Dear Miss Snark,
I signed with my agent almost a year ago, but she hasn't had any luck selling my manuscript. I feel that she is submitting, doing her job, but I don't feel she is as much of a go-getter as I would like. Now, I have a new completed manuscript, very different than the first, and I don't feel she would be right to represent it. What is the protocol? Sever my relationship with her first, then query other agents? Query agents now and let them know I am currently represented by someone else? What is the proper etiquette?
Thank you for your advice and I look forward to hearing your response.
Well, you're not going to like the response but here it is anyway.
You have to end your relationship with your first agent BEFORE you query anyone else. Anyone who says differently is an idiot.
Here's why: publishing is a small world. You have no idea who your agent knows or who she talks to or what gets said. You start shopping your ms around and your agent finds out second hand and you're toast. The liklihood that she will find out is in direct propoprtion to how much you DON'T want her to know, too.
And on the other side of things, if you query me before you part ways with your agent and I find out it's an automatic rejection. Even if you write really really well.