View Full Version : How to determine if an agency is "once and done"

01-04-2013, 05:16 PM
I have read here that some agencies have a policy whereby once you've queried one agent at the agency with manuscript X, you can never query another agent at that agency with manuscript X. But I think some agencies do not have this policy.

Are there any tricks to figuring this out? The only way I can think of is through the agency's web site (if they have one), and having looked at many agency web sites in the past two months, I don't remember seeing this policy stated very often.

If the website doesn't mention this at all, is it safe to assume that you can query another agent if, say, if you have received a formal rejection from the first agent? Does time need to pass in addition to that?

One thing I would not consider doing is querying another agent if I have not heard definitively from the first one.

01-04-2013, 05:54 PM
It's not a trick; it's a stated policy. Their website will say "A no from one is a no from all." or something similar.

How long to wait between submissions is up to you, provided another submission is allowed, but waiting for a definitive answer may not be practical. At this point, most agents have adopted the "no response means no" policy out of necessity. You won't get a response on every query, but you can generally consider the query rejected after 3-4 months of silence. (You can also nudge at that point to see if the agent is behind on reading or if your query ended up in the spam folder.)

01-05-2013, 04:10 AM
It's not a trick; it's a stated policy. Their website will say "A no from one is a no from all." or something similar.

If it were only that easy!
As I'm sure you have found, not all websites have all the information you might want. Heck, some don't even have websites, or just have one page with no useful info like WMA and ICM.

However, I did come across a "trick" while Googling - this is from Janet Reid's blog:

"The query address is a clue: if you send your query to "Queries @ Best Sellers & Arus.com" you can assume that the queries are sorted there, and it's one and done."

01-05-2013, 07:38 AM
I'd say unless their website explicitly says a no from one is a no from all, go ahead and query each agent in turn.

01-06-2013, 02:12 AM
If I can't figure it out from the website, I always look at the email address as Janet Reid said - if it's a generic address, I assume no from one is no from all. If it's a personalised address, I assume all bets are off. One example is Writers' House - I got a form rejection from one of them, waited a bit and queried another and scored a request (that I haven't heard back from yet, so I am still on edge!).