I queried a bazillion agents and wasn't patient enough to give them what seemed like 17 years to reply (it had only been a month.) In a snit, I sent a query to a publishing house that takes direct submissions.
Then, in the excitement of having agents (not you, alas) request full mss, I forgot about the publisher.
Recently, the publisher has requested a detailed synopsis and a full manuscript.
On the one hand, several agent requests and one publisher request mean I'm deeper into the forest primeval than I was with my first book. Which makes anything that happens at this point good news. I'm also close to finishing my third book -- and querying that.
But...do I risk offending the agents or the publisher if I fill my dream agent (not you, alas) in on what's going on with the publisher and hope she responds saying "Let me take it from here...I was just seconds away from offering you representation because yours is the best book I've seen in a decade?"
Or do I send the mss package to the publisher and hope for cosmic coincidence -- that they'll offer me representation the day before dream agent does?
Being a wee woodland creature, I'm tempted to hide under my rock, berating myself for snorting in the face of the guideline "Be Patient" and the one that says "Query agents first, publishers second."
Can you help clear out my muddle puddle?
First, you're going to go back and do some in-depth research on the publisher to make sure they're serious about publishing print books. You're going to look for things on their website that indicate they sell to wholesale accounts like bookstores, or to libraries. You're going to make sure they actually sell books to somoene other than the author and the author's one hundred closest friends.
The reason you're going to do this is because if the publsher is NOT a serious publisher, no agent is going to want to deal with that contract, and knowing you have interest from them won't make any difference.
But, if the publisher is a professional place (rather than a hobby outlet--a phrase I'm going to catch hell for I bet) then you let the agents know. It may not make a difference, but you'll want to let them know in case it does.