A mega-agent at a big agency requested a full of my book in January 2017. They didn't respond to me "Hello, did you get the MS" email/ nudge mid-year. (I'm usually opposed to nudging but did so because another agency didn't get the full I sent around the same time). Fast forward: I wrote another book and will probably be querying it in early 2018. Another agent at this same agency would be great to query. I think book 2 has a better probability of getting signed.
Agent A sometimes requests fulls and signs someone within a week. Sometimes they take 6 months or a year to reject. Sometimes they don't respond at all. (They almost never sign anyone).
Their website says to not query two agents at the same time, but what if they are two different books? Can't I just query B without having any additional correspondence with A? I prefer to work under the "if no response by X, assume rejected" rule because it doesn't render the writer powerless or put them in an awkward situation. I hate this stuff--it feels like repeatedly sending texts like "hey just checking again--are you sure you don't want to go to prom with me?" I mean if they wanted to go to prom they would respond.
I agree that failure to resond is should incur a penalty for unneccesary rudeness. (Hang on, I need to check my inbox for any unanswered emails before I get all fired up!)
And if an agent has failed to respond to both "didja get this" and "do you want this" within a year, then s/he has de facto passed on this.
If you were querying your first project to another agent, you might run into issues but you're querying a new project so my advice is go for it.
And I STRONGLY encourage you to get over your reluctance to nudge. In the last month alone I've been glad to hear from some writers who needed to nudge about one thing or another. Stuff happens and email can disappear never to be seen again.
I've blogged about this before and it hasn't gotten any better.
The thinking behind "don't query two agents at the same time" is so authors don't just query all the agents at one agency at the same time, leading to a lot of wasted time if each agent reads and requests. I've seen authors ignore this here at New Leaf. We have a central query email and if you query all the agents here at the same time, we all see it.
Frankly, that tells me you haven't spent a single minute trying to figure out who is a good match. There's almost nothing that overlaps on Suzie Townsend's list and my list (although I love the books she reps and sells) There's certainly some overlap with JL Stermer, but again, a book that's suited for her is most likely not suited for me.
My long standing advice to query everyone does NOT mean query everyone at the same time. IF JL says no, you might expand your reach and query me. In other words, start with the agents you think are a good match and work down the list.
And of course the first rule of querying is query me first cause I respond to (almost) every query.