Does not benefit the writer. It ties up your manuscript with one agent/editor for a period of time. If he doesn’t bite, it becomes wasted time.
Most of the younger agent/editors assume you are querying wide and far, very few need to be told that your query is a simultaneous submission. If you come across someone who says in the guidelines they want to be told, tell them. Very plainly. “This is a simultaneous submission.” No biggie.
If the submission guidelines say the agent/editor wants an exclusive, well, sure they do. They would like you to sync with their timeline and priorities. You would like the same. Neither should happen.
Writer’s choice, but I have sent queries to such agents, and explained at the end that I had other queries out but had heard no replies, and I would inform him immediately if I had an offer. That approach seemed acceptable.
Because agents/editors do get burned. Sometimes they put the time into reading a manuscript, fall in love, and contact the writer only to find the property has already been sold.
DO NOT BURN THE AGENT. OR EDITOR.
We’ll get to that in the weeks to come.
There is one good time to grant an exclusive: when an agent/editor asks for an exclusive on a full.
DO IT. WITH A TIME LIMIT.
Because this is the one situation it will be to your benefit. Give him a three-week exclusive, and he’ll have to read the manuscript within…
YES! YOU’RE PAYING ATTENTION!