What in the name of Justin Bobby has happened to The Hills?? Last night’s drama focused on whether or not Whitney and Lauren’s headsets WERE ON THE SAME RADIO FREQUENCY during a fashion show in a church (you heard correctly). Really, The Hills? This is how far we’ve fallen? We’re relying on freaking walkie talkies to provide our entertainment? What’s next, Spencer and Brody get into an argument about homeboy phone ring tones??
I’m not over this. Even Justin Bobby was acting vaguely normal last night, even if he apparently has a physical handicap that forces him to turn his head horizontally when he speaks (I’m sending a get-well card). Luckily next week it looks like Lauren Conrad and Heidi are going to throw down over whatever it is they’re fighting about, but if this week’s episode is any indication they’re probably going to argue about which Star Trek movie is the best.
Anyway, lots of people have been asking me about query policies for re-querying an agent and for querying different agents within the same agency. These types of rules vary from agency to agency, so please do your best to first figure out the agency’s submission guidelines, and those prevail. But if you’re not able to find anything, here’s my general rule of thumb (keep in mind this is just my opinion):
Querying Another Agent Within the Same Agency
I would never simultaneously query agents within the same agency — it’s always better to target your agent search as much as possible, which both increases your chances of finding the right match and helps you personalize your queries. But if you receive a “no” from one agent and you feel another agent might be a good fit: wait a few months after you receive the “no” (or six months if there’s no response) before querying the next agent, and send another personalized letter (and if you can’t personalize due to lack of information, shake up your letter) — you never know whether agents share assistants, and no agent wants to feel like they’re on a vast distribution list (and no assistant wants to repeatedly read the same letter. And pass it to the agent with a “rejection” recommendation. And print out another rejection letter. And give it to the agent for them to sign. And putting it in the envelope. And sealing the envelope and putting it in the mail. And responding to calls from people who are wondering where their query is and having to locate the record of that query among the thousands of others. Frankly it’s a wonder more assistants don’t become serial killers).
Re-querying the same agent
Wait six months. This one is important, because there are few things more annoying for an agent than passing on one project only to receive an e-mail five minutes later saying, “OK, what about this one?” and, after that one is rejected, receiving another one that says, “OK, what about this one?” (and this has happened enough that I just don’t even respond to the follow-up query — sorry, but I’m not going to get myself into a query mobeus strip)
If you receive a no but really like the agent, give it some time, work on your writing, take another look at your query letter for your new project, and six months later if you have a completed project it’s fine to try again. But your odds of getting a manuscript request are approximately, oh I’d say 0% if you immediately re-query.
Please be sure and check the comments section if you have further questions (and ask away, I’ll try and answer), and in the meantime, let’s just all hope The Hills regains some semblance of the dramatic lunacy we’ve come to know and love.