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John asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Is it ethical to approach more than one literary agent at a time?

Even when invited to send part of the novel and synopsis, it can be 3 months or more, and then result in a rejection slip. Why not let several be mulling it over at the same time?

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    John, it is ABSOLUTELY ethical. Many agents will tell you that they'll only consider a client if given "exclusive review." This is totally unacceptable. Many agents will leave the writer on hold for months and months, and then, never have the courtesy to get back in touch.

    If you give every agent that benefit, you'll never get represented until you're 7 years in your grave. Knowing the constraints of their own time, it is unethical for an agent to ask for exclusivity. I say bombard the agents.

    I don't know if you've see this site. I'm including it for you. It has pages and pages of agents, many of whom accept online queries. Go for all of them.

    Cheers, mate.

  • 1 decade ago

    Look at the agent's guidelines. Some will say simultaneous submissions are ok. Others will say no. You do not want to tick off agents by having two or more fighting over your book. Word gets around very quickly.

    Of course, chances are no one will be fighting over your book and it won't matter, but just in case look at their guidelines.

    Source(s): 7 books published with no agent.
  • 1 decade ago

    Approach, yes. Sign with, no. Once you sign with one agent, you shouldn't still be working with others. An agent would look really bad if she sent a publisher a novel they'd already received from someone else, and you would certainly get a bad name.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah - send it to as many as you can John. Then, when you do get a response, play one off against another (even if you have only one offer).

    I've never made a secret of the fact that I've used more than one agent at the same time - some don't like it, but it does keep some of them on their toes.

    They are a bit like estate agents I find. They're actually quite useful and knowledgeable when they decide to get their finger out - but you have to give them a good kick occasionally to make sure they are actually doing some work for you.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • It's fine, as long as, a) the agent allows simultaneous submissions, and, b) you let them know in the letter.

  • 1 decade ago

    it is ethical--your shopping your product and want as much exposure as possible. Do you think they care about you or if they can make any money off of you ?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Man, everyone is looking to screw you into the ground. Look after yourself.

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