View Full Version : "Specific agent" or "Submissions Dept."

02-09-2009, 03:24 AM

I just joined recently. I've finished my first novel and am putting together submissions for agents.
I have often read over the years that it is best to send a submission to a particular agent, apparantly it shows that you have researched the agency, but now I find that on most agencies websites they say - send to "Submission Dept."
Should I heed the advice I read and address my subs to "Agent A"? I'm worried that they may think I'm being a smartass and trash it without reading.
As I write these letters I am second guessing myself into a nervous breakdown. (I suspect I am not alone in this)

I will be grateful for any advice received.


02-09-2009, 06:17 PM
Specific agent. Look at it from their side...do you pay any attention to letters you get in the mail that are addressed to "occupant?"

Of course, if the agency website specifies something, do what they say. But sending it to the Submissions Department can be different from addressing it to the sub dept if that makes sense. Make sure they really do want you to address it to sub dept and not John Smith in the letter and sub dept in the e-mail header.

And don't sweat the small stuff :) As long as your letter is professionally written and offers a great story idea, nothing else really matters.

02-09-2009, 06:44 PM
Always address to a specific agent. I once had an agency tell me over the phone to NOT specify an agent, which I did and got a big, fat reject. Three months later I sent to the same agency (with a specific agent's name on it), and I got a partial request.

02-09-2009, 07:10 PM
I was also confused about this when I was querying. Collective wisdom (and common sense) says to submit to a specific agent, but the agency's website says something else. I say, you should always submit to a specific agent, unless the website is very very specific in their submission guidelines. Even if you use an online form to submit your query, address your letter to a specific agent, and not just some general salutation. I'm new to this industry, but it's my understanding that many agents will just ignore a query unless it's addressed specifically to them.

02-12-2009, 02:53 AM
Thanks for your replies. I've taken the advice and addressed to specific people.