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Thread: Agent names

  1. #1
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    Agent names

    If an agent asks for a full and wants to know if any other agents are currently reading the manuscript, should I tell them the name of the agent and the agency? Or just say, yep, it's with another agent, but not say the name? I figured saying an actual name would be tacky, but wanted to make sure.

    Can you tell I'm freaking out a little?

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    First up: congratulations! It's sounding really good.

    I consider naming the agents and agencies to be a little bit tacky as well, so I just said "Two other agents currently have the full manuscript."
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  3. #3
    Bacteria are your friends Zombie Kat's Avatar
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    Don't worry about names or agencies. Just say others are looking at the manuscript. They're probably only asking so they can prioritise what order to read submissions in.

    And congrats on the requests!
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  4. #4
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    You can either just say "yes," or tell them "X-number of agents are currently reading it." They're not asking to know their competition; they just want to know if they need to read faster.

    Now, if you get an offer of representation and inform those reading, it's not uncommon for an agent to ask who the offering agent is. One, they want to know if you're getting scammed. If they know the name of the agency to be one that's less than stellar, they can warn you off. Two, you'd be surprised how many people will try and move their books up in queue by lying about having a quick offer of representation.
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  5. #5
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    EMaree and Zombie Kat, Thank you! Much appreciated.
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  6. #6
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    Cyia, thank you!
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  7. #7
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    Now, if you get an offer of representation and inform those reading, it's not uncommon for an agent to ask who the offering agent is. One, they want to know if you're getting scammed. If they know the name of the agency to be one that's less than stellar, they can warn you off. Two, you'd be surprised how many people will try and move their books up in queue by lying about having a quick offer of representation.
    Seconding this as well. I informed any agents I had queries or partials out with when I accepted my offer, and while most of them just sent a Congrats one or two did ask which agent and agency I'd signed with.

    I suspect it was a) to make sure I wasn't getting scammed and possibly b) to see which other agents are busy building their lists. I can also hope for c) to keep track of my manuscript and buy it when it comes out, but that's just wishful thinking.
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  8. #8
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    Just wanted to thank each of you again for the advice, some of which will hopefully come in handy later on!

    Can I just say how cool it is to have this problem? I am loving it. Of course, I know nothing may come of the request. Been there. But, yeah, it's nice to have this moment. Thank you again.
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  9. #9
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    It is super cool, folkchick! It's a good place to be in. Let us know how it goes, okay?
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  10. #10
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    I will. *Fingers permanently crossed with superglue for good luck*
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  11. #11
    figuring it all out
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    Along similar lines, can I ask what's expected if an agent asks for an exclusive when making a partial or full request? I understand why they'd ask for that, and on the one hand I have no problem granting them an exclusive look if it shows I'm serious and eager to meet them halfway, but on the other hand I don't want the book tied up with a single agent for six months who may turn it down anyway.

    Last time it happened, I sent him the pages and told him I would happily offer him a 1-month exclusive from the day he received the manuscript. (Discounting any other queries already sent to other agents, which may have included sample pages, of course.) He ended up declining representation in the end, and I assume it was probably not because my offer of one month was insultingly short, but is there sort of a standard period I should offer if this happens again?

  12. #12
    Just a guy with a pen & a delusion Mr. Anonymous's Avatar
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    Ditto what others have said. Giving an actual name, aside from being tacky, could actually work against you. Publishing is a close knit industry, and a lot of agents know each other. An agent might not want to compete with a close friend for a client, for example. I imagine this is why a lot of agents who work at the same agency ask that you only submit to one of them at a time.

  13. #13
    Not a new kid folkchick's Avatar
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    Mr. Anonymous, that's something I hadn't considered. Thank you for the info.
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  14. #14
    Out, damn'd spot! out, I say. Lady MacBeth's Avatar
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    Good luck folkchick. Let us know what happens.

  15. #15
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJeffe View Post
    Along similar lines, can I ask what's expected if an agent asks for an exclusive when making a partial or full request? [snipped] is there sort of a standard period I should offer if this happens again?
    A month is pretty standard. It's important to not to allow open-ended exclusives, for the reasons you explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anonymous View Post
    Ditto what others have said. Giving an actual name, aside from being tacky, could actually work against you. Publishing is a close knit industry, and a lot of agents know each other. An agent might not want to compete with a close friend for a client, for example. I imagine this is why a lot of agents who work at the same agency ask that you only submit to one of them at a time.
    Most agencies ask that you only submit to one agent at a time because they use interns or assistants to filter out the best submissions, and if people were sending the same manuscript to all five, ten or twenty agents at the agency it would increase the size of the slush pile, and the amount of time it took to work through it, by an unacceptable degree.

    The thing about not wanting to compete with friends is sometimes an issue, but this request is made mostly to try to control the size of the slush pile.

  16. #16
    Just a guy with a pen & a delusion Mr. Anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    A month is pretty standard. It's important to not to allow open-ended exclusives, for the reasons you explain.



    Most agencies ask that you only submit to one agent at a time because they use interns or assistants to filter out the best submissions, and if people were sending the same manuscript to all five, ten or twenty agents at the agency it would increase the size of the slush pile, and the amount of time it took to work through it, by an unacceptable degree.

    The thing about not wanting to compete with friends is sometimes an issue, but this request is made mostly to try to control the size of the slush pile.
    Ah, that makes sense.

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