It seems like a never-ending blog post, but clearly it never hurts to remind people. I got an email today from someone that had so many things wrong with it I don’t know where to begin.
First of all, she tells me that she sent an email query to Jacky, but since Jacky was on vacation she thought she’d send it to me instead. Patience, people. An out-of-office email doesn’t mean we’re not getting your email, it just means it might take a day, week, or even two weeks to get back to you. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should take that as a rejection and immediately query everyone else in the office. Now what are you going to do if both agents request the material? And then what if both agents like it and want to represent you? You’ve already created animosity for yourself and your name in-house, and I’ll tell you that the agency isn’t going to leave it up to you to pick who you like best. In fact, to avoid trouble in-house some agencies might make the “life’s too short” decision. Life’s too short to fight over an author who can’t follow the rules, therefore we’ll just reject her.
Then she tells me that I already have a partial of hers (in fact I know I just received it a few weeks ago) but thought that since Jacky represents more of the particular genre of her new book she would send it to her. Well, she’s wrong. If she had reviewed our Web site she would see that this is, in fact, a genre Jacky doesn’t represent and I do. So where she’s getting her information is interesting. In addition, why would you want to start building a relationship with one agent and then switch in the middle? Don’t do this. Don’t burn your bridges within one agency. Once you’ve committed, try to continue submitting to the same agent. If, for some reason, you decide you would do better with someone else within the agency, you’ll have to wait until all of your proposals are read before making that switch.