View Full Version : Question about querying multiple agents

12-13-2014, 06:00 PM
Hello, I was hoping for some advice.
I've begun querying agents this month though I realize it's a tough time to get responses given the holidays. I have had a couple of requests for the full, however.

My question is about timing. And, admittedly, it's an optimistic question, but I'll ask it anyway. If one agent demonstrates interest, is it fair to keep them waiting until I hear back from others? And if so, what is considered a "fair" amount of time?

I want to be considerate to both the interested party and those that haven't had the chance to look yet. And, also give myself time to get a clear picture of the full opportunity without blowing my chances with the interested party.

Thank you!

12-13-2014, 06:16 PM
Hi NewNYwriter!

Others will explain and word this better, but generally the process is they'll ask for extra material based on your query/pages. Generally this isn't as promising as it sounds - you're still "auditioning" so to speak.

If an agent then contacts you for a phone call or a meeting to discuss representaton, and you have other fulls out, let the offering agent know you'll make a decision in a week or two. Contact the others who have partials or fulls, let them know you have an offer of rep, and give them a time limit to finish reading your work. They may offer or pass. You can make your decision and let all the offering agents know.

ETA: Less than 2 weeks is standard as far as time limits. But from a full to a request? That can take MONTHS. Good luck!

12-13-2014, 07:27 PM
Thank you so much for your reply. I realize I may be putting the cart before the horse here. :) I just want to make sure that I know what to do if the opportunity arises. I have a tendency to rush through things and want to make sure I don't jump too quickly.

So basically, if an agent offers to represent me, sounds like I should go back to the others I reached out to and let them know they need to hustle if interested. :)

thanks again!

12-13-2014, 07:32 PM
When I was in the happy position of having an offer, I asked the agent for two weeks to hear back from others. Hope that helps!

12-13-2014, 07:43 PM
Thanks! Can I ask how many agents you queried? I've got about 10 out right now and not sure if I should send more.

12-13-2014, 08:11 PM
Batches of 10 are about right, I think. That way you can see what is working and what isn't, then tweak accordingly for your next batch. Or, some people send one out when they get a response from one: one in, one out

Your list of possible agents can range from anything from 50 to 150 depending on genre i guess!

12-13-2014, 08:16 PM
Personally, I queried about 100 BUT, it was only until agent 30-40 when I realised I had to lift my game query-wise. And agent wise! I had queried a few who didn't quite rep my cross-genre genre.

I queried in batches of 10-15, and made certain to personalise each one.

Mine came at #61, although I still had a few requests coming in by then, I politely had to decline to send material! And then there was a horrible few weeks of trying to fight time-zones and poor internet connections (I live in Australia...)

If you read query forums and say, the querytracker.com success stories, the average successful querier has about 50 queries. So don't give up until there is NOBODY left!

12-13-2014, 08:46 PM
And even then, don't give up. Set aside the mms until you have some emotional distance, and figure out if it can be salvaged or sent to more appropriate markets. Write something new. Query that.

Aggy B.
12-13-2014, 11:53 PM
I agree with what's been said before and would also point out that it's okay to let agents know that you have other requests. (I wouldn't mention particular names unless they specifically ask.) And I wouldn't make a big deal about it, but it gives the agents who have requested material a heads-up on the fact that there is other interest. Just a simple line that says "This MS is on submission to other agents."

12-14-2014, 05:15 PM
Great input, thanks so much! I've got about 11 out so far, maybe I will send more. I haven't by default been letting agents know that other agents are reading it, but one did ask, so I told her. I'm guessing things are going to be slowing down now that the holidays are upon us, so I don't expect to hear back until into 2015.

Given the response so far, I *think* the pitch is working, so maybe I'll send out another small handful.

Thanks again!