with an AWFUL premise, one that left both of us ewwwwing till our respective assistants glared at us.
Today, Editor Amazing calls me back. Update on the AWFUL:
It turned into the house joke yesterday afternoon. I bragged to a few other colleagues about my "awesome submission" and it turns out at least three of them also got the same submission the same day - apparently said agent does mass e-mail query submissions, at least with individually addressed emails. Said "agent" has now been added to the editorial spam filter.
So, what does that mean for you? Well, if you're a client with this agent, your work is in the spam filter. Nice start to your career.
If your agent is pitching your project ASK to see the list of editors.
And before the comment column lights up: YES you can ask. And if your agent won't tell you, or makes you feel like a loser for asking, that tells you something.
I had a phone call with a client this morning who asked where his work was going. I said "I know but I can't tell you yet cause I haven't put together a list. When I get ready to pitch this, I'll send you the list."
So, timing is important. An agent may not know five weeks ahead of time, but s/he will know the day it goes out. Ask to see it then. If there are seven editors all listed as the same publisher, you've got a problem.
This is your career. Manage it well.