View Full Version : Sending simultaneous proposals - yes or no?

07-29-2004, 06:41 AM
Something happened I totally didn't expect - I sent out seven queries and five came back within a few hours asking to see my proposal and sample chapters.

No one has asked for an exclusive look, and I can't find anything on their websites that says they have policies on getting exclusive looks at proposals.

I've read different things on websites and in books - some say never send out simultaneous proposals; others say it's OK unless policy forbids or you've agreed to an exclusive.

Just curious ... what do you all say? Is it OK to have several agents reading your proposal at once?


aka eraser
07-29-2004, 08:47 AM
If none have asked for an exclusive it's not a problem. It can be a courtesy to say "this is a simultaneous submission" on an initial pitch but nowadays, with agents, I think that's assumed.

07-29-2004, 12:23 PM
Thank you aka eraser.

You have an attractive website, BTW. I like the fishing pole crossed with the pen. Clever. :clap

07-29-2004, 02:29 PM
That assumes their guidelines don't specific no sim. subs.

aka eraser
07-29-2004, 08:13 PM
Agents may ask for exclusives on complete manuscripts but I've never seen one whose guidelines ask for them on queries or proposals.

Thanks for the compliment Uffda. :)

07-30-2004, 07:49 PM
...but, why would anyone send a proposal to an agent?... they don't buy the work, they just try to sell it... so what's the point?... sending a proposal for a non-fiction book directly to publishers makes sense, as they often will advance a small sum to get a lock on a promising idea they think will make money, if the writer convinces them he/she can deliver the finished goods...

but i see no reason why an agent would even bother reading a proposal... am i being dense?... or am i just old, and agents spend their valuable time on not-written-yet stuff these days?

love and hugs, maia

07-30-2004, 10:57 PM
maia: The major houses will not even look at proposals unless they come from agents. And, I've never heard of submitting a fully written non-fiction manuscript to anyone.

07-31-2004, 08:32 PM
not entirely true... many houses [even some of the majors] will look at a proposal if a query piques their interest... i just haven't come across agents who'll be interested in a work by an unknown writer that's not ready to sell yet... but i've been out of the commercial end of writing for quite a while, so things may have changed... best of luck with everything!

hugs, m

Noddy Rider
12-30-2006, 05:39 AM
This thread is 2.5 years old - do you agree with the general consensus that it's OK to send simultaneous proposals to agents provided there is nothing in (a) their submission guidelines or (b) their response to your query that your submission must be exclusive?

One agent requested my proposal on an exclusive basis. I told him that it was already in the hands of a dozen agents. He sent me a scathing note that he wasn't going to waste his time on a writer who didn't know the rules. :rant:

This confused and alarmed the heck out of me. Jeff Herman (the proposal guru, right?) specifically said that he didn't expect exclusivity, and another agent said to let her know if my status changed (and I don't think she meant my marital status).

Thoughts? Thanks.


12-30-2006, 05:46 AM
They probably meant a writer who didn't know their rules.

After all, there was no point submitting to them, knowing they would want exclusivity, if you'd already submitted elsewhere, or given your manuscript to someone else.

Of course, I use 'submit' to mean a partial or full, not just a query.

Noddy Rider
12-30-2006, 05:56 AM
Thanks scarletpeaches. I was losing sleep, thinking I had committed a fatal faux pas and trashed my writing career before it even started ...