Query about a query

Today's post is going to be a short one.  I've sent three email queries thus far, (with a few more to go out later in the week) and one has already resulted in a very polite email from the agent stating that her plate is full at this present time.

I don't have time to look for the *many* links I have saved regarding sending multiple submissions (to more than one agent in the same agency) but I'm going to act as though my mind is functioning properly and assume I did read that if said agent isn't presently able to receive queries, then sending one to a different agent at the same agency is okay.  Right?

Has anyone had this happen to them?  If so, what did you do?


Anne Gallagher said...

I don't believe this is a good idea. Jessica Faust has a bunch of things on her blog about this, as do Janet Reid, Nathan Bransford, Scott Egan.

I believe if you sent it to one agent at said agency, if she couldn't handle it, she would have already passed it on to another agent at same agency to look at.

At least that's what one of mine did. She said she didn't think it was right for her but she did hand it off to another at same agency.

I think what you received is a very polite no. I'm sorry. However I'm sure others will be able to set you straight.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Okey dokey. Thanks for responding so quickly. I figured if it wasn't something they wanted they'd just say "no", but maybe you're right. (Although why wouldn't they just say no, seems easier than explaining that they're way too busy right now... at least that's what I thought!)

Anne Gallagher said...

The problem is if you did send it to another agent at same agency, and she also says no, then you've burned that bridge. And there's no going back.

If I were you, I'd wait about six weeks, and if you get no takers, THEN query the other agent at same agency.

The problem with querying multiple agents at same agency is that agents talk, and if over coffee tomorrow morning Agent A says to Agent B, "Hey, I got some crazy ms. yesterday about a dog who talks to baseballs," and Agent B says, "Oh hey I got the same thing." You're pretty much done.

Travener said...

It depends on the agency. Some - Andrea Brown and BookEnds come to mind - state specifically that a query to one is a query to all. But my experience is that unless it's forbidden to query more than one agent at an agency it's OK, EXCEPT you shouldn't query more than one agent at an agency at a time. (FinePrint Literary is an exception - as far as they're concerned, you can query them all at the same time.)

So I would say go ahead and query Agent 1 at Agency A, and if that doesn't work, move on to Agent 2. But it's probably a wise idea to spread such queries out, as Piedmont Writer says. Also, the same intern might be reading for different agents, so better to wait. Since there's no shortage of agents, you shouldn't have any trouble finding other agencies to query before going back to ones you've queried before.

This, of course, assumes I have a clue as to what I'm talking about, which is at least questionable.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Thanks guys! I think I will go ahead and wait a few weeks and then send it to a different agent there. They do not state anywhere on their site not to do so - so at this point, that's what I'm going to do.

And Travener, I do believe that you DO know what you're talking about;)

Anita said...

Oh, this is so exciting! I can live vicariously through you. :)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

LOL Great Anita! So when I'm all depressed and rejected you can share my misery! Yay!;)

Anita said...

Oh, I forgot about that part. LOL
But, yes, I'll share that if you promise to keep pluggin away.

But...we're expectin' good things!!! :)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

I promise, Anita! =) And thanks!

Elizabeth Lynd said...

It depends on the agency. Some say a rejection from one is a rejection from all. Others say it's fine. I've had a full request from the president of an agency after two junior agents turned down the same query. So you should probably check to see what the deal is officially at that agency. Some agents are fine, too, if you re-query in a month or two, same project. Some aren't.

Not terribly helpful, probably, but accurate I hope. :)