I started querying a manuscript (YA Urban Fantasy) a couple months ago, and I expect to begin querying a new manuscript (YA Sci-Fi) early next year. Since the query/submission process takes time, I figure there's a good chance I'll end up querying both manuscripts at once. (But of course, I won't query the same agent with a second manuscript until a decision's been made on the first. And on a side note, any suggestions as to how long I should wait between a rejection and sending a new manuscript?)
It occurs to me that the Sci-Fi manuscript may grab an agent for me before, or instead of, the UF manuscript. I mean (1) the Sci-Fi is being written with more experience under my belt, and (2) it's in a slightly less tough market, I think. So what happens if I get an agent with the Sci-Fi, where that same agent has already declined to represent the UF?
In that case, is the UF dead in the water, or might the agent still consider submitting it? Or will this just depend on the agent? And out of curiosity, how would you handle a situation like this?
You writers really like to worry ahead of yourselves. What-if questions like this are your rodent wheel minds whirring in the middle of the night, using up all that nervous energy that didn't get poured on the page that day.
If you're querying two manuscripts at the same time, one will get an offer before the other. Which manuscript that will be is a crapshoot and SOMETHING YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER.
The agent making the offer may love your other novel like her own, or may feel about it as Travis Erwin feels about lettuce:
Neither of those things are something you have control over.
And my opinion is absolutely irrelevant unless I'm the agent doing the offering.
Thus, when this happy situation arises, you tell the offering agent about The Other Book. Together you will decide the course of action.
I mentioned yesterday that the book I've signed clients for is sometimes not the book I sell first. I always ask about "inventory" when talking to a prospective client. Even if it's a very different book, I'd rather have more inventory than less.
So, stop fretting about this.
Get back to working on the ONE thing you do have control over: your novel.