Saturday, September 20, 2014
Querying is an emotional roller coaster! Following a few "not right for me" rejection form letters I received a request for further material, and to boost my excitement even more, it was an agent from my "top agent" wish list. So exciting!
What does it mean when an agent requests further material? You've successfully piqued their interest with your query letter and sample pages. Good Job!
Depending on the agent's interest they will request a partial or a full. If it's a partial then you should send the amount the agent has requested, this is usually 50 pages but it can vary. A full is obviously your entire manuscript.
Some agent's ask for an exclusive. This can be tricky. If an agent requests an exclusive, they are asking you to stop everything until the agreed upon time has expired. No querying, no accepting further requests, just sit and wait for them to finish reading your manuscript. If you're comfortable with that, go for it! If it's an agent from your agent wish list and you're certain you'll snatch up an offer of representation then by all means, do it! Accepting an exclusive is completely your call. I know it's exciting, but try to avoid pestering them during the agreed upon time. If it comes and goes, then a polite "nudge" is acceptable.
I don't think a one to two week exclusive is an absurd request but when you move into a month or more, seriously think about it. A request doesn't mean an offer of representation. The agent may still pass on your manuscript, and that will be a month or more of querying other agents that you missed out on.