Partial Request – Agents will ask for anywhere from ten to fifty pages, or three to five chapters. Make sure you give them what they want. My first few chapters were very short, so even though I attached my three chapters, it was only eight pages. I made sure to state this in my email. Don’t presume they want more than they ask for; it may annoy the agent.
Synopsis Request – Sometimes agents will request a partial and a full synopsis. I’ll go into greater detail later, but a synopsis is usually about ten pages and highlights the major plot point and twists of your book. Always include the ending. Agents need to know what happens.
Full Request – If an agent really likes your query or partial they’ll request the full manuscript. Again, this is why your manuscript has to be completed before you start querying. If someone requests a full and you don’t have it, you’ve just ruined your chances with that agent.
Often times, if an agent requests a full, they’ll ask if you’ve submitted to other agents. You don’t have to tell them everyone you’ve queried, only those agents that are currently reviewing a partial or full manuscript. Just tell them that you have three partials and one full with other agents, not who the agent is.
After you send out your manuscripts, it’s time for more waiting. Good news though, if an agent requests a partial or full, you’ll hear back from them. It might be a rejection, but they’ll usually tell you why they’re passing on it, something that might help you if you need to revise.