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Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When... : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

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Spinners
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Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby Spinners » Mon May 16, 2016 6:40 am

Is it a faux pas in the publishing industry to query multiple agents simultaneously? And, if one should query one agent at a time, how long is the proper time to wait before moving on to the next agent? (When I ask this, I am assuming all queries are by email.)

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shadowwalker
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Re: Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby shadowwalker » Mon May 16, 2016 8:22 am

Simultaneous submissions are standard. The only time you don't is if the agent/publisher specifically states they won't accept them (those I would leave to the last). It can take weeks to hear back, if you do (many consider no answer to mean no thanks), so it doesn't make sense to do it one at a time.

That said, you don't want to submit to everyone on your list all at the same time. You may need to adjust your query based on responses (or lack thereof), or you may get some helpful feedback on the story itself that you'd want to deal with before submitting to the next group.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

Spinners
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Re: Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby Spinners » Tue May 17, 2016 4:14 am

Thanks, Shadowwalker! Very good advice. One follow-up question: Should one disclose that the query is being released to multiple agents? You say some agents state they won't accept a simultaneous submission, but how would they know? I guess it could surface down the road giving rise to an uncomfortable, if not fatal, situation...is that how you'd envision this playing out?

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue May 17, 2016 1:29 pm


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shadowwalker
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Re: Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby shadowwalker » Tue May 17, 2016 10:37 pm

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

khanson
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Re: Submissions to Multiple Agents. If & When...

Postby khanson » Wed May 25, 2016 11:51 pm

I recently got some good advice from author Lori Rader-Day who spoke at the Chicago Writing Workshop the other weekend. She suggested that you rank all of the agents that are looking for work like yours. Then, send queries to eight to ten agents at a time, then wait. If you get negative responses or no replies, then you can look at your query to see if you can improve it. Each batch gives you an opportunity to improve your query before moving on to the next round. Of course, don't send mass emails to these agents. Make sure to personalize each one. Also, avoid sending queries to agents at the same agency simultaneously. Usually, the guidelines on the agency's website will explicitly state this, but even if they don't, it's a good practice. As I'm working on my first novel, I haven't had a chance to actually implement this advice, but it made sense to me. I hope you find it helpful, as well!
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