Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday Night at the Questiom Emporium

I recently submitted query letters to four agents. I had planned to submit to one at a time until I read a post from an agent's blog that said writers should query more than one agent.

My question is: Should I email the first agent and let her know I have approached others now? 

No. Unless an agent is one of those arrogant neanderthals who thinks their time is more valuable than yours (it's not) and has demanded an exclusive at the query stage, most agents expect authors to query widely and query several agents at once. You don't need to inform anyone of the obvious: you're querying widely.

It's in your best interest to query more than one agent at a time.

For starters, entirely too many of my ilk have adopted the loathsome No Reply Means No  policy. Some of them don't even acknowledge receipt of your query.  That means you're stuck in limbo for far too long. Unless of course you've discovered the secret to eternal life in which case query me right now.

Further, if more than one agent is interested in your project you have a chance to comparison shop and find the agent most suited to your goals. If there's only one it's like an arranged marriage. You pray it works out and if it doesn't you're sadder but wiser and definitely older.


JA7 said...

Thank you so much for this posting. I have wondered about agents who want, no...demand exclusivity for queries. There is enough limbo involved in trying to break into this business why should that deliciously frustrating experience be the sole province of one agent? I say spread the wealth!

Colin Smith said...

I'm glad you mentioned about agents acknowledging receipt of a query. Agents, PLEASE--is it that hard to set up an auto-responder on your query inbox? I've sent out far too many queries never knowing if the query made it, and not wanting to spam the agent with 500 copies of my query just to be sure. I'm not a fan of no-response-means-no, but I can tolerate it much better if I get an auto-ping telling me my query made it across the deep dark void of the internet's netherworld. :)

Thanks! :D

Richard Gibson said...

I have numerous uses for the phrase "sadder but wiser and definitely older." Thanks for that.

Wendy said...

Yay. I always want to kiss the face of any agent I see who says they don't like the "no response means no" policies. Go you! said...

Your posts are extremely helpful (and the photos of the 2012 page ms very funny)...:+) I still seethe that agents can no longer let a writer know that they've RECEIVED a query, much less respond with a positive or negative. Civility is gone in writing and publishing??

Huntress said...

Oh, thank heavens! An agent who understands that silence is NOT golden.

Pulleeeeze, Mr. or Ms Agent, acknowledge my query to let me know that the time I've spent researching your qualifications isn't going to your spam folder.