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socact
05-09-2009, 02:09 AM
Hi guys,

I just have a quick question (and probably a stupid one). Two agents requested full mss from me today (for two different projects, strangely enough), and I want to make sure they're both in perfect condition before I send them. They're all edited and everything, but I just want to double check that the formatting, etc. is right, since I've messed up in the past. Is it okay if I send them (via email) on Monday? Will they think it's unprofessional if I wait until after the weekend?

It will only take me a few hours to look them over, but I have a very pressing event on Monday that's occupying every minute of my time.

Thanks to anyone who can answer!

Cyia
05-09-2009, 02:25 AM
You're assuming they know when you opened your email. ;)

Judg
05-09-2009, 02:49 AM
No, they won't mind if you don't send them off within seconds of receiving the email. No problem.

You are going to be in a very awkward position if they both want to represent you though. May I ask why you are querying two projects at once?

Parametric
05-09-2009, 02:58 AM
You are going to be in a very awkward position if they both want to represent you though. May I ask why you are querying two projects at once?

Presumably s/he will be in the same position s/he would be if two agents had offered on the same project, ie. able to pick one and ditch the other. I'm still fine-tuning my understanding of querying etiquette - could you clarify why these scenarios are different?

socact
05-09-2009, 03:20 AM
Cyia, I'm assuming anyone in our position is probably checking their email 10,000 times a day, right? Maybe agents don't realize that... ;)

Judg, I queried both projects at once because I expect to be rejected. If by the grace of God two agents offered to represent me, I'd probably go with the one that was more open to my other projects (I have three mss, two romance, one science-fiction).

I haven't sent multiple queries to any one agent, so I'm not sure if that matters. I don't think I've breached any etiquette here - I'm just playing my odds.

If one of them does offer to represent me, then you can be sure I'll be back here asking for more advice.

Little Bird
05-09-2009, 07:13 AM
I queried on three projects at once. The project I thought was least likely to be a winner was the one that got me an agent. I figured I was increasing my odds by having more out there. I'm glad I did it, because if I had chosen one to query first, it would not have been the one my agent liked.

If I had two agents making offers on two different projects, I'd choose the agent I thought would be best for my career, just like someone with two agents interested in the same project would.

Angkor
05-09-2009, 10:12 AM
Three agents have my full (single project) manuscript right now. I hope for the best while bracing for the worst. Anyway, as I contemplate the various scenarios, I'm not sure how I'd handle multiple offers to represent. If agent A offered first, how would I flush out agents B and C? Or, more specifically, if agent A offered first, but I had my heart set on C, what would be the best approach to get an answer from C while holding off A? Of course, this is all contingency planning, but it's all new to me. The key thing is to be fair and professional with all and not to screw up.

Judg
05-09-2009, 06:00 PM
Socact, it would depend mainly on how different the projects were from each other, I guess. If one is non-fiction and the other is romance, and each agent wouldn't be interested in the other project. Meh. It will probably all work out. ;)

Angkor, if agent A makes an offer, you ask for a week or two to decide, and then contact B and C to let them know that you have an offer and that you will be giving an answer on such and such a date. And if they're still interested in you, you are in the enviable position of getting to choose.

Angkor
05-09-2009, 07:27 PM
Judg:

That's very sensible advice. Thanks.

Judg
05-10-2009, 12:42 AM
I read agent blogs. :D I only had one full out when that agent offered me representation, so I didn't experience that precise scenario. Would have been fun though.

scope
05-10-2009, 01:09 AM
Judg, I queried both projects at once because I expect to be rejected. If by the grace of God two agents offered to represent me, I'd probably go with the one that was more open to my other projects (I have three mss, two romance, one science-fiction).

I don't see anything wrong in querying different agents as long as the agents you queried don't represent the same genres. That is, if agent A and agent B both represent romance and science-fiction you could face a dilemma--a good one, but still a dilemma. Let's say agent A offers representation for the romance you sent her, having no idea that you also write science fiction. And lets say that Agent B offers you representation for the science-fiction work you sent her, having no idea that you also write romance. What do you do? Drop one, advise the agent you are going with that you also have written a work in another genre she reps and hope that something will develop in the future? What else you could do? I can't see either agent wanting to rep a writer who at the same time is being represented by another agent in a genre that she represents.

Just some food for thought.

Little Bird
05-10-2009, 06:22 AM
In my case, my 3 projects are in two different genres. I only queried agents who repped both genres. (Though I realize that until I'm established I'll have to focus on the genre of the novel that gets published first).

If I hadn't found representation, and I had run out of agents who repped both genres, I would have picked agents who repped only one of them and moved on to query those.

Also, my agent sees my novel as YA, while I thought it was adult—so that's a third genre. So I'll write YA for a while, assuming the book sells.

I still don't see how querying different works at once is a problem, whether they're in the same genre or not. Either way, you choose the best agent of those making an offer, just as you would if you get two offers for the same project.

Juneluv12
05-10-2009, 07:45 AM
I'm kinda in the same boat with two projects and different agents. My YA has more secular crossover appeal than Christian while my adult novel is probably going to go more Christian. I don't really see it that way since it has some heavy topics: murder, racism, and Chapter 3 opens in a whorehouse, but hey, what do I know?

Of course, YA is hot now, so my YA is whipping it up while Literary Fiction is hurting...throw in some Christian elements, and it's a really tough sell!!!

I know the thread has gotten off topic, but I never really automatically send. I'm in the same boat right now. Got the email Friday at 5:45 pm, and I probably won't send before noon tomorrow.

socact
05-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the responses, guys. I'm totally new to this, and have definitely learned a lot from the people on here.

This is kind of a related question, maybe not completely, but as I said above, I queried different mss because I expect to get rejected. If I have 3 fulls out on one ms, and one full on another, do you think I at least have a shot that someone will offer me representation? Or are the odds just as low as they are at the query stage?

I guess at the very least, I'm hoping someone will give me a chance to edit, or just some decent feedback. I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Little Bird
05-10-2009, 05:56 PM
While requests for fulls are not a guarantee you'll land an agent, You've won the chance to have your work read. The stronger your writing, the better the chances of getting an offer—or at least helpful feedback.

If you get personalized feedback, even in the form of a rejection, this can be very valuable. Try to evaluate any feedback, even if it's hard to hear. If it rings true, revise and query the agent again, telling her you took her comments to heart, etc. If it's still a no from her, hopefully your manuscript just got stronger for others who request it.

RainbowDragon
05-12-2009, 04:01 AM
Umm. . .socact, that sounds very unprofessional on the agent's part. What happened?

Senora Verde
05-12-2009, 04:02 AM
oooh, ouch Socat, I'm sorry. Thanks for sharing so we can all learn from your lesson.

Parametric
05-12-2009, 04:05 AM
Seriously? That's pretty damn wrong.

socact
05-12-2009, 04:18 AM
Yeah, seriously. I'm actually really, really upset.

Little Bird
05-12-2009, 04:18 AM
How does an agent rescind an offer? I've never heard of such a thing! What if you went camping for the weekend or something?

socact
05-12-2009, 04:25 AM
Little Bird, that's what I was thinking!! I figured this was typical - I'm glad it's not. I learned a hard lesson, but hopefully someone out there won't make the same mistake. I mean, one business day passed between query and this - how is that fair??

I need to take a walk or something. Or get drunk. I'm going to drive myself crazy thinking about this. :(

Anyone have any advice? Maybe send out more queries and hope to show this guy he made a huge mistake? I think that's the plan.

Little Bird
05-12-2009, 04:38 AM
Sounds like a good plan. And you're right; why would you want to work with someone like that? Still, that's so disappointing. I really feel for you.

If it makes you feel any better about the process, my agent has been very forgiving of my mistakes, so they're not all heartless.

This guy sounds impulsive, too. There are any number of common things that could keep you away from your e-mail for a couple of days, from a vacation to the flu to a minor accident—not to mention the really bad stuff like the passing of a loved one. How does this guy get by in this business taking every little bump (and this hardly even qualifies as a bump) personally? He sounds very insecure.

Judg
05-12-2009, 04:38 AM
That is very weird. I've never heard of this kind of thing happening before.

You've probably dodged a bullet. Do you really want to work with someone this touchy? It sounds like thoroughly unprofessional, manipulative behaviour to me. I don't think you want a person like this representing you either.

Yes, send out a bunch more queries and be thankful you didn't end up with a jerk who thinks bullying is acceptable professional behaviour. And you would probably do us all a favour by finding any threads on this fellow and posting the letter there. I pity anyone who falls in his clutches.

Helene B
05-12-2009, 04:44 AM
This sounds really off. How long did it take this agent to get back to you on your query?

Just curious...

socact
05-12-2009, 05:22 AM
Judg, I'll let others know. I'm the type of person who lets herself gets walked all over, so I don't think this agent would have been right for me anyway. Up to this point, I've had a very positive experience from agents requesting fulls (even the one who told me my first five pages sucked, then requested the full, turned out to be nice). So I guess he's just an anomaly.

Thanks for your support, guys. A really rotten day for me (I had a five-hour neuroanatomy exam this morning, hence the crazy weekend), but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I think I was especially upset because this particular ms is kind of a hard sell - it's very hard to categorize, and I had a lot of trouble with the query letter. Honestly, I'm not sure anyone else will want to see it. I guess I'll keep hoping, though.

RainbowDragon
05-12-2009, 05:25 AM
This is either not a legitimate agent or someone who has no sense of common courtesy (and I wouldn't want to work with either!)

PM me if you're naming names, I'd like to steer clear of them.

Sorry that happened to you. I'd consider it a blessing, though.


Yeah, seriously. I'm actually really, really upset. Here's the email:

Dear Me,

I replied to this inviting you to submit your manuscript and am offended that you haven't replied, so I'm withdrawing my offer to read the manuscript.

--

A more friendly, "Pardon me, but I'd just like to make sure your e-mail went through, because I haven't heard from you," would have been more appropriate, don't you think? And I was going to send it literally 5 minutes after I got that email.

I don't think I'd want a person like this representing me. Then again, I'm just telling myself that because I'm pretty crushed at the moment.

Judg
05-12-2009, 08:44 AM
It's just so strange, because I've seen agents posting that of course they don't mind if you take a little while to send in requested materials and that they prefer you spend a little time polishing rather than sending in modifications after the fact. They do say not to wait too long; the window of opportunity could close if you take a few months and they take on other clients and get too busy, for example. But just a weekend? This guy is nuts. Or maybe he'd had a few too many before tackling his email. Either way, I'd ignore him unless he came grovelling back to me. And even then...

colealpaugh
05-12-2009, 09:54 AM
Yeah, seriously. I'm actually really, really upset. Here's the email:

Dear Me,

I replied to this inviting you to submit your manuscript and am offended that you haven't replied, so I'm withdrawing my offer to read the manuscript.


Two other possibilities:

1. The agent was really drunk.
2. The agent's cubical neighbor was drunk and decided to sabotage his/her reputation.