re: 1 Manuscript, 2 Agents. What Should I Do?

in Submissions by

Dear Editor…

I met an agent at a conference who asked me to email my picture book to her. I did and she responded by giving me the names of two other agents who she strongly suggested that I contact.

I contacted a different agent at the same agency where one of the referred agents works. It has been a month and I’ve received no response from the agent. I’d still like to contact the referred agent yet I worry about contacting two agents at the same agency.

Can I contact the agent who was referred at the same agency by giving the name of the agent who gave the referral,  and mentioning the first agent’s name who I had already contacted at that agency?

Please advise.


Dear Sara…

This isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Simply explain the situation and let the agents decide. Contact the agent you were referred to and say that So-and-So referred you because he thought you’d be a good match . . . you respect So-and-So’s judgment but must point out that the manuscript is already with Colleague Agent . . . you respect the entire agency and would be honored to be represented by either agent . . . you’ll respect the agency’s decision about which agent should handle the submission. That’s respectful (three times over!), forthright, and appropriate. I was in a similar scenario as an editor, and all it took was a quick phone call, one editor to another, to decide who’d handle the submission. Easy-peasy.

Happy writing!

The Editor

1 Comment

  1. What a glorious position to be in. 2 agent referrals. That’s the way I look at it. And I agree with Dear-Editor, being honest and “respectful” is always key. Not just for agents, but business in general. I get situations like this in my day job all the time. What wins the day for me is when someone is polite and honest. Then they’ve earned my “respect” as I imagine you will the agents’. Good luck!

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