I'm in the middle of transcribing a lengthy Q&A with Brad Thor (The Last Patriot) for the December issue of Writer's Digest and I thought what he had to say about literary agents was quite interesting for going against the grain of traditional publishing wisdom (this is unedited, direct from a transcript):
I know agents hate hearing this, but the single agent submission process is so un-businesslike, and this stuff about well you should only pitch one agent at a time and wait to hear back—that’s BS. I really don’t believe in that. I tell people, put together the strongest best package you can. Why should you wait months to hear back from an agent only to be told no, and then you have to wait a few more months. It’s ridiculous. I had agents lose my submissions, take forever to get to it and I thought, you know what, this is ridiculous. I’m not doing this just because this is the rules that they’ve set up for themselves. I thought, they’re not going to know if I’m submitting to multiple places. And what happens with agents when they’re submitting you’re book? They try to start a bidding war! They’re not going to wait onesie, twosie, at every publishing house to see what they think. Authors should do multiple submissions to agents. I mean, that’s the way the business world works and whether or not the industry likes it or not, they can’t stop you from submitting to multiple agents and you know what? If an agent misses out on you because they took too long with your query letter, tough luck for them. It will be a smart, savvy agent who recognizes your talent, who snaps you up. And I really believe that.
So, what do you think about multiple submissions to agents?