I recognize that authors should find an agent who is a good match from a career perspective, rather than jump at the first who shows interest. But what if I find an agent who seems like a good fit -- we get along -- but...
Here's a scenario I'm facing. (I thought I'd ask before I start the ball rolling.) Right now, ONE of the works I'm pitching is a historical fiction piece. I found an agency which (per their website) specializes in historical. (Plus some non-fiction.) What if he likes the book, and wants to represent me. But when we talk about my other books -- such as my YA thriller, he says, "I don't do those."
I suppose the crux of the question is, would signing on with the first agent hurt my chances at landing another agent for that book? Would another agent be likely to think, "I want you all, or not at all."
I'm always surprised when authors think agents are like underpants: change up as often as hygiene requires.
When you sign with me, I expect to represent all your work, and hopefully for the rest of your career. Does that always happen? No.
Before you sign with anyone though, I would expect to talk about your future plans. If you're signing with me, and you mention you also write YA, we'll have a discussion about how to handle that.
I have clients who write in categories I don't represent. Fortunately my estimable colleague Brooks Sherman does, so I just make him do the work while I reap the glory.
I've also spent a good deal of time learning categories that I don't normally work on because clients need books sold. This is why you see deals for me in YA and urban fantasy. I joke that I sold those by mistake but it's really because I have clients writing that who came to me for something else.
This is something you MUST talk about before you sign with an agent. Thinking you can just find another agent for part of your work, or change agents if the first one doesn't handle a category is not a good idea.