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Agent 1-2-1 question

I was extremely lucky to secure a 1-2-1 with my agent of choice (who just so happens to be on my shortlist).

I think I've come to the point that I've tinkered as much as I can with my synopsis and query letter, and I'm geeing myself to start sounding out my submissions. 

Here comes the question... My 1-2-1 states in an interview that she isn't a fan of the blurb in the query letter, as she doesn't want to read that, and then the synopsis (which I completely understand). So, do I send a separate letter, specifically tailored for her, in the hopes that she might like my work enough to request more... or do I send her the standard letter and just hope for general feedback on that? OR (third option) - do I query her now, with the tailored letter, but then also send through the standard blurb letter for the 1-2-1?

I tend to overthink everything to the nth degree, and I'm finding it difficult to make a decision.

Thanks, oh knowledgeable ones.

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Replies (14)
  • Hmmm. An interesting question.

    I'm thinking out loud here. If you take option c), what are the conseuences? Does the repetition create resonance in her mind, thus increasing your chances, or does it feel to her like hammering on the same thing from multiple angles?

    Fundamentally, it's a fine line, and I suspect the divider is whether the first version she sees has her leaning towards or away from the piece. If that's the case, then the repetition only serves to strengthen whatever the initial reaction is. Which would suggest that the double-query isn't going to provide significant benefit.

    As to whether you should do your standard letter or one tailored to her specific preferences… use every bit of information you have to hand. Take every advantage you can. Customise every query letter. Some more than others (where, as here, they have given specific instruction that they don't like certain parts of the standard package).

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    • Cheers Rick, I think yourself, Caron and Lynn have all confirmed what I think I'd been leaning towards. 

      Much appreciated!

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    •  I think you have to choose here what you want from the 121

      Do you want her to request a full? If so then give her the personalised version that she requires


      Do you want her to give you feedback on your standard letter that you will be sending out to query. If so give her that. 

      If it was me I would go for the latter.....Lets be honest here she is giving you feedback on how to improve your submission. You are not querying her.  Yes, she might not read on if it was a query but in this instance she has to. You have employed her services to read your MS opening. I truly do not believe that the way the query is written will make any difference at all to her requesting to see it, if the writing is good and the premise hooks her. 

      Also its rare for an agent to request to see more in 121 so I think you would be wasting your chances. 

      Good luck message me if you want to 

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      • Thanks Caron, all excellent points, thank you. I was going to query her anyway, yet when I saw her name pop up for the 1-2-1, I jumped at the chance. I don't know if she'd be interested in my MS anyway, however she is SFF, so her feedback will be important anyway, regardless.

        So yeah, probably full version, then, as it's feedback that I've booked her time for. She's tell me if she's interested anyway, I guess (again, no delusions, I know it's gonna be a long, tough process).

        Thank you!

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        • When she phones just say, I know the query letter isn't in the manner you prefer it but I thought it would be good to get general feedback for other agents. I already have my letter perfected for you. 

          (But dont talk a lot - let her do the talking - it goes fast)

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          • Marvellous, thank you so much!!

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          • Can't add anything to Caron's feedback as it's just what I'd say. Though I would say I did get a full request from a 121 (not with JW) so you never know.

            Even if you don't get asked for a full, it'll definitely be a worth while experience and I'm sure you'll get a lot from it.

            When is it happening?

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            • Thanks Danny. I emailed him Monday to let him know about the pitmad likes I had from publishers but no reply yet. 

              How long do you give it before you're sure you're being ghosted? 😂

              Trying not to be too down about it and I know he was inundated as a friend had a121 with him last month.

              What can you do. Oh, yeah, you can be sensible and self publish.. . 😊

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              • My experience with agents has not been good as you know LOL - I reckon another 2 weeks maybe, then send him an email saying that you're thinking of contacting other agents again as you can't wait forever. It'll either hurry him up or he'll drop you, but either way at least you'd be able to move on!

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                • Hi Lynn, sorry for not keeping up with this, I knew you'd had a full requested. Did they give you any indication of when they would get back to you? Sorry if that's a silly question. I fully expect that agents are busy, but if they've especially asked for something, you'd think it would be quicker than the original submission time. I haven't heard back from my agent request yet (six weeks ago) but I am assured that this is quite normal. Nevertheless, it makes you wonder, what next? Start new book, re-submit to other people on your s/list or get a MS assessment....

                  Keeping my fingers crossed for you. 

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