Writers often ask whether it’s okay to do simultaneous submissions, meaning sending your query to multiple agents at one time. Just to ease your mind, most agents agree that it doesn’t make sense not to do simultaneous submissions. It’s too inefficient to send something to one agent, then wait until they respond before sending to someone else.
We expect that you’re simultaneously submitting. If you’re not, and instead you’re submitting to one person and hoping/emailing/begging them to respond, that person may not appreciate the pressure (flattering though it is). I promise, they are getting through their submissions as fast as they can.
Since we assume you’re sending to more than one agent at a time, you don’t have to mention in your letter that it’s a simultaneous submission.
It’s best to send your queries in batches. Choose maybe six to ten agents to query at a time, then wait four to six weeks, in which time you might get some feedback that can help you revise your query if necessary. Then send another batch.
Remember, even though you’re sending in batches, it’s best to personalize each email to the individual agent. Never put more than one agent’s email address in the “to” field and send to all at once. (This isn’t asking too much. Once an editor begins pitching your project to editors, they’ll personalize it every step of the way, from carefully choosing editors, to painstaking crafting pitch letters to send individually to each one, to following up at just the right time via phone.)
What if you’re at a conference, and you have agents and editors asking for you to send material? Definitely follow up by sending the requested material to everyone who asks. Some publishers will want you to have an agent before they contract you, but that would be a good problem to have and you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
How are you doing with YOUR query process?
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