I attended a conference where I found an agent from a very respectable agency*** had an open pitch time slot. My pitch got a request for a full. My research after the conference showed that the agent had no sales in my genre. I did not send my manuscript, and many months have passed since the conference. I would like to query another agent at the agency who represents many authors writing in my genre.
What to do? Do agents keep track of conference requests? The agency website says nothing regarding querying multiple agents. Is querying the second agent acceptable? If so, should I mention the first agent in my query to the second?
That odd sound you hear if you tilt your head to the left is me tapping you none-too-gently on the noggin with a clue-by-four.
Let's see how you got to that point:
(1) You pitched an agent you didn't know.
(2) You assumed that because you could not find any sales in your genre, there weren't any.
(3) You didn't sent the manuscript.
(4) and now, you want to know if it's ok to query another agent at the same agency and mention s/he asked for the full but you declined to send it to them.
You've behaved rudely here. You've made some assumptions that have prompted you to act that way, and I hope you'll stop doing that.
For starters, not all deals are reported. My Publishers Marketplace deal listings are sadly out of date, and not just cause I'm lying around eating bonbons and watching telenovellas. Some deals aren't announced till foreign sales are made. I'm waiting to announce one now cause I want to use the correct title, and I know the publisher is changing it. Never assume you know how many deals an agent has done, or not.
Second, you didn't write to the agent and say thanks and withdraw the manuscript. When I get those emails, I don't ask why (I don't particularly care.) It does mean that I don't email the author and ask what happened. I ALWAYS do that if a requested full doesn't show up because it's easy for mail with
attachments to go astray.
Third, you're assuming the agent with lots of clients is a better fit. And taking new clients.
And you're counting on the agents not talking to each other. Here's where that gets tricky:
Agent B: thanks for your query. This sounds terrific, but my list is pretty full. I've passed this along to my colleague Agent A who is actively looking for projects in this genre.
Agent A: whoa, I recognize this. Didn't I ask for this at that writing conference? How come B has it a year later?
I can absolutely tell you that if you'd dissed any of my younger agents this way, and queried me, I'd have said no thanks pretty quickly. I think my younger agents are often a better match for new writers than some of the rest of us: they're young, hungry, fresh, and eager. And they don't have "many clients" to torment daily.
You've screwed up royally here. There's nothing to prevent you from querying Agent Two but you'd be very foolish to mention you've already talked to Agent One and decided s/he wasn't worthy.
***and what is a "respectable" agency? Do you mean reputable? I can assure you the best agents I know are very rarely respectable ladies with white gloves and delicate little handbags.