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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: MArouet on June 30, 2009, 02:51:17 PM

Title: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: MArouet on June 30, 2009, 02:51:17 PM
So I just had an agent request an exclusive read of the first three chapters of my work. This sent up red flags for me not only because I've read that one should never grant exclusivity on partials, but also because I just sent another agent a partial of my work on Friday. Should I tell the agent requesting exclusivity that I can't give it because of the other agent? Should I contact the other agent and say that someone else is requesting an exclusive read and can I get a time frame of when she will be done with the partial? Should I not say anything to either and send off the new partial without acknowledging the request?

Thanks so much for butting up with my querying neurosis!
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: violet on June 30, 2009, 02:59:18 PM
Personally, I'd respond to the effect of, "I'd love to give you exclusivity but unfortunately, the manuscript is already out with several agents."

This is acceptable (and true!) and it will light a fire under her/him, knowing she's got competition.

Just my .02 of course.

Good luck and congrats!!  :clap:
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: Aiala on June 30, 2009, 03:12:22 PM
Partial exclusivity hamstrings your submission process and frees the agent from feeling any necessity to get the lead out.

If they're genuinely interested, they'll ask for the partial without strings. If not, <bleep> 'em. Plenty more where they came from.  :)

~A~
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: Lizzerbear on June 30, 2009, 03:15:39 PM
Congrats on the partial, MArouet! I'd have asked for it, too!  ;D
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: MArouet on June 30, 2009, 03:20:13 PM
Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice, guys! You have no idea how much this site has helped me through the whole querying process...

I did think of one more question: for email requests for partials, do I just send it out as a reply to the email the agent sent, or should I send a new email?
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: bodwen on June 30, 2009, 03:34:04 PM
Reply.  That way they can scroll down and read the details of the inital query if they need to.

Excellent wording, Violet.  You don't mind if I borrow that verbatim?   :)
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: MArouet on June 30, 2009, 03:47:35 PM
Thanks!  ;D
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: violet on June 30, 2009, 04:18:06 PM
Reply.  That way they can scroll down and read the details of the inital query if they need to.

Excellent wording, Violet.  You don't mind if I borrow that verbatim?   :)

Always hit reply-Bowden's right--then they can see what they wrote to you, the query, etc.

Bowden-Borrow away!  ;D
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: twoheadknight on June 30, 2009, 04:49:45 PM
I 3rd what Violet said  :clap:.  Agents blog about this occasionally, and basically all agree that they feel less pressure to respond quickly if something's exclusive, and love to jump all over what other agents are interested in.  If they know others have requested it, it can only help fan the flames  :up:.

GOOD LUCK and keep us posted!
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: JeanneT on June 30, 2009, 05:01:08 PM
On replying via email--you may want to change the subject to "requested material" though.
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: MArouet on June 30, 2009, 05:55:39 PM
Good advice, thanks!!
Title: Re: The dreaded question of partial exclusivity
Post by: HorsebackWriter on July 17, 2009, 07:10:56 PM

This is one of the best kind of emails to write to agents -- that other agents are already reading your ms. Enjoy it! Congrats on the requests, woo hoo for you!

I agree with JeanneT -- change the email subject heading to Requested Material.

Also, I always send partials, even email partials, with a cover letter pasted into the email.

Actually, good advice here about more than one agent reading your stuff AND cover letters:

http://www.annemini.com/?p=1858

Em