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Thread: Full Manuscript Protocol Question

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Full Manuscript Protocol Question

    Hi! I'm new to the forum and have searched through past posts for this question and couldn't find it - so I'm sorry if it's been answered already and I didn't see it.

    I spent the past month writing edit after edit for my queries once my manuscript went through the proverbial edit shredder for years. I did my research, sent things out, and washed my hands of it, prepared to wait for a while.

    Much to my surprised, the next morning I had a request for the full manuscript.

    I hope this doesn't sound presumptuous, but I want to proceed in the most respectful way possible. If another agent requests a partial or full, do I inform them that another agent is looking at the full at that time? Or wait for it to unfold? I just don't want to disrespect anyone in this process and wondered if someone knew.

  2. #2
    I'm already a real writer. Katrina S. Forest's Avatar
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    Nearly all agents assume that you are querying others at the time you query them. So it's expected that you might have multiple fulls or partials out at the same time. (I think my record at any given time was five.)

    If an agent wants to be the only one looking at a full, they will request what's called an exclusive. Alternatively, their website will say something like, "If we request material, we expect it on an exclusive basis."

    In general, exclusives are bad for authors because it means you're stuck not being able to query anyone else until the exclusive is over or you get an answer. If you do agree to one, you should set a specific time limit (in weeks, not months.) If the agent doesn't get back to you in the agreed-upon time, you are free to look elsewhere.

    Congrats and best of luck!
    "So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy" -Madeleine L'Engle

    "An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)



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  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you so much - that's extremely helpful. I wasn't sure the protocol was because you read those articles about agents say they wished they had more information on interest some times.

    Thank you so much again - that was very helpful!

  4. #4
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Congrats on the request! Should you get an offer of representation when you have fulls or partials out to other agents, the thing to do is tell the agent making the offer and tell him/her you'll have an answer in a week. Then you contact the other agents, give them the glad tidings, and say they have a week to get back to you if they're interested.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Congratulations on the request, good luck!
    Just check whether they want exclusivity, if not, you can apply to as many as you want I presume...
    I'd appreciate it if you visited my blog - http://ajw95.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    I'm already a real writer. Katrina S. Forest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJWells View Post
    Congratulations on the request, good luck!
    Just check whether they want exclusivity, if not, you can apply to as many as you want I presume...
    If they don't say on their submission guidelines and/or state in their request e-mail that they expect exclusivity, then they don't. An extra e-mail is not necessary to confirm that. (Not sure if you were suggesting that or not, but thought it would be best to clarify.)
    "So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy" -Madeleine L'Engle

    "An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)



    My Every Day Fiction stories

  7. #7
    Always notify of an offer for rep and give a week for other agents to read/respond, but you really dont need to tell us when someone else is reading. (in fact it comes across a little amateur.) We really do expect others to be reading it too!
    Lit Agent
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    www.MandyHubbard.com

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This is all so helpful - and the last person I thought would respond is Mandy Hubbard! This forum is such an incredible resource, I can't believe it took me so long to sign up.

    Thanks for all your well wishes and helpful insight. I remember thinking to myself often, 'I wish I could just ask someone...' And they didn't request an exclusive or anything, so I believe I'm good there. Thank you so much you guys!

  9. #9
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by spragl View Post
    This is all so helpful - and the last person I thought would respond is Mandy Hubbard! This forum is such an incredible resource, I can't believe it took me so long to sign up.

    Thanks for all your well wishes and helpful insight. I remember thinking to myself often, 'I wish I could just ask someone...' And they didn't request an exclusive or anything, so I believe I'm good there. Thank you so much you guys!
    Good luck! And, as others have said, never offer or even ask agents if they want an exclusive. Exclusives are bad for authors. It's better to have multiple agents reading through your manuscript, rather than have it tied up with one person.
    Caroline R. Curran

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