View Full Version : Multiple submissions to the same agent

05-07-2008, 07:44 PM
Is it a definite no no to send more than one piece at a time?
I can see that longer stories need sample chapters but what if you are writing picture books?
I have several that are not related and it would save a great deal of time to send them out together. Would an agent think this unprofessional and do I just need to be more patient?

05-08-2008, 01:06 AM
I think it's best to send only one of your works to a singular agency. Naturally, the one you think is best and most marketable. That way the agent knows where your present time and consideration is engaged. You don't want her thinking it's all over the place. You do want her to know that you are very focused. If signed you'll have many other opportunities to pitch your other works to the agent, assuming she represents the genres involved.

05-08-2008, 08:06 AM
I just want to make my earlier post a bit clearer. I am not saying that you should only send your best work to one agency -- as a matter of fact, I'm all for multiple submissions, be it to an agency or publisher. So, to my way of thinking, submitting one story, query, proposal, -- whatever -- to as many sources as you wish is just fine. But, I don't believe in submitting more than one story at a time to any one agency.

05-08-2008, 09:44 AM
A couple years ago after finishing a second novel and thoroughly reworking my first, I had the same issue. At first I got the usual answer--don't query about both, pick the better one and match it to the agent, don't sound scattered and insecure. Well, at several successive writers conferences I asked a slew of agents about both novels. Some wanted partials of both (and eventually fulls), some wanted only one. None thought less of me or of my work. I started most pitches with, "Hi, I'm so and so. I'm going to break rule number one and pitch more than one novel." None minded. If anything, they thought a bit more of my efforts. I've also queried both novels in letters and drew requests for partials of one or the other or both. So, I think if it feels right to mention more than one, go for it--but carefully (to the right agent) and confidently. Good luck. g.

05-08-2008, 06:31 PM
Nothing's ever simple, is it?
I'm glad it seems to be working for you GJB.
I hadn't really thought it would make me appear less focussed, just more versatile, but I can see now how it might look bad.
The trouble is I suppose I'm not focussed. All my stories have different things that make me think they're the best. That's why it'd make life easier for an agent to make the decision for me. She's the one that best knows the market.
I suppose I'll put more emphasis on the older age range to begin with and hopefully grab someone's attention that way.

05-10-2008, 10:22 PM
You have to know you market though. As a writer, you have to know who your story would appeal to and who it would interest. It helps when you're pitching the story to any agent (or editor if you do it directly). Although I do see your dilemmma (several stories you're keen on seeing published). I think it might be best to pick one and then once you've got representation in the cards, mention the others. If you've got all picture books, obviously the agent's that you are querying rep picture books (or early reader, MG, YA etc).

05-12-2008, 04:15 PM
I didn't mean to give the impression that I'd not done my research market-wise. It is difficult to know what publishers want though as by the time a book's in print they're already looking for something different. That's what I meant when I said that an agent is best placed to know what's currently being sought.
I've narrowed my efforts down to two stories which I'm going to send out. Hopefully, one of those will find a home.