Simultaneous Submissions

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VinSev
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Simultaneous Submissions

Postby VinSev » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:13 pm

So I know that in the business, simultaneous submissions are something to be careful of. But I was wondering, what are the differences between submitting to an editor, and submitting to an agent?

I've heard that with editors, you might submit your book to multiple places at once, but if more than one house expresses interest, you should pick one, and tell the other politely that the book is currently under consideration, and that you will get back to them with further news. This lets them know that you are a professional, and that you know the rule about simultaneous submissions. If the first house declines your book, you can then tell the other that the book is now available.

But what about agents? Should the same rule apply? Most agencies ask that you only query one of their agents at a time, so that's straight forward, but what about querying multiple agencies at a time? I've heard stories of some writers querying multiple agents, getting more than one offer of representation, and then being able to choose which agent they preferred and thought they would work best with.

What do you guys think? Does this meet the rules of submissions etiquette? Or is it better to avoid simultaneous submissions in all forms?
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orbivillein
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Re: Simultaneous Submissions

Postby orbivillein » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:14 pm

Simultaneous submissions is to publications and subject to a publication's preference as indicated in a publication's submission guidelines. If editors are separate from a publication, for example, freelance, and hired for edit work prior to submission and a publication's acceptance, no overt reason against multiple proposal submissions, and writer then chooses from respondents. Literary agencies for much of agent representation's span have not minded simultaneous submissions; however, of late, some do and indicate so in their submission guidelines.

Sataris
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Re: Simultaneous Submissions

Postby Sataris » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:59 am

in general, agents expect that you're querying widely, but often ask that if you're offered representation before they've responded to your query you let them know and give them a week or so to respond (to decline or ask for pages).

You might get a request for an exclusive somewhere along the way, too, which is what it sounds like - the agent wants to know that they're the only one considering the MS. These are usually negotiated after the query process - 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc. If you're giving an exclusive, it should be relatively quick by publishing standards.

I'd probably be a little wary of agents that don't accept simultaneous queries. A few I know of will ask for the whole MS instead of a query and ask that it not be simultaneous, but for the agents that ask you to both query AND be exclusive before they've seen the MS...eh. Not saying they're illegitimate, I'd just maybe research them a bit more than the ones that are sticking closer to industry norms. There are a lot of scammers out there who pose as agents. People asking for reading fees for manuscripts etc.

if you get a full request and the manuscript is already under consideration elsewhere, you can tell the requesting agent that, too. can come off as pushy though, ymmv.

hope that helps!
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morganb
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Re: Simultaneous Submissions

Postby morganb » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:15 am

If you are looking for an agent to represent you, your best bet is to pick up a copy of Writers Market or subscribe to Writers Digest and find several who seem like they'd be a good fit for a) your work, b) your goals as a writer, and c) your personality. Write a brief letter to each and let them know what you're looking for and why, and also provide them with a list of your publishing credits. You can write to as many agents as you like, but will likely only be working with one at a time. If you get several responses, have a real conversation with them, ask questions to see if the two of you are a good fit since you'll be working with this person for a long while.

Keep in mind that agents have to make an income and don't work for free. They'll receive 15% of whatever price they can get for your work, so it's in their best interest to get as much as they can for your novels. If you are not yet publishing at a professional level, or they feel they cannot sell your work, they will likely not offer to represent you because they will be taking on a client who provides them with zero income.

Hope that helps!

~Morgan
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VinSev
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Re: Simultaneous Submissions

Postby VinSev » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:18 pm

Thanks for the info, guys! Super helpful.

-Vin
"The adverb is not your friend."
-Stephen King

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