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frustratedguy
05-13-2009, 11:37 PM
I've sent queries to three agents I'd like to have represent my book. Two have requested fulls. I'm wondering if there's a general consensus here about how many agents to query on your first go at it? Are you selective (maybe three or fewer)? Or is it better to sort of carpet bomb a lot of agents and hope one of them bites?

Like a lot of us here (I think), I'm having a hard time waiting around for a response. I feel like I should be more proactive.

blacbird
05-13-2009, 11:56 PM
Or is it better to sort of carpet bomb a lot of agents

I've been tempted, more than once.

caw

ChaosTitan
05-14-2009, 12:24 AM
First, congrats on the requests. Two fulls out of three queries is amazing!

As for how many queries to send, this one is up to you. My advice is to send queries is batches of ten or twelve. That way you can judge the responses before querying more agents (A lot of "no's" can indicate a problem with the query, rather than the manuscript). But you've had great responses so far, it seems.

It never hurts to query a few more agents you'd like to work with and give them a chance to consider your book. After all, two full requests is great progress, but requests don't guarantee representation.

KTC
05-14-2009, 12:46 AM
When people ask me, "how deep is the water?" I usually answer, "how deep is your love?"

It's your call. It's easier to do your choice agents first and work your way down the list, but I've heard of people being successful with the carpet bomb approach.

CONGRATS ON THE REQUESTS! Wow.

scope
05-14-2009, 01:04 AM
Loads of different opinions and methods on this one.

I, similar to Chaos, suggest sending about 10 every 6-8 weeks. For all the reasons Chaos states.

Judg
05-14-2009, 01:08 AM
If you're getting that kind of response, there's not much point in sending out a lot of queries, IMO.

I queried one at a time, very slowly, because my niche is very, very narrow and I didn't want to burn through the available agents too quickly. Every time I sent the query out, it seems I thought of another way to improve it.

On the other hand, if your list is 300 agents long, you can afford to send them out in bigger batches.

Wayne K
05-14-2009, 01:56 AM
I sent out 400 once--hey they were asking for it--and got three requests for fulls. With the second book I queried 5 agents and had 4.

I think I learned a lot from the process as I went along. Judg makes a great point in her post. You don't want to blaze through the list until you're sure you have it tweaked.

colealpaugh
05-14-2009, 03:14 AM
I sent out 400 once--hey they were asking for it--and got three requests for fulls.

Ha, that's awesome to hear. I tweaked the query on my first MS, got it to where it was as good as it was going to get, then carpet bombed. Hey, if a dozen agents come to the same conclusion after reading fulls and partials, then it just wasn't meant to be in its present form. And, heck, I've long since moved on with another WIP.

It's a major screw up to carpet bomb before your query is solid, though.

Wayne K
05-14-2009, 03:54 AM
It's a major screw up to carpet bomb before your query is solid, though.

Unfortunately I'm one of those "learns from his mistakes" types.

happywritermom
05-14-2009, 06:39 AM
If you have two fulls out and this is your first set of queries, I would wait until you hear back (or, until you nudge and don't hear back).
You never know whether there might be some major, yet easy-to-fix flaw, that these two agents will point out if they reject you.
I know it is incredibly difficult to wait, but you could get some valuable information here if you just give it time. When I look at the draft of the novel I sent out the first time around, I am embarrassed. And I had fulls with some major agents thanks to referals from friends. I blew it. I stopped querying and spent another year revising. I have just started sending it out again.

The fact that you got two requests for the full when you queried only three agents is an excellent sign that you have a good thing going here. Be patient, hang in there and save the query-blasting for later when you have already received some good feedback (which, hopefully, you will never have to do because one or both of these agents will offer you representation!).
Good luck and keep us posted!

colealpaugh
05-14-2009, 06:58 AM
Unfortunately I'm one of those "learns from his mistakes" types.

When I stumble across the original query from my first MS, I audibly scoff at the moron who authored that piece of sh*t. But then I copy it to Nathan Bransford twenty-seven times real fast.






:)