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macandal
10-30-2005, 05:14 AM
When agencies ask you "if you are submitting material simultaneously to other agencies" are they talking about mss being read (partial or full) or if you are querying other agencies?

Why do agencies want to know this? What are they trying to find out?

How would you phrase this in your query letter (I am contacting other agencies about this novel) and where would you put this in your letter?

What is a "boutique agency"? Should I stay away from those?

If they give you a choice of querying them by post or email, would one be better over the other? Does submitting via email guarantees you a faster response?

Thank you.

Cathy C
10-30-2005, 05:25 AM
When agencies ask you "if you are submitting material simultaneously to other agencies" are they talking about mss being read (partial or full) or if you are querying other agencies?


Correct. A simultaneous submission means that you're sending a partial or full to more than one agency at a time. Generally, queries don't fall in this category.


Why do agencies want to know this? What are they trying to find out?

Well, let's say that you wander into McDonald's and see an order of fries under the lamps and fries sound really good to you right at that moment. You tell the clerk that you'd like to order fries. If the clerk then tells you that those particular fries are no longer for sale and there are no other fries available for you to purchase, you might get annoyed. After all, they displayed the freaking things! In other words, an agent who has spent the time to read your query and get excited about it enough to want to read the manuscript will be annoyed if it's no longer available. Once or twice is no big thing, but over the course of years -- with hundreds of salable manuscripts being denied to you after getting you excited . . . well, they want to know that the fries under the lamp are for sale. ;)



How would you phrase this in your query letter (I am contacting other agencies about this novel) and where would you put this in your letter?


Generally, if the agency ALLOWS simultaneous submissions, they know you're going to. You don't need to state it in the letter. If they DON'T allow simultaneous submissions, then you shouldn't be anyway, so you don't need to put it in your letter.


What is a "boutique agency"? Should I stay away from those?


A "boutique agency" is one that handles a specific genre -- let's say romance. They only represent romance authors, and won't look at literary or horror novels. No, there's no reason to stay away from those. Boutique agencies are also "specialist" agencies who know many editors within their small frame of reference, and can quite possibly get you a very good deal.


If they give you a choice of querying them by post or email, would one be better over the other? Does submitting via email guarantees you a faster response?

Neither is better over the other. It just depends on the agency on whether the particular agent reads their e-mails faster than their snail mail. I don't know that you'll get a faster response either way.


Thank you.

You're welcome! Feel free to ask anything else! :D