Requests for Exclusives

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Requests for Exclusives

Post by pabrown » January 5th, 2010, 11:39 pm

I searched the archives and can't find anywhere this has been covered, though I'm sure it's been mentioned before. How do you handle it when you have a few queries out, some for a few months without a word, and you come across an agent you'd really like to query but they insist on an exclusive? One, I question the fairness of that -- if we sent out our queries one at a time and had to wait for a response before sending another, it would take years to send out a dozen, let alone the number that may be needed to find an agent who bites.

Plus, some of these agents may not reply. They still have my query and I've heard from people who had all but given up on an agent only to have them come out of the blue and ask for a partial or full, so they're not necessarily dormant. Do I just send the query and take my chances? I held off on sending queries over the holidays but I'm gearing up again and this is one agent I really want to approach.

I'd like the opinion of people more experienced in this whole query game before I jump in and end up with my foot in my mouth.

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Re: Requests for Exclusives

Post by casnow » January 6th, 2010, 7:14 am

nathan's blog post brings up a huge question, which is how long is the exclusive period? The other question that you bring up, which is a good one, is how long do you go without a reply before you consider it rejected? I personally think if an agent hasn't made the time to write me a rejection letter within 60 days then it is a rejection (if it took longer than that I'd seriously wonder how good their communication skills are).

I personally think asking for an exclusive at the query stage is a little dirty knowing how many queries agents receive every year.

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