1. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    help! been offered representation, what now?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by TheVenomousPen, May 25, 2015.

    Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and sent my queries off to 13 agents, a week later one got back to me and said they wanted to see the rest of my manuscript, I sent it. Then on Friday I was emailed and asked to meet in person to discuss representation as they were "blown away" by my book.
    Firstly, this seems really quick to me. I was expecting at least 50 rejections before I got anywhere near someone saying "meh,it's ok" - secondly, I'm tempted to just say YES do what you want with me, but all the advice I have read tells me it's better to wait a while in case kids get more offers? Which seems silly to me, I only need the one, surely?
    Any advice on experience with agents would be helpful, she is calling me tomorrow!!!
     
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  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I haven't dealt with agents or publishers but you could tell them that you have ongoing talks with others and that you'd like a little time before committing. By that time someone with more knowledge than myself will come along.
     
  3. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    What a fantastic 'problem' to have. Can you check how good/creditable the agent is?
    If they really want to represent you then my guess is that they can wait a little while. I've been submitting and note that a number of agents sites say to let them know if you have had an offer. So, take a look at the other agents you have submitted to and let them know.
    Congratulations.
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, congratulations (I think...). Again, you are right to be suspicious, if something doesn't quite seem right to you. I don't know much about this topic, not having done any of this myself, but the one warning bell you should look out for is ANY requests for money. Nothing a genuine agent does at this stage should cost YOU any money at all. No 'reading expenses,' etc.

    I presume you did some research on this agent before you submitted? So to some extent, you've already vetted them? If they look good, and don't ask you for money, I'd certainly agree to further contact. But do not SIGN ANYTHING until you're sure.

    There are lots of books out there (many of them published by Writers' Digest) on the topic of 'finding an agent.' If you haven't read a couple, I'd suggest you do, very fast. The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing has this to say about agents:
    However, it does sound as if your potential agent hasn't done any bad stuff to you yet, and has obviously read your MS without charging you for the task. So ...so far, so good.

    Here is a more complete list from the Handbook, of what your agent should/should not do:

    1) The agent should charge a standard 15% commission for domestic sales and does not have hidden charges and fees

    2) The agent should have a sufficient track record, and has sold books to established publishers

    3) The contract they offer protects both parties' interests, and has terms for a satisfactory dissolution of the relationship, if that becomes necessary

    4) The agent will send your MS out to more than one publisher at a time

    5) The agent is familiar and skilled with the auction process

    6) The agent agrees to stay in touch with you on a regular basis, and doesn't object to you calling them

    7) The agent will send you copies of all rejection letters

    8) The agent will involve you in all phases of negotiations

    9) The agent's client list is not so large that you will get lost in the crowd

    10) The agent is equipped to handle subsidiary rights, such as movie options, book club deals, foreign rights and electronic rights

    ..................

    I do hope this is really a great offer. If it is, and you are happy with the outcome of your further contact with this person, then I'd certainly go for it. There isn't any point in waiting for a 'better' offer if this one is really good. However, if you have any specific niggly doubts about this agent, I'd stall and investigate further.

    I would strongly advise you do some reading on the subject. The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing has more good sections about this topic, one excellent one entitled "How to recognise a Podunk agent" which warns new writers against agents who express a high opinion of your work. But what if your work actually NEEDS work? Will they tell you this, or be able to help you to this point without clapping charges on you? Apparently editors hate being approached by bad agents with substandard work, so what looks good might not be. The trick, apparently, is to demand a client list from this agent, and then INVESTIGATE this list. If in any doubt, it's okay to contact the editors on that list and ask if what you've been told is true. Sometimes it's not.

    This is a dilemma lots of new writers would love to have, however! So enjoy the process, and congratulations if it works out well. I think you have a good attitude already ...suspicious optimism. :)
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  5. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    Thank you!

    From what I can tell they are well established and respected agency, they dont have a massive client list and they are registered with AAR. They appear on many writing blogs being interviewed and seem really nice. I guess what confusing me is that they like my work lol.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ah. So it's the stroke of good fortune you struggle to believe? That's fantastic. Go for it. Wow. May your career flourish! :)
     
  7. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    I've always enjoyed this story about how Nicholas Sparks found an agent: http://nicholassparks.com/for-writers/how-i-found-an-agent/
    So, I'd say there's no a definite rule. Don't be suspicious for not getting 50 rejections first; be happy. That's really great. :)
     
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  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's sounds like you've done some good initial research, so, fantastic! Congratulations!

    I'd suggest 'meeting' the agent (either in person or on the phone) and asking some questions. They expect this, and won't be offended. I think you can base a lot of your questions off @jannert's list, and maybe add a few others.

    When I was talking to agents, my questions were variations on:

    What do you like about this book? What do you think I need to work on?

    Which publishers do you plan to submit this book to first and why? Have you sold other books to those publishers?

    Do you have a written agency contract, and if so, can you send me a copy of it to look at?

    Can you put me in touch with a couple of your other clients who are writing in a similar genre? ETA: And then contact those clients! I've been contacted by several prospective clients from my agent, and it's not a big deal at all. You're not imposing, you're just being part of the writers' community.


    Beginning writers get in the mindset of thinking that agents are gods, I think, and it can feel a bit awkward to question a god! But of course, they aren't gods, and you're not applying to work for them - they're applying to work for you! (or at least with you...)

    This agent should have no problem with giving you a couple weeks to think things over and follow up on other submissions.

    If this agent is your dream agent, the one who's sold ten bestsellers in your genre and knows everybody and everything, then, sure, sign without hesitation! But that doesn't sound like it's the case, so... take it slow. If your dream agent still has your submission, send him/her an e-mail with something like "Offer from another agent" in the subject line to see if things can be hurried along.

    Good luck with it, and have fun!
     
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  9. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    Here you go - how to be an agent's dream client https://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/10080/
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The thing to take away from this interesting anecdote is that, despite being rejected by all of the 24 agents he sent his query to—except for the one with no experience, whom he hired—he did actually get published, and became a bestselling author. I kind of wonder what those 23 agents who rejected him think now. Maybe their methods of filtering an author's work are a tad faulty?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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  11. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    I guess for an agent, they must see SO much stuff that it must be hard to know when you've found something good. She is calling me in the morning I shall let you know how it went!
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    So, you got lucky and missed the other 27 agents who WOULD have rejected you before you found one to accept you!

    Seriously, I think you've had some good advice.

    Well done, and let us know how you get on.
     
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  13. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    Really thanks everyone for your advice. She still hasn't called yet, I'm going bananas!!!!
     
  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Deep breaths. Try to distract yourself with something else.

    No chewing your fingernails!
     
  15. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    Ok i just spoke to the agent and she was really eager to sign me, she didn't even want a meeting first but i pushed for a meeting on Friday - she said its great and they haven't seen anything this good in a while - they've been looking for someone like me.

    she was talking foreign rights and TV rights and everything - said I am exactly what the market is after at the moment.
     
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  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Did you ask her any of the questions?
     
  17. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    What genre do you write? What does the market want?
     
  18. TheVenomousPen
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    TheVenomousPen New Member

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    Apparently the market wants crime/psychological thriller writers that appeal to women 20-50,

    I asked a couple, but will ask more when we meet in person.
     
  19. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    Did you enter the CWA DD?
     
  20. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I'll be checking back to see what happens! Good luck! :D
     
  21. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    Good luck, Thevenomouspen! That's great news. And to have an agent that keen is terrific. As long as the agent has an established track record of sales to major publishers, and has happy clients (email some of them and ask), it sounds like you're in good hands!
     
  22. JustinCupcake
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    JustinCupcake Member

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    I was reading that the two big markets this year were going to be women and teens both in crime / thriller! Awesome work good job!
     
  23. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Following your story! Let us know how the meeting goes!
     

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