Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Querying another agent at the same agency

Some agencies have an explicit policy of only allowing one agent at the agency to be queried for a project (One Off and Bust Off.) That is clear enough. Others, though, do NOT make it explicit that OOBO is their policy and have separate e-mail addresses for each agent. Presumably they do not read each others' mail.

it seems courteous not to query more than one agent at the agency at a time. But is it OK to query an agent, then have fun getting rejected elsewhere for a couple of months, then query another agent at the first agency? Or should we assume the policy is OOBO even if it is not explicitly stated.

Obviously one e-mail address for everyone implies OOBO even if the policy guidelines do not state it.

Well, not obviously, cause we have Query@New Leaf for our incoming queries but you can query as many agents as you want to, just one at a time.

Unless an agency says one and done assume you can query more than one agent. BUT only one at a time.

And you're right to give it some time between queries. While we say 30 days here I know I've been much farther behind than that at times, but you have no way of knowing that.  Giving me some extra time is a good idea.

In the end the most important thing to remember is this: there's no such thing as the query police. Querying multiple agents here doesn't get you blacklisted; it might get you ignored. You can recover from that since we don't keep a list of inept queriers. (it would be in the thousands by the end of the summer.)

Any questions?


E.M. Goldsmith said...

So I can query my glorious queen with my weird fantasy and collect my inevitable rejection amd go on to collect more rejections from New Leaf?

That’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Julie Weathers said...

Querying is an odd animal. I'm getting ready to get that list ready again, oh happy day. No, Rain Crow isn't done. It's not quite finished and far over word count. Sorry, agent who requested, it isn't going to ever fit into the size three dress.

I used to work at a western wear store where there were four women clerks, plus the owner and his wife and sometimes one of his sons when they weren't in school. They were great people and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. Invariably, you'd get a panicked husband or boyfriend looking for clothes who hadn't thought to sneak in and see what size his lady love wore.

He'd say, "I guess a size fourteen?"

Mr. Hooten would call us all over and line us up, backs facing the man. "Which lady is closest to your wife?"

"Second from the left, but shorter."

"All right. Becky wears size six. Buy your wife a size five. She'll love you because you thought she was smaller and won't mind exchanging it. Now, let one of the girls help you pick out something pretty."

Of course, now he would probably be sued for doing that, but at the time it made a lot of happy customers because they knew we would do all we could to actually help them find something nice for them and not just sell them what cost the most.

I'd often help ladies pick out pieces they could mix and match to make it look like they had a very extensive wardrobe instead of just selling them lost of disparate outfits.

Unfortunately, when we go agent shopping, it's hard to find someone who will say, no that one will make your butt look big and you're already a big enough arse.

Check out the various tools that are available. Follow the instructions. Yes, even you must follow instructions, you're special, but not that special. Don't bad mouth agents, publishers, authors, the querying process, yourself, or your book. It had to be said, sort of like don't use the toaster in the bathtub. Have your manuscript in absolutely top-notch order before you start querying. You may, but don't assume you'll have months before someone responds. I once had someone request a full in less than five minutes.

Have fun. Don't get depressed. Find a support group. Rejection is part of the journey. Dejection is a choice.

Life comes at you and asks you to dance when you least expect it. It's ok to dance in bunny slippers.

Claire Bobrow said...

I needed this post today – and Julie’s comment. Waiting to hear back from agents can seriously interfere with daily writing. Time to put on my bunny slippers and switch off the muzak loop of Girl From Ipanema going through my head. Arise, revise, and submit some more!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I've got to say, I'm relieved there's no list of inept queriers. Hopefully I've avoided the worst screw-ups, but I'm sure I've made some stunningly silly mistakes.

I'm also pretty sure the first novel I queried was full of awful grammar mistakes. I was young and naïve. (No, I haven't reopened the damn MS in the seven years since then. I'd rather not remember!)

Gypmar said...

Julie Weathers,

I love that story! I too served as a size guide when I worked at a sporting goods store in Santa Barbara, but we had very few women working there, so I was only helpful to a point.

I will be looking forward to updates on your latest dive into the query waters!

John Davis Frain said...

Julie & Gypmar,

Does it say anything about our collective past that I was never used as a size guide, but I was used in a police lineup. I loved it. Yanked out of my job at the local McDonald's and brought down for a lineup. I get paid for this? Sign me up!

Unless, of course, they pick me.

Julie Weathers said...


I've never been in a police lineup, but I've identified men in them twice. That's always interesting.

Colin Smith said...

So... we have NORMANs, and now ONE-AND-DONEs. If you can't change industry practices, you can at least give them snappy names. ;)

Love the story, Julie... of course. :)

Craig F said...

I haven't noticed many agencies with a redundancy of agents covering any one genre. If you have a book that can be any of several genres, it might be good to refocus before going back to the same well.

Alas, I have never been picked as a model for cowgirl lingerie, nor have I ever been in a Police lineup. Boring assed life I guess.

Lisa Bodenheim said...


Thank you, Reiders, for the end of the work day reading! Just as good as a glass of whisky here!

Steve Stubbs said...

Many thanks for this advice. Very helpful indeed.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Julie... Is it okay if I say, I love you? You rock. In so many ways.

Jami said...

I would even suggest carefully querying mutliple agents at an agency when they DO say that, just do it 3+ months apart. I spent a chunk of time interning for an agency that said that, but I only knew what the agent I was working for wanted. And I saw projects that would be AMAZING, but weren't in genres she repped, so they got rejected at the query. Target well, but if you feel two are equally good fits for that, ignore that rule. Worst they'll do is reject it twice. I doubt they'd remember your query unless it was REALLY crazy (like a dude CCing 200+ agents in one query email.)

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

"Rejection is part of the journey. Dejection is a choice."

"Life comes at you and asks you to dance when you least expect it. It's ok to dance in bunny slippers."

Love these, Julie! Thanks, think I'll go have myself a lil ol dance party!

AJ Blythe said...

Love your story (as always), Julie.