September 12th, 2007

books

from the mixed-up files of Agent Manners

Dear Agent Manners,
When one finds an agency that has multiple agents that look like good possibilities for a manuscript, what is the proper procedure for querying there? One agent at a time and wait for the rejections before querying another, or can one submit to multiple agents at the same agency at the same time? Is it possible that if one agent doesn't like it they might walk it over to their coworker because the coworker might? In a related question, what about submitting to multiple freelance editors for the same house (like Tor?)
Signed,
Curious in California

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Dear Curious:

It seems to me eminently more powerful and useful to target specific agents as you will, of course, ideally be hiring the agent to handle your work personally. Therefore, I would recommend querying only one individual at an agency. It is possible they will refer the material to a colleague more apt to pursue it.

As for Tor (or any other publishing house), I prefer to choose editors based on their tastes as I have come to know them, and therefore avoid the scattershot approach which is much less likely to yield the best results for the time and resources invested.