View Full Version : Querying two agents in the same agency

10-01-2011, 11:49 PM
I have a query out to Agent A at Prestigious Literary Agency. It's been four weeks with no response, and while Agent A doesn't explicitly say she only responds when interested, I understand that's often the practice.

(Agent A also has a discouraging track record at querytracker.net: about half of queries get no response - I know the database isn't 100% accurate, but the stats are an indication).

In the meantime, a friend encouraged me to try Agent B at the same Prestigious Literary Agency, and some of my research shows she might be even more of a fit for my novel than Agent A.

So, I've heard multiple submissions to an Agency is a no/no. And that agents tend to pass along queries to their colleagues, as appropriate; so "no from one of us, means no from all of us."

But, I've heard from several writers here and elsewhere that they've tried multiple agents in the same Agency, and sometimes with success.

Thus, I'm curious to pool folks about their opinion to an approach. I'm thinking, I could give Agent A until the six week mark, then query Agent B? Would it be most professional to mention to Agent B that I queried Agent A? Should I say -- tactfully -- that I understand it's possible Agent A hasn't had time to respond, but I also know that often no response means no interest? Or, should I nudge Agent A before doing anything? That brings up the possibility that I still wouldn't get a response, but perhaps that's the most tactful thing to do?

Hope these multiple questions aren't too maddening, and big thanks for the response!

Susan Littlefield
10-01-2011, 11:54 PM
What do that agent's guidelines say about this issue? That's the first place to start.

Old Hack
10-01-2011, 11:57 PM
If the agency doesn't provide guidelines I'd leave it a good few months before querying another agent in the same agency: it seems to me like you'd be pushing your luck otherwise.

10-02-2011, 12:26 AM
Thanks Susan and Hack.

The agency doesn't have any guidelines about multiple submissions. It just says to query an agent based on his/her interests, as described on the website.

The Agent B isn't actually listed on the website; perhaps because she's a junior agent, or perhaps because their site needs updating. So, that's why I didn't know about her until a friend pointed her out to me.

10-02-2011, 02:56 AM
I would give it several months before requerying. Keep in mind that the junior agent might be the one actually reading the slush for her colleague, so she might have seen it already. I don't think it's the end of the world if she has--as querying sins go, it's fairly minor--but you want to err on the side of courtesy.

10-02-2011, 03:04 AM
the first rule is patience (also the first requirement) not matter how insanely, insanely frustrating it is to e patient.)

spend the time polishing, researching writing or drinking.

(the last is for true pros only)

10-02-2011, 07:50 PM
Thanks King & Paul. Yes, patience is not one of my virtues. Good idea to let it go for awhile and focus on something else. (Drinking doesn't sound so bad).

10-02-2011, 07:57 PM
Check guidelines first. Some agencies say a query to one is a query to all.

Others say do not query two agents at the same time.

If one agent has specifically rejected you, I see no reason to wait to query another one, unless they say a query to one is a query to all.

If one agent has not responded at all, I'd check the guidelines again: do they say how long to expect a response? If so, wait til the end of that time period. If they have nothing to say about responses, and more or less say no response = rejection, then just wait a few weeks before querying another agent.

I'd give them four weeks, and in the meantime query other agents at other agencies.

10-08-2011, 05:08 AM
they will not send the QueryPolice to your house if you query Agent B. If I'm wrong, email me, and I'll bail you out of queryjail.


Richard White
10-08-2011, 06:04 AM
And trust me, no jailer wants an angry shark on the other side of the bail window, so they'll cooperate with her. ;)