Picking an agent #6—Multiple submissions?

Many writers worry about sending queries or proposals to several agents at once.

First of all, if you received these submission requests at a conference, it’s understood that you might have multiple requests and therefore multiple submissions.

It’s also fine to send multiple queries to multiple agents, however you should check the agent’s website to see what his/her policy is on multiple submissions. Some agents discourage it. Some agents don’t care.

Whether you have multiple submission requests from an conference or you’re just sending multiple queries to agents, in your cover letter or query letter, let the agent know that your manuscript has been submitted to other agents. It’s a common professional courtesy. Do NOT skip this bit of communication.

If an agent requests a partial manuscript or a full manuscript, e-mail or write to the other agents you submitted to and let them know such-and-such agent has requested the partial (or full). It might garner more interest in your writing, it might not.

If an agent offers representation, but you’d also like to see if the other agents you submitted to are interested, then e-mail, write, or call them. Let them know you submitted to them, but you’ve been offered representation by another agent. Ask them if they would they be willing to look over your submission and give you an answer before you respond to the other agent. Be polite.

The main thing is, make sure you are clear and consistent in your communication with all the agents you submit to or query.


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