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MJRevell
11-06-2010, 04:40 AM
For submission guidelines that contradict each other, which should you adhere to?

It's easy to say the Agency website, and understandably so.

But many websites don't list individual agents, and these agents can themselves have their own set of guidelines to follow. I've come across one site just now that asks for no more than an outline on the agency website--that's it.

But one of their agents, according to AuthorAdvance at least, asks for three chapters and a synopsis. I can't find them on Querytracker to compare.

hillaryjacques
11-06-2010, 06:11 AM
I came across this a few times when I was querying, either where the individual agent had their own blog with listed guidelines, or I found a recent interview with said agent. To be honest, I compared the agency and agent guidelines and went with whichever I thought would best benefit me. Usually I went with whichever one allowed me to send the most pages.

When it was a contradiction between, say, the agency website and a website that - at best - might be updated by the agent once a year, I went with the agency website.

Try also www.agentquery.com, or see if they've had an interview on a site like www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog. Maybe just try to Google them. You might be surprised at how many agents have interviews on blogs or conference websites. Krista (sorry, can't remember her handle) on this site also has a website with recent interviews with some agents, and I think all of them give their personal preferences: http://motherwrite.blogspot.com/

Ryan_Sullivan
11-06-2010, 08:11 AM
Hm. I'd say your best bet here is to try a few sources (website, agentquery, publishers marketplace, etc.) and go with the consensus. In all likely hood, if it's that hard to figure out for sure, they probably understand if somebody sends something differently.

Miss Plum
11-06-2010, 09:07 AM
I hit those snags sooo many times in my querying daze. I figured:

1 - Find a consensus in those contradictory guidelines.
2 - Follow my common sense.

It's all you can do in a world of mixed messages!

CaoPaux
11-06-2010, 07:17 PM
And you might add to your query along the lines of "Per your guidelines listed at ...", so if it's not what they prefer 1) they know you aren't doing randomly, 2) they can correct the source.

MJRevell
11-06-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the replies. I just went against the website and submitted chapters, as per the listing.

Got a request for a full in 10 minutes! :D

Miss Plum
11-06-2010, 10:00 PM
Rock on!

Susan Littlefield
11-08-2010, 04:40 AM
For submission guidelines that contradict each other, which should you adhere to?

It's easy to say the Agency website, and understandably so.

But many websites don't list individual agents, and these agents can themselves have their own set of guidelines to follow. I've come across one site just now that asks for no more than an outline on the agency website--that's it.

But one of their agents, according to AuthorAdvance at least, asks for three chapters and a synopsis. I can't find them on Querytracker to compare.

I would go by the agency website and follow them to a tee. When in doubt, I would send a query letter only.

Susan Littlefield
11-08-2010, 04:42 AM
Thanks for the replies. I just went against the website and submitted chapters, as per the listing.

Got a request for a full in 10 minutes! :D

Whoa! Awesome!