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WriteStarfish
02-28-2013, 01:10 AM
Question: I primarily write historical fiction. I also have one middle grade novel. I queried an agent at an agency for the middle grade less than 2 weeks ago. Now, a new agent who specifically is looking for historical fiction has begun at the same agency. Is it ok to query the new agent too- since the first agent doesn't handle the other genre so it would have been passed to someone else in the agency anyway? Thanks.

Old Hack
02-28-2013, 01:13 AM
You need to check the agency's guidelines just in case they are happy for you to query like this: but I'd usually say that no, you should only query one agent at an agency at a time.

hlynn117
02-28-2013, 03:18 AM
Not agented, but I'm putting together a query list. In general, this seems to be a big no in mid to small agencies.

JSSchley
03-04-2013, 07:00 AM
With the requisite "not currently querying and unagented person" grain of salt, this is the thing that throws me into the "yes" column (emphasis mine):


Now, a new agent who specifically is looking for historical fiction has begun at the same agency.

If you haven't received a rejection from agent #1, I wouldn't query agent #2 just yet. But I feel like any situation where the agency's makeup changes while you are actively querying creates some exceptions to the rules. I queried an agent at a great agency and got no reply, in the meantime, an agent from another agency whom I was planning to query moved to the same agency (which has a "no from one" policy). Because of the shakeup, and given that she would've been the agent I'd have chosen at that agency had she been there when I first queried, I went ahead and queried her anyway. She requested a full.

ETA: And, I didn't mention this the first time, but the fact that you're querying two totally different manuscripts also makes it a "yes" for me. In my instance, it was the same manuscript and I still went for it. In your case, given that it's two different books AND the agent is new to the agency? I would say those make it reasonable to query.

Just be professional and polite about it. There isn't a query jail.

Debbie V
03-05-2013, 12:18 AM
You need to check the agency's guidelines just in case they are happy for you to query like this: but I'd usually say that no, you should only query one agent at an agency at a time.

Here's why. Imagine you are agent one and you love the manuscript and hope to represent the author. Agent two comes in to the break room with a manuscript from the same author. How do you feel? You never want to make things awkward for the other person. Wait for a rejection or acceptance and then go forward.

WriteStarfish
03-05-2013, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone. Here's what happened- The first agent is a "no response is a no" and that's based solely off of a query letter- no sample pages. The agent states on the website when responses are usually received by. When that date passed, I queried the new agent who also happens to ask for sample pages with the query letter. I realize that sometimes agents get behind their guideline responses, so if I should happen to hear from the first agent with a request then I will explain what happened. As JSSchley mentions, these are two completely different genres and neither of the agents represent the other genre that the respective agent does- so there's no overlap. I'd have queried the new agent initially, since that agent represents what the majority of my work is but as I said the agent just started agenting there (the agent has been working on rights previously for the agency without any own clients). So, here's hoping!

Chris P
03-05-2013, 05:21 PM
You need to check the agency's guidelines just in case they are happy for you to query like this: but I'd usually say that no, you should only query one agent at an agency at a time.


Here's why. Imagine you are agent one and you love the manuscript and hope to represent the author. Agent two comes in to the break room with a manuscript from the same author. How do you feel? You never want to make things awkward for the other person. Wait for a rejection or acceptance and then go forward.

Even on completely separate projects? If I have two projects and haven't signed with any agent yet, why should I hold off on one until the other is picked up? I was under the impression it was acceptable for a writer to work with multiple agents if they had different projects with each one; I thought the agent represented the project and not necessarily the author. Is this not the case? Not trying to be difficult, this just goes against what I thought I understood.

Of course if I signed with an agent and had another project outstanding I'd let her know; that's just courtesy.

Old Hack
03-05-2013, 10:04 PM
Most agents represent writers, not single books. They deal with all of their author-clients' works. It's very unusual for a writer to have more than one literary agent.

And yes, you should still only query one agent per agency at a time, for the reasons given by Debbie V.

Chris P
03-05-2013, 10:15 PM
Most agents represent writers, not single books. They deal with all of their author-clients' works. It's very unusual for a writer to have more than one literary agent.

Wow. Live and learn. Thanks.

Wilde_at_heart
03-06-2013, 08:25 PM
Most agents represent writers, not single books. They deal with all of their author-clients' works. It's very unusual for a writer to have more than one literary agent.


That's always been my understanding... However, considering clarification from the OP:


Thanks for the input, everyone. Here's what happened- The first agent is a "no response is a no" and that's based solely off of a query letter- no sample pages. The agent states on the website when responses are usually received by. When that date passed, I queried the new agent who also happens to ask for sample pages with the query letter. I realize that sometimes agents get behind their guideline responses, so if I should happen to hear from the first agent with a request then I will explain what happened. As JSSchley mentions, these are two completely different genres and neither of the agents represent the other genre that the respective agent does- so there's no overlap. I'd have queried the new agent initially, since that agent represents what the majority of my work is but as I said the agent just started agenting there (the agent has been working on rights previously for the agency without any own clients). So, here's hoping!

I think in that scenario it's perfectly reasonable, imho, since you weren't really trying to get the attention of both at the same time.

Debbie V
03-11-2013, 10:35 PM
Some agencies are fine with querying more than one at the agency, but not at the same time and not with the same work. I believe Andrea Brown asks you to wait six months before trying someone else. The addition of someone new may change things, but I'd still check guidelines carefully. The rest is a cost benefit analysis: worst case - auto rejection, best case -new agent loves you.