I am putting together a query plan, and one of the agents I'd like to query (because she has sold books similar to mine) has the following requirements:I'm sure you know my position on exclusives. They stink.
- she accepts queries by snail mail only (50 pages plus synopsis plus SASE)
- if she requests a full, her site says, "we require one-month exclusivity"
I am of course hoping that agents will swarm over this book like sharks over chum, so where do I put this agent in the plan? I'm leaning toward dead last so her exclusivity requirement doesn't cause me issues, but again there's that whole "has sold books like mine" thing. Plus she'll receive the query later than the e-query agents (which is all the rest) so perhaps I'll already have an agent by the time she contacts me. (Heh. I am hilarious.) But if not, if others have the full, what do I say to her? If I tell her others have it and then later tell her she can have the exclusive, that tells her nobody else wanted it. Which isn't information I necessarily want her to know.
And a month is just ridiculous.
I wonder if she conducts all her business by snail mail?
Which is not to say I haven't thought about going back to written queries. I miss the paper and the ink. And I like to read on paper. And I think I read more carefully on paper.
But I also miss civilized air travel, actual card catalogs, and Cary Grant, but we're not getting those back either.
If you want to query her, you abide by her guidelines regardless of what we think of them. You query on paper. If she requests the full, you send it to her only if you can give her the exclusivity she asks for OR if you write back to her request for the full and say other people have it, but you're glad to send if she still wants it.
Guidelines are not an indication of character. They're intended to help you send your work in the way that makes it easiest for the agent to read and consider it. If she wants her queries on paper, so be it. If you elect to query her last, that's a reasonable prioritization.