Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Query Question: Agents moving agencies mid query

Some months ago I received a full request from Agent A at the Good Literary Agency. A few weeks after that I received a full request from Agent B at the AlsoGood Literary Agency. No problem so far.

ThenAgent B left the AlsoGood Literary Agency and joined the Good Literary Agency. I believe she took her earlier full requests with her, which means two agents at the same agency now have my manuscript. I haven't alerted them to this fact because I don't want to jeopardize my chances with either one of them. Is it my responsibility to bring this up, or should I take a "wait and see" attitude?

First, huzzahs for two requests for full manuscripts. Let's not forget that happy fact as you sort out what to do here.

This kind of thing happens a lot these days. Sometimes agents will email writers with updates on this, sometimes not. What we don't know here is whether B did take those full requests with her. That's NOT a given that she did.

Here's what you do: You email Agent B. You congratulate her on her new position. You mention that Agent A also requested the full and you want her to know to avoid any bumps in the road here at her new job.

You do NOT take a "wait and see" attitude here. Even if it means one of the agents has to drop out of consideration, you will have acted with honesty and integrity and that's going to serve you well in your entire career.


Madseasongirl said...

I don't have anything witty say, which, in this comments arena, will seem out of place.

But every once in awhile I like to pop in and say, this remains one of my favorite blogs to follow (bonus points for the kickass commenters).

That is all. Carry on.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Gee, I wish I had your questioner’s problem.
All I have to worry about today is whether my husband’s truck start’s so I can get to work on time. All I have to worry about tomorrow is whether my kid’s car starts, so I can get my car back and don’t have to drive, and depend on, a pick-up the size of a three bedroom ranch and as reliable as support payments from Jon Gosselin.
Yup, I admit, I’m jealous, two agents, two fulls, what a sucky dilemma :)

Colin Smith said...

Another life lesson from the Shark. Honesty and integrity may not always get you what you want, but not only will it help you when you face yourself in the mirror, it'll give you the best kind of reputation.

And that's okay, Madseasongirl... I'm usually about as funny as a form rejection with a migraine. Thankfully there are more than enough witty people around here to make up for my lack. :)

Anonymous said...

And without even knowing it, she went on to make a rather funny/witty comment anyway which was; "That is all. Carry on."

Which is hilarious.

Two fulls. Two different agents. How did this person even have the coordination in their excited little fingers to type this question? I mean wouldn't you/I be ON THE FLOOR, swooning in rapture? This is a person who is operating with all their sensibilities in tact. I'm jealous. Thinking under pressure/excitement isn't in my bag of tricks. Just ask Little Dog, who witnesses my antics every day.

Ardenwolfe said...

Again, excellent advice.

Unknown said...

Dear Ms. Shark,

I pushed your name out at the James River's Writer's Conference this past weekend, and met Gossimer the Editor Cats owner! So if you're wondering why there is a sudden influx of subscriptions or whatever, just know it's because you're doing an awesome job and you've got a sort of "street crew", minus the sagging pants and poor grammar.

Unknown said...

Ms. Shark,

Oh, and I feel the need to add that I told them, for the love of God, to read the QueryShark archives if they intend to submit or ask you to review their query. So, please, don't give me the stink eye if these people don't listen. I told them!

Janet Reid said...

James, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear James Ticknor,

There are certain words of utmost importance. Your "stink eye" is one of them. I feel compelled to correct your usage so that you might properly write your warnings to the beady eyed one who swims at ear exploding depths.

It is "stank eye." I have enclosed the also, ever important Urban Dictionary for your edification on the matter.


:) No need to thank me. I have done my good deed duty for the day.

Amy Schaefer said...

I dunno, donna - "stink eye" is in there too as a surfer term:


Colin Smith said...

Amy/Donna/James: And don't you think "stink eye" just sounds better anyway? I mean, even if it's "wrong", I think we understand the intention, and I much prefer "stink" over "stank." :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw "stink eye" however, I argue that James is not a "surfer dude." I mean he didn't call her dude. :>)

@Colin: I prefer "stank eye" because when discussing what "sounds better," then "stank eye" being worse makes more sense. I.e. use the worst when using...the worst. :)

Janet Reid said...

it's stink eye. Stank eye is for those who use safety deposit boxes, and have shudders on their houses.

Giving anyone who disagrees the fish-eye.

DLM said...

Stinkeye has always been an I-spelled term of one word in my family - and it is what you DO NOT WANT to see from my redheaded niece.

James, it was nice talking with you on Sunday. Now we need to get Janet to the JRW soiree' next year. Hey, we got Hugh Howey! (Gossamer, by the way, is not I-spelled.) :)

Janet, you have full on groupies bonding over your OSUM-ness (for the spelling on that term, we also have a young redhead to thank) in the halls of Conferences you don't even attend.

I got a single full request there, this year. But last year I got three. ONE of these days, someone's going to have to actually give me The Call, because The Ax and the Vase is just about bursting to get out there by now.

And, to quote M*A*S*H and Madseasongirl: That is all.

DLM said...

Oh, and - donnaeverhart, you are correct in that James Ticknor is NO surfer dude. Attended the conference suited up and in polished shoes, y'all! He is not kidding around.

LynnRodz said...

@Madseasongirl: I know how you feel. When they were handing out the witty gene, I must've been getting a second dose of foolhardy adventuresomeness. (Is that right?) As you can see by the comments, it gets a little crazy here, but isn't that why we love coming by each day?

To the questioner: Congrats on getting two full requests! Isn't it ironic...with all the literary agencies around, what are the odds that Agent B would end up at the same agency as Agent A? Life is full of surprises!

Madseasongirl said...

Thank you all for proving my point, yet again.

And yes, dear questioner, don't fret too much. Remember to see this situation for the awesomeness that it is...before I give you the stank...er...stink eye.

Unknown said...

I totally missed out on this conversation! I have been on vacation and haven't seen the blog in a day or two. Anyways, DLM is correct in that I am not a surfer dude. I believe when a surfer dude is referring to a girl, he calls her a dudette.

I was talking with DLM at the James River's Writer's Conference how funny it was how we all seem to gravel for some sort of validation by Ms. Shark. I find myself giddy right now.

To Ms. Shark, I would love to actually see you in person at a conference as well as DLM.