Querying while a partial is out

Dear Miss Snark:

I am new at this querying business and recently received a request for a partial, which I sent. As requested, I sent it by e-mail and haven't heard back yet (it's been a couple of weeks). My question: I realize that it may take a fairly long time until I do hear back, so what is the etiquette about continuing to query other agents while I wait? She did NOT ask for an exclusive on the partial. Is it a no no to continue on my quest for an agent or would I be naive to stop doing so until I receive her answer? Is it even a given that I will definitely hear back?

You can and should keep querying till you get an offer. Your query letters don't need to mention anyone is looking at a partial either; in fact it's better not to. We all assume multiple submissions these days. I'm always shocked if something isn't.

It's not a given you'll hear back, much to the everlasting shame of my side of the industry.


Anonymous said...

Get that list out, or make one up: legitimate agents you feel suit your writing. Then query them at least five at a time.

When one comes back, send out another two. And keep at it until you've interested an agent, or determined that this particular piece of writing is better suited to staying in a box under your bed.

Lou said...

Digression: Most email programs have a template/stationery function. Why don't agents just hit the Reply button for a query they're not interested in, hit another button to insert the template/stationery form rejection, then hit Send? (Or, if this is too technologically challenging, just type it out into a notepad program, shortcut ot to the desktop, and drag to the Reply?) Is there just too much email to bother?