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Ask Daphne! About other agents

Puffaluff gets straight to the heart of things with a picture of these shoes — which seem a strange sort of cross between pumps and several different rollerblades. But on to the question!

When should an author tell an agent that other agents are also perusing the full and/or partial manuscript? Should it be mentioned in the query or only if a partial or full has been requested by the agent? Or at all?

In general, I don’t think I would mention it in the query, but it wouldn’t be out of place if the agent has requested the partial. In which case, I’d let her know when you send the requested material that other agents are currently considering it. At the very least, you should be sure to tell her if you get a request for a full — personally, when I request a full, I usually ask if any other agents are considering the material, just so I know.
And on the flip side, from that “other agent’s” perspective — if I’ve requested material, that means I’m interested. Please don’t make a mockery of my time by sending requested material, and then turn around and sign with other agent without even a notification. I’m not saying you always have to give the other agents considering your work the chance to read and response when you have an offer of representation in hand, but please do me the courtesy of letting me know I don’t have to waste my time reading a submission once it’s no longer available. Thanks!

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