Friday, May 23, 2014

Query question: agents at one agency

If my query was rejected by an agent, does it make sense to query a different agent in the same agency?

Unless the agency has a "query one/query all" policy, yes.

Here's how you tell if the agency has a "query one/query all" policy?

(1) you query a central email such as

Here's an example of that:

All queries should be sent to Submissions(at)KnightAgency(dot)net.....
Queries must be addressed to a specific agent. Please do not query multiple agents. To determine which member of our team would be most appropriate for your project, visit our “About Us” page.

(2) the agency website says one and done.

Here's an example from the Andrea Brown Agency:

Visit the agents' bios page and choose only one agent to whom you will submit your e-query.

Now, here's an example from FPLM which is NOT one and done, and not query one/query all:

Each FinePrint agent has particular interests in fiction, and accepts submission in the genres listed on their bio pages.

If we’re interested, we will ask to see a few chapters or the full manuscript.
Notice that it does NOT say "one agent"
But your real question is: if one agent at an agency says no, and the agency is ok with querying other agents, is it worth it? Yes it is. We work under the same letterhead but we don't have identical tastes. No one of course has ever told me they don't like a book I've sold but that's more in fear of the mortal peril that would ensue, than an expression of differing taste.


Wendy Qualls said...

I pitched a manuscript to Agent #1 (out of 4 in her agency) at last summer's RWA convention.

She said it was interesting but she didn't really do that sub-genre, so please send a partial to Agent #2, who did.

Agent #2 eventually got back to me with a pass.

A few months later, I figured it was worth querying Agent #3, who wasn't all that specific on what subgenres of romance she liked.

Agent #3 passed it to Agent #4, who wasn't even open to queries, but LOVED this subgenre. She requested a full.

Ultimately she passed also - said the market was too tough for that subgenre right now and she didn't love it quite enough to give it a shot - but I do get a kick out of my story being passed around to - literally - every single agent there :-P

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

And I'd repeat what I commented on a similar post a little while ago: Why in the world wouldn't you give it a try? What's the worst, the absolute worst, that the second agent could do to you? They can't hunt you down and eat you, it's against the law. (Unless the agent is a shark, then all bets are off.) The worst you'll get is a rude brushoff. It doesn't cost you anything but the time you spent triple-checking your query. So unless the agency website very specifically says "one and done," why in the world wouldn't you go for it? How is that even a question?

DLM said...

I've done a lot of researching and conferences and other agent-inclusive events (and, of course, read our beloved archives here), but THIS I had 100% wrong. I have always queried one and only one, assuming coming back to the well from a different angle was still just coming back to the well. I hardly imagine every rejected query is remembered/discussed, I just have this thing about trying (... TRYING I say) not to be a pest.

So, thank you once again for very good advice. To be used once I finish some final polishing.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I have queried them all: Janet Reid, Ms. Janet Reid, Ms. Reid, Janet, J R, The Shark, The Sharque and my personal favorite QOTKU.
No fulls or partials but lots and lots of great advice.

I'm with Ol Chumbucket. Why the hell would've you query more than one - actually in my case restraining order comes to mind.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I tried to delete my comment because of the typo, it (wouldn't) let me hide my shame.
I have come to the conclusion that the only thing stupider than having typos is letting people know, you know, you have typos.
I'm leaving now before I make myself more of an ass than I already have.
If there are any more screw-ups, don't tell me, I'm fragile.

DLM said...

Carolynnwith2Ns, we all have typos. You have the grace to have one with a sense of humor so we can all enjoy a little harmless shared chagrin. Thank you for the smile.