(This article is excerpted from The Ultimate Children’s Writing Cheatsheet – our free ebook packed with 30 years of children’s writing knowledge in one simple reference guide.
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Children’s Writing FAQ For Beginners #3:
Can I Send My Manuscript to More Than One Editor or Agent at a Time?
Answer: It depends
Most agents and editors will ask you to first send a query, which is a one page letter briefly summarizing the book, highlighting what makes this book unique. It also notes the manuscript’s word count and age range, and includes brief biographical information on the author. You may also be asked to list a few “comp” titles in your query—published books that cater to the same audience—and explain how your book is different. Some agents and editors ask for sample manuscript pages to accompany the query. If the author is also an illustrator, a link to online illustration samples can be included.
You can submit queries to several agents at once, but if more than one agent asks to see the entire manuscript, send that to one agent at a time, in the order of their response. If the first agent passes, then move on to the next agent.
With editors, you can also send several queries at once. If several editors ask to see the entire manuscript, you can send it to more than one editor at a time as long as each editor accepts “simultaneous submissions” (meaning the manuscript is being read by another editor at the same time). Note in your cover letter accompanying the full manuscript that this is a simultaneous submission. If an editor requires an exclusive submission, send only to that editor and wait for a response. Note: Occasionally, an editor will require an exclusive submission on a query letter as well as the full manuscript. Query this editor exclusively IF that editor is at the top of your list of potential markets for your work. If you haven’t gotten a response in three months, send a polite email telling the editor she’s welcome to keep your query under consideration, but since she’s had it exclusively for 90 days you’ll also be submitting it elsewhere.