Is it resonable to ask agents to review sample pages before sending a full ms hard copy to them. I have had several agents read sample pages and request the full. I am happy to provide it for them. I have also had several agents ask to just have the full MS sent to them right off the bat. After sending it to three agents who have viewed the sample pages I am feeling the cash crunch.
Also, what is your view on agents asking for exclusives?
These are great questions and I want to make sure we cover all of them. You actually have several issues that I want to touch on.
#1 I may have passed on a project but that doesn't mean stopping. There have been times that the first project doesn't work, but a later project ends up being the right one. If that agent or editor is someone you really want to work with, keep trying. Learn from the comments and find that right project.
#2 You are correct. The money flow with submissions will get up there. Unfortunately there is no way you can work around that one. Now, I can't answer this question for every agent out there. Some want partials, some want fulls, some want hard copies and some want electronic copies. I honestly don't know why some agents and editors ask for a full sometimes. I hear the pitches (when we are at conferences) and I know that piece of writing will never work with that person. It might be the style, the writing, or even the plot, still they ask. I have heard some say that they have found "gems" in some things that didn't sound good in the pitch. That might be the case. Still, in answer to the question, send them what they want. If they ask for a full, there is a chance it was because there was something good. There is a chance you might have enough momentum in the early chapters to get them to that scene that will knock them dead. It is a chance that has to be taken.
I guess I would also say that this is an issue of really narrowing down those agents you might want to work for. You had stated you sent it to three people, and I was one of them. I am assuming I might be on your list of potentials. Were the others? If not, don't send it to those people. Target your submissions.
#3 On to exclusives. I can understand why editors might do this. Some editors might not want to get into a fight with another editor over a submission. It might cost them financially as they bid for something that they could have gotten cheaper. As with agents, IMHO there is no reason to do this. If they are afraid someone will beat them out to a great project, maybe moving it to the top of the stack is the way to go. I know I don't move projects like that. I get to yours when I get to it. But asking for an exclusive has always seemed to me (again, IMHO) as a way to take their time on a project. Hey, if you like it, read it. If you want it, sign it.
I would also say that if someone asks for an exclusive, it is your choice to send it or not. Again, if you have submitted to that person, I have to assume the agent is on your list of agents you would work for.
As for me here at Greyhaus...
- I only ask for fulls if there is something I really think has that nugget of something I am looking for.
- I have not moved to 100% electronic yet, but I am working toward that. I have to get my system working the way I want it to.
- I will never ask for an exclusive for submissions. You can trust that from me.
Hope that helps...