My full manuscript has been with one agent for one month and with another agent for four full months now. I emailed last Tuesday with a quick, friendly note looking for status on the four month one, but have not yet received a response. I mailed out a batch of twelve queries on Thursday. On Monday morning, I received an email request for a partial and synopsis. I emailed them Monday night. Tuesday morning, I woke up to a request in my inbox for a two week exclusive for the full! Ooooh, exciting!
But, of course, my full is out with other agents, and therefore would not be exclusive.
I've done my homework on these things. I know that some agents ONLY want exclusives and that others NEVER, EVER ask for them. I've been careful not to query agents whose guidelines state that they want exclusives. So, it was a little bit of a surprised when she asked for one.
Since she was so quick, I was willing to do it. Two weeks is nothing. I could stand to wait two weeks for her answer.
I thought it was in my best interests to be honest, so I sent her this email:
Dear Ms. [Agent]:
I really appreciate your quick responses! I would be pleased to send you my manuscript with two weeks of exclusivity.
As of today, however, I am still awaiting contact from agents who have had my full manuscript for quite some time. I can't offer you a truly exclusive look before I get responses from them.
If you'd like, I can send you the manuscript today with the offer to hold off on sending it to anyone else until your time frame for exclusivity has passed. If that is not agreeable to you, I can wait until I've received responses from the other agents and then send it to you at that point.
Please let me know how you would like me to proceed. I will be happy to accommodate you.
Best regards, Mindi [last name]
Dear Ms. [last name],
We can't invest the time in a project that's out with other agencies. So I must pass.
Best of luck with your writing career.
I'm shocked! I wasn't expecting a complete brush off. I was anticipating as a best case scenario that she'd say, "Oh, go ahead and send it to me today anyway!"
Worst case scenario she'd say, "I don't want to wait around, but feel free to contact me again later and I'll let you know if I'm still interested."
Ugh. I'm trying to shake off this sick feeling. I think I did the right thing. I just hate that it blew up in my face like this. Or maybe it didn't. Because I am now convinced that she's evil, so I'm glad to not be working with her.