I recently received a query from an writer who included five projects in his email pitch. His opening line was "First, let me apologize for not following the guidelines."
Everyone who reads this blog will not be surprised to know that was probably not the most effective way to get me to read more. But I did. It was a slow day.
The problem with trying to pitch too much is space. You know how hard it is to make a novel sound enticing when you have 250 words. It's five times harder if you're trying to do it in 50.
And the querier wanted me to look at each project and decide which one should be first priority.
There are two possible responses to a query: no and send more.
I don't undertake career guidance (which is what prioritizing projects is) for anyone BUT already signed clients. Most agents don't either. It's not an effective use of our time.
At this stage, you pick the project you think is strongest, and you pitch it. I'll say yes or no. You can pitch all five projects, you just have to do them one at a time. This may seem inefficient from your side of the matter, but it does not from mine.
And just a hint: if you're not going to follow the guidelines, at the very least, don't announce it up front.