My first round of queries to several well-known agents resulted in positive responses from their assistants.
The responses were essentially the same: "Joe Agent would be delighted to read your manuscript. Please sent it to the address below and we'll read it as soon as possible. Signed, John Assistant."
This may be a stupid question, but do I address the package and cover letter to the assistant or to the agent? I figure I should start the cover letter with a "Per John Assistant's email, I am submitting... Blah blah blah" so it doesn't get tossed in the trash or whatever... but I know how assistants in my line of work react when they think they're being dismissed by someone as
just being "the assistant."
What's the proper protocol? Does it even matter?
Well, it probably doesn't matter, but that doesn't mean you won't obsess about this.
I actually have this happen too. I'll call up the estimable Liz Scheir to pitch my fabulous new find "Space Ark" only to end up talking to her overworked and underpaid but deeply appreciated assistant Felix Buttonweazer. Felix, clever lad that he is, says "send it over".
My cover letter to Liz says "Dear Liz, I was glad to hear of your interest in Space Ark from Felix Buttonweazer on Thursday. Herewith. Send check. Love, Snarkles".
So, the short answer is you address it to the agent on the envelope and on the salutation but you reference the conversation or email exchange with the actual person you communicated with.