Need some advice regarding multiple requests for submission following query

I need some advice. 

Here's the situation: Last week an agency requested a full submission and asked me for an "exclusive" while they read my novel. I asked around (including published/represented authors) and was told that this is not unusual or unexpected. Since then, I have sent out no more queries but I do have several still in circulation. 

Today I received a very nice email from a second agency with a request for a partial submission. How should I handle this second request? Let them know it is currently being read and I will contact them as soon as I hear yea/nay from the first agency? Say/do nothing? 

I am still a bit new at this, so many thanks in advance for any advice!

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Thank you, Benjamin. I have learned a great deal here.
I think the point here is that agents get swamped with mss. Reading an entire ms. is time-consuming. They'd at least like to know that after they put in the time, you don't tell them: Sorry, but I gave it to someone else. You need to put a fairly tight time limit on an exclusive.
I have to agree, I.J. Looking back, I regret the lost few weeks of additional queries (especially now that I have a better idea of _who_ to query) but it pays to respect the efforts that an agent makes to read through requested mss. Perhaps, if there's a next time, I will ask for either a shorter exclusive timeframe or advise the agent that I will continue querying but they have priority standing should they find my work interesting.
By priority standing you mean that you'll tell them if there's another request? Yes, I can see that. Sometimes that nudges people along.
Right of first refusal if a subsequent query brings an offer of representation, or something like that.

Even though the agent who wanted the exclusive passed, I'm flattered by their interest and the thoughtful comments in their response.
Thoughtful comments are good. A compliment!
Another request for an exclusive partial came in and I presently have two fulls and a few partials in play. Please tell me if I'm being naive, but I do not believe that the "first fit" is necessarily the best fit in an agent/author relationship, for either party. If I am so fortunate as to have more than one party interested in my work, shouldn't agent/author get to know each other before taking the leap?

Having had unsatisfying experiences with film agents who I barely knew, I would not want to go down that path again. Then again, maybe I am naive!
It's a good idea, but few of us get the chance. We get so few offers that we jump at what there is. Of course, you should research the agent and the agency in terms of what authors they represent and what types of books, and what publishers they place them with (see their web site). Beyond that: a phone call? a questionnaire? a personal visit? The agent may balk at some of these, but in fact writing down a few questions and then picking up the phone strikes me as reasonable. Even then you won't ever be sure that you've made the perfect match.

Whatever you do, make sure your agent is a member of AAR, and works for 15 % commission collected after sale, and doesn't charge reading fees.
Thanks, I.J., for that very helpful advice and counsel.
Thank you, Dan. I feel fortunate to have access to this forum for this very reason. Thoughtful advice.
I can exhale now. Rec'd this very pleasant reply from the agent who wished an exclusive on the partial.... I congratulate you on the interest your query has generated; a good sign. Should the agents currently reviewing your material find it not to their collective tastes, feel free to send me the partial at that time (there's no need to re-query me). Regardless of where you find eventual representation, I wish you the very best of luck in your writing career. Sounds like the kind of person with whom I would like to work. Very glad I asked for advice here and on the querytracker forum. Many thanks!
Excellent! Fingers crossed.


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