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Questions About Etiquette
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:39 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

I thought I'd start a thread about query etiquette questions that we might have as to not trod on any toes or make a misstep during the agent-seeking process.

My question is this: when two agents request partials around the same time, are you supposed to send the partials to both or only one? And if you do send partials to both agents, do they need to be apprised?

Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:32 AM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

You should send partials to both. In fact, I would very much argue against ever granting an agent an exclusive. (I never asked for exclusives when I was an agent, by the way.) I think that exclusives reward the agent but limit the writer's options.

I'd be happy to answer other etiquette questions here, too!
Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:10 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

Thank you! I've had my finger hovering over the "send" button all day. I've not been expressly asked for an exclusive. I've heard horror stories from writers who grant agents exclusives and then don't hear from them for months (or don't hear from them by the end of the requested period).

Hopefully, others will chime in with their etiquette questions. This is a tough process. And it's also really strange, when one takes a step back and looks at it from a distance.
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:03 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46

Very few agents require exclusives now, and a good thing to do is ask them how long they would want the exclusive, or to suggest a timeline. If they say "however long it takes", that would be a hindrance to you.

You can move agents who require exclusives (their websites or querytracker should let you know) further down on your querying list to start with, to possibly avoid the issue at all.

I'd suggest offering them 6-8 weeks and then following up. If they ask for a little more time (a week or so), that would probably be acceptable.
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 10:59 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


Thanks for your input, too. If I'd waited on each agent, I'd be doing myself a ginormous disservice. Four partials are out now. Just listening to water dripping. Think I'm going to hold off on querying anymore until I hear back from these. It's getting too hard to keep track of who has what.
Posted: Sunday, April 3, 2011 3:47 AM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 8

I've actually had agents (usually well-known at big agencies) request exclusives both on partials and fulls. I just let them know that I couldn't offer an exclusive because other agents were already reading the MS, but if they wanted to read, I would definitely notify them immediately if I received an offer. Most of the time they say go ahead and send it, but they don't give you top priority then.
Michael R Underwood
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 3:43 PM
Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 74

Just be sure that you always go for full disclosure if an agent asks for an exclusive and it's already elsewhere. I'd agree with the folks who say go ahead and send, just let them know.

And if an agent doesn't say in their correspondence or site that they ask for exclusives, assume they don't care.
Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2011 11:20 PM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

I have had problems with the exclusive requests with two and I have never heard a thing back from either and their websites promise that. My work has probably fallen through the cracks so I am moving on. Dec-Apr is a long time to wait for nothing.


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