Agents: How Many is Too Many?

Agent HuntI’ve now gone past researching agents to actually querying.  As I send out letters, I need to consider how many I want out at any given time.  Three?  Five?  Before I sent out my first letter, I decided on three.  Three seemed like a safe number to have out at any one time.

I sent my first query out, intending to work on the others later in the day, and went to lunch. When I came back from lunch I checked my e-mail.  When I saw I had a message from the agent, I thought “How considerate.  She’s letting me know she got my submission.”

Nope.  It was a rejection.  It was very kind.  It was even personal.  And she asked to see more of my work which is good.

I’ve always heard how long it takes to hear back from agents.  When I decided to send out no more than three queries out at a time, I worried that maybe the number was too low.  If it takes months at a time to hear back, maybe I should send out five at a time.

Now I’m thinking it might be more work than I thought to actually get three out at once.

In truth, I know the slow response is more typical than the two hour response.  This was an agent I had met at a conference.  My subject line clearly stated that this was a conference submission.  Maybe that moved it farther up the submission stack.  Or maybe she’s just super efficient.  She actually struck me that way at the conference. Regardless, I’m going to noodle over what other manuscripts I could send her.

On to my next agent submission.  Maybe if I send it out at 5 pm on a Friday it will take at least 3 days to hear back.

–SueBE