I've just begun querying agents for my first YA novel. After sending out about eight queries, I've gotten two requests for a full manuscript. This seems encouraging, but I'm such a newbie at this that I'm not sure how it all works. I'd love to hear some other people's stories about finding agents, the slings and arrows, successes and failures, etc.
Thanks so much!
What great news! Here are some random thoughts. You can send the ms. to both agents at the same time if they don't request exclusivity. You could ask them before sending the novel. I'd try to send the ms. to both at once if they allow, wait for a few weeks, then send out some more queries so that you're not betting everything on these two. If one or both asks for an exclusive look, you could ask when to expect to hear back from her because there's a second agent waiting to see your work.
In your cover letter, say something like, "Thank you for asking to see my manuscript" as a reminder. If you're eager to work with this particular agent, don't be shy about saying why.
If one accepts it, you'll need to decide if she's the one you want to go with and then notify the other asap. How would you decide? Take a look at the other books the agent represents and the publishers she has worked with. Have a chat on the phone and ask if the agent provides a contract. You might also want to find some books about working with agents; it can be a lengthy process. Or it can all happen fast. Best wishes to you!
Thanks so much for this great advice! So far, the agents have not requested exclusives. That's a great point about waiting a few weeks and then sending more queries. I will do just that.