Hi Miss Snark,
So glad you finally reemerged and are, again, putting out flaming tresses.
We all know that EXCLUSIVES SUCK. So here's the dilemma: A number of agents request sample chapters (often up to 50 pages) as part of the initial query process. A couple others always request the full, skipping the partial step, when they are interested. The full and/or query + partials then languish for months in the slush.
Is it then, a little white lie or a whopper to send requested materials on an exclusive basis (Just for laughs, assume the exclusive period is a short and well-defined one.) if, in fact, partials and fulls are in limbo somewhere at the bottom of a crushingly-huge slush pile or floating ethereally in cyber-neverland?
What to do; what to do?!
Kisses to KY,
It is NOT ok to lie. You must say "I'm glad to send you my ms, but I have had serveral querie/partials/fulls out previous to this and while I've not heard back from these agents, they do have the work".
If an agent doesn't choose to read something after hearing that, well, you're disappointed but you're NOT in danger of looking like a duplicitous scoundrel.
Exclusives stink for a lot of reasons. One of them is that it puts prospective clients in awkward positions for OUR convenience. That really stinks.
I never ask for exclusives. I do ask if anyone else is reading the work. I know if four other agents are interested, I'd better be prepared to read promptly AND be persuasive about the charms of hanging your hat at Snark Central. To sign a client without letting them explore all their options is BAD AGENTING.
There's no business reason or advantage to a client for exclusive review. None. If any of my colleagues care to dispute this, I'll be glad to post it and let the discussion rage.
(KY says "enough with the love talk; where are the cookies?")