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shroud
04-16-2013, 09:17 AM
Do the agents within an agency have staff meetings to decide what will or won't be accepted, or does the agent you query decide the work's fate solely for him/herself? Is a rejection from one a rejection from all? (I have seen one website where it is plainly stated that this is the case.)

If different agencies do it, well, differently, is there a vocational norm, a certain pattern that is followed by the majority?

Old Hack
04-16-2013, 10:43 AM
Every agency handles things differently. But they will usually tell you in their submission guidelines if a rejection from one agent is a rejection from them all.

MandyHubbard
04-16-2013, 10:10 PM
Do the agents within an agency have staff meetings to decide what will or won't be accepted, or does the agent you query decide the work's fate solely for him/herself? Is a rejection from one a rejection from all? (I have seen one website where it is plainly stated that this is the case.)

If different agencies do it, well, differently, is there a vocational norm, a certain pattern that is followed by the majority?
I'm not aware of any agencies who have an "acquisition meeting" type set up in which they weigh in on potential clients. At the vast majority of agencies, agents decide on their own whether to pass or offer representation. That said, at many agencies the junior/assistant agents do have a boss or associate read at least a portion of the projects and give a second opinion.

Hack is right about the no from one /no from all being at some agencies, but this doesn't mean that they actually shared the project around.

Old Hack
04-16-2013, 10:54 PM
I'm not aware of any agencies who have an "acquisition meeting" type set up in which they weigh in on potential clients. At the vast majority of agencies, agents decide on their own whether to pass or offer representation. That said, at many agencies the junior/assistant agents do have a boss or associate read at least a portion of the projects and give a second opinion.

Most of the agencies I've had dealings with use interns and/or assistants to filter out the most appropriate submissions

Once the best ones have been singled out, they are either passed to the most appropriate agent in the agency, or passed to the agent who the submission was sent to; or the agents each take a selection of the submissions, read through them, then get together to discuss the various projects and decide if the writer should be offered representation and which agent in the agency would be best suited to them.


Hack is right about the no from one /no from all being at some agencies, but this doesn't mean that they actually shared the project around.Submissions often are shared around, though: if an agent receives a submission they think is good but it's one they don't feel able to represent--perhaps they feel the book would clash with one they are already working on, or they have enough [insert genre here] authors on their list--but they think that one of the other agents at their agency might be interested in it, and able to take it on, then they will pass it over. It makes more sense than rejecting it at that stage.

MandyHubbard
04-17-2013, 02:35 AM
Most of the agencies I've had dealings with use interns and/or assistants to filter out the most appropriate submissions

Once the best ones have been singled out, they are either passed to the most appropriate agent in the agency, or passed to the agent who the submission was sent to; or the agents each take a selection of the submissions, read through them, then get together to discuss the various projects and decide if the writer should be offered representation and which agent in the agency would be best suited to them.

Submissions often are shared around, though: if an agent receives a submission they think is good but it's one they don't feel able to represent--perhaps they feel the book would clash with one they are already working on, or they have enough [insert genre here] authors on their list--but they think that one of the other agents at their agency might be interested in it, and able to take it on, then they will pass it over. It makes more sense than rejecting it at that stage.

Yes, I personally use interns to weed out the stuff that is outside of my interests/read fulls and give opinions/etc. Our agency has inboxes specific to each agent, so my interns only look at my slush, not the agency-wide slush pile.

I took the initial question as: if an agent wants to offer rep, do they take it to a big meeting and get approval? And at most agencies, unless the agent is a jr./assistant/assocaite agent, the agent does not need approval. Most agents are able to sign whatever they feel passionately about.

And yes, we do share around things that seem to have real merit, but when i said, "Hack is right about the no from one /no from all being at some agencies, but this doesn't mean that they actually shared the project around."...... What I meant was you cannot assume that once you receive your rejection that means it got shared around and everyone said no. That's just not the case in most situations/agencies.

shroud
04-17-2013, 03:14 AM
I was trying to find information without having to put up "the post of shame", but it's probably best just to do it and be the object of scorn and ridicule. Here goes...

I've recently finished work on a colossal manuscript (yes, I'm that guy), one of such monumental proportions that it doesn't have a realistic chance of being accepted. Considering the input I've gotten on AW, I've gone back in to trim it down and split the work into two.

The issue is that I've already queried a small number of agents about the megascript, and, as I was told on these boards, the rejections have started to come in. Assuming these agents couldn't get past the word count, will I be able to query the new, leaner, and multi-book work to another agent within the same agency, or have I been branded, never to be spoken of again?

Also, I've read somewhere on here that the "acceptable" time before you should query the same agent about the same work (after changes, of course) is one year. Does this still hold true or should I adopt the "they can kill me, but they can't eat me" strategy? This means that the result of failure isn't so bad as to keep you from trying, and I should resubmit the work.

zegota
04-17-2013, 05:46 AM
I was trying to find information without having to put up "the post of shame", but it's probably best just to do it and be the object of scorn and ridicule. Here goes...

I've recently finished work on a colossal manuscript (yes, I'm that guy), one of such monumental proportions that it doesn't have a realistic chance of being accepted. Considering the input I've gotten on AW, I've gone back in to trim it down and split the work into two.

The issue is that I've already queried a small number of agents about the megascript, and, as I was told on these boards, the rejections have started to come in. Assuming these agents couldn't get past the word count, will I be able to query the new, leaner, and multi-book work to another agent within the same agency, or have I been branded, never to be spoken of again?

Also, I've read somewhere on here that the "acceptable" time before you should query the same agent about the same work (after changes, of course) is one year. Does this still hold true or should I adopt the "they can kill me, but they can't eat me" strategy? This means that the result of failure isn't so bad as to keep you from trying, and I should resubmit the work.

If you've substantially revised the work, I see no harm in requerying, especially if it's been 6 months to a year. For one thing, if you never made it past the query stage, it's unlikely any of the agents will remember you anyway. For another, even in the very unlikely event that they disapprove of your requery, it's hardly the sort of thing that's going to get you blacklisted, so the worst you can expect is a no or a no response.

EDIT: I see now that you're asking about pitching the new manuscript to different agents in the same agency, which is definitely okay. Again, I'd say you're probably safe to query even the agents you queried before.

kaitie
04-17-2013, 07:20 AM
I'd send to other agents in the agency, too, as long as there isn't a communal email address that submissions go to. I know this is technically breaking a guideline, but I did it myself on the suggestion of an agent, who basically said "Even when we think we know what our colleagues would like, we're not always right and might miss the chance to pass something on." She'd had a recent case where an author she'd rejected and hadn't passed on had then submitted to another agent at the agency, and the second agent loved it.

I was rejected at my agency before I sent again (against the guidelines).