View Full Version : Querying agents and digital publishers at the same time?

01-13-2012, 01:31 AM
I did a round of queries to agents at the end of last year. I got several full requests and positive feedback on my writing, but they said the genre was too weird to be sold to NY and I'd have to revise and resubmit or try to sell it elsewhere. So, now I'm looking at digital publishers, since they'd be more open to a weird-genre thing, presumably. But I still have queries out there, within the standard waiting timeframe (which is long, after all), and also a full out.

Can I just start querying the digital publishers? Or do I have to wait until my agent queries "expire"? Is it standard to query editors/publishers alongside agents? I'm thinking no, since that's kinda what an agent does, and besides, they might want to make editorial changes before submissions...

Thank you!

Siri Kirpal
01-13-2012, 07:06 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Not a good idea to query publishers while you still have a full out with an agent. So, hang in there!

If that full has been with an agent for more than two months, though, it's kosher to nudge the agent gently and politely.


Siri Kirpal

01-13-2012, 01:08 PM
^ NOpe, I disagree.

The reason we say to query Agents OR Publishers is simply because you don't want to land an agent with an MS that's already been shopped to two dozen publishers (theoretically).

If you're confident you don't want to continue subbing to agents, continue with your submissions to editors as normal. If you get an offer, contact the agents/editors who have your full and let them know, same as you would with another agent offer. You may also find this post (http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2012/01/so-youve-got-offer.html) from the Bookends Lit agency useful.

Good luck!

01-13-2012, 08:21 PM
Also don't assume that an e-publisher is going to have lax standards because of their format.

01-13-2012, 08:54 PM
It depends on what you want. If your dream is to publish this book as a big six, don't start on the epubs until you've exhausted all possible agents.

If you just want to see it published, then submit to the epubs along with the agents.

However, if you get an agent you should let them know which epubs you've submitted to and discuss how you want to proceed if an agent starts subbing your book to Bantam and Carina accepts it. Do you go with Carina? Do you let your agent negotiate the deal and take 15% of the Carina deal? Or do you drop your agent and publish Carina? Or do you politely decline the guaranteed acceptance to pursue Bantam? Know what you would do in the situations and discuss them with your agent prior to acceptance.

01-14-2012, 12:18 AM
What sort of digital publishers are you talking about? When I think of digital publishers, I think of websites like Smashwords where there isn't any querying or submitting, just submitting for publication?

Can you clarify or give one example?

01-14-2012, 01:24 AM
Before you go with a strictly digital publisher, have you checked out some of the small presses? There are plenty of reputable niche publishers out their who do both print and epublishing.

Once you sign with an epublisher, chances are slim you will get a print contract. Most publishers like to negotiate for both print and e-rights.

To answer your question though, if they are just queries (no fulls or partials), I would go ahead and submit after the six week point. Six weeks is a reasonable time period for a response to a query.