An agent who asked to see the first three chapters of my manuscript emailed to decline it with the notation that it might be more suitable for a "small press audience." Questions: Are there agents who specialize in selling to small/independent presses? If not, is the direct query to a small press much the same as a query to an agent?
First, send a bag of flaming dog poop to whoever emailed this to you. (Killer Yapp will be happy to help you with this)
It's code for "it's not going to sell enough to be worth my time". Well la de dah with a horsefeather.
Yes there are agents who don't have their head up their ass. Look for agents with sales to smaller presses.
Many of us take pride in selling work to small presses, or selling first works to small presses, or selling works to small presses that do just dandy thank you very much.
And if you're approaching a small press directly it's like querying an agent. BUT if you land a contract, you must have it reviewed by an agent or an attorney or Miss Snark won't let you read her blog any more so there.