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Thread: [Agency] Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc

  1. #1
    suki1959
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    Sheree Bykofsky and Exclusivity

    Hi all:
    I attended the BEA writer's conference in New York and partcipated in the pitch slam. I researched agents I was interested in speaking to before I spoke with them. I knew Ms. Bykofsy's firms was moving and was surprised when she asked for an exclusive. It's short, only five weeks, so I agreed. I mentioned that I knew she was moving, and she didn't seem to think it was a problem. Since I returned another writer told me an agent at BEA from her firm asked for a partial and just told him that she liked it, but they were moving and weren't taking any new work.
    Now I'm a little concerned.
    Others at the BEA asked for partials and I'm wondering whether I should just sit tight, send them a short note saying it was nice to meet them but it's under an exclusive and if either of us rejects the other I'd like to send them my stuff, ignore the exclusive (that doesn't seem right to me) or just grin and bear it.
    What think you?

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Wait the five weeks. It isn't that long.

  3. #3
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Exclusives are purely for the convenience of the agent. Never grant them, esp. for partials.

    This is what Sheree says on the subject: “I always ask for a three or four-week exclusive period . . . I also request that the author confirm in the cover letter that the submission is exclusive and that no publishers have seen the manuscript . . . That is the ideal situation for me . . . an author may tell me that they have already sent the manuscript to one agent . . . I would then say that instead of exclusivity, I want ‘first dibs’”

    Some agents ask for exclusivity then never respond to the submission. Perhaps Sheree is not one of them, but nevertheless, it's a bad deal for the writer. Here, for Sheree's convenience because she is moving, your chances with several other agents may well be soured, after you went through the time and expense of attending the conference and making pitches to these other agents.
    Last edited by Julie Worth; 07-01-2007 at 05:07 PM.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW mysterygrl's Avatar
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    Your situation demonstrates why exclusives suck. The next time an agent requests one, simply say you're not able to grant an exclusive, but you will let them know if your receive an offer of representation. Most agents will want to read your material anyway. (The agent I signed with did.) They won't get mad. This is a business.

    Definitely don't ignore the exclusive. You made a commitment and it would be unprofessional to blow it off. I wouldn't contact the other agents. This business moves very slowly, and 5 weeks in their world isn't that long. Don't worry. (Yeah, easy for me to say, I know.) At the end of 5 weeks, if you haven't heard from Sheree, send her a quick note reminding her the exclusive has expired and asking if she's had a chance to review your material. Then get those requests in the mail ASAP. Don't wait for her and don't let her extend your exclusive.

    Sounds like BEA was very successful for you. Go get em!

  5. #5
    suki1959
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    Thanks all. Mystery Girl, your advice is very wise. I was so shocked when she asked me to send the whole thing that I didn't know what else to say besides "yes," to the exclusive request. I'll be better prepared next time. I hope.

  6. #6
    Author Waiting in the Wings Maprilynne's Avatar
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    Okay, this is how I did it, and if anyone thinks it's a bad idea, please feel free to chime in.

    I always considered an exclusive on a full to be just that: an exclusive on the full manuscript. That doesn't include partials, that doesn't include queries. I considered those fair game. (Because really, who is going to offer to a first-time author after only a partial? *Almost* no one.) So On two occasions when I had fulls out on exclusive, I still sent queries and partials. I personally didn't consider that dishonest--maybe it's just me.
    Last edited by Maprilynne; 07-02-2007 at 11:31 PM. Reason: I CAN type two-letter words, I CAN type two-letter words . . . (sigh)
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  7. #7
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suki1959 View Post
    I was so shocked when she asked me to send the whole thing...
    I agree with Maprilynne. I'd treat the exclusive as an exclusive read of the full, and still send out the requested partials to the other agents. If someone else should also ask for the full, I'd hold off till the end of those five weeks.

  8. #8
    suki1959
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    Update:
    Sheree responded within the time frame with a very nice letter passing on the manuscript. I am glad I honored the exclusive and will be more careful next time about granting one. I sent out the partials to the other agents who asked for them.

    And now we wait, and write. Right?

    Thank you again!

  9. #9
    Author Waiting in the Wings Maprilynne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suki1959 View Post
    Update:


    And now we wait, and write. Right?
    Write! I mean right . . .

    Good luck on those partials!
    Wings: the first of four from Harper Teen debuting May 5th, 2009.


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  10. #10
    figuring it all out Viking's Avatar
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    Wink No exclusives, ever

    I don't think any agent should have an exclusive because it wastes precious time in which some other agent(s) could be looking at our partials or fulls. I've had five agents over my long career, and not one of them asked for an exclusive before I signed with him or her.

    You waste time and you diminish your chances with an exclusive.

    An agent just asked me for an exclusive on my 20th book (I've been happily unagented for the last 5 books) and I said, "I can't, because other agents are reading it, but I can call you as soon as someone offers me representation." She said: "That's great and that's fair."

    Exclusives are unfair and give the agent too much power.

  11. #11
    Banned
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    I never ask for an exclusive. I only ask that you let me know immediately if you get an offer of representation or accept an offer of representation. I think it's incredibly rude of an author to do otherwise and waste an agent's valuable (unpaid) time reading something that is no longer available for representation.

    Z

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    [Agency] Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc

    Anyone have any info or worked with agency before?

    From P/E:

    Sheree Bykofsky Associates: A literary agency. (Sheree Bykofsky: Literary, Adult) No longer recommending writers to other agents. Contact at:

    16 W. 36th St., 13th Fl.
    New York, NY 10018

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG4584 View Post
    Anyone have any info or worked with agency before?

    From P/E:

    Sheree Bykofsky Associates: A literary agency. (Sheree Bykofsky: Literary, Adult) No longer recommending writers to other agents. Contact at:

    16 W. 36th St., 13th Fl.
    New York, NY 10018
    What does that mean "No longer recommending writers to other agents?" There is no $ next to her name, but she is AAR. Anyone have any recent experience with her?

  14. #14
    An unknown known SJWangsness's Avatar
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    Here I was thinking of querying her -- but if she asks for exclusives, no way. At least not till I run out of options. Agents keep us waiting too long as it is. There's no reason to add to our pain by granting them exclusives.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Exclamation Query submission guidelines

    I read the guidelines this morning. They are so convoluted and at cross-purpose's as to be dammed near useless. And knowing the postal system as we all do, and knowing the NYC/Jersey Metro area, why would anyone move out to Brigantine and still try to do busines sin NYC ?

    I'm gonna' find me someone who does the whole thing simpler. Complicated, to me, tells me that somehwere in their 'process' is a 'Murphy' landmine just waiting to be stepped on. And the post's regarding the 'exclusive' option smell just too much like a mine.

  16. #16
    An unknown known SJWangsness's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry too much about their being in NJ. It's just across the river from NYC. No harder to get to Manhattan from there than from Brooklyn or Queens.

  17. #17
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG4584 View Post
    Anyone have any info or worked with agency before?

    From P/E:

    Sheree Bykofsky Associates: A literary agency. (Sheree Bykofsky: Literary, Adult) No longer recommending writers to other agents. Contact at:

    16 W. 36th St., 13th Fl.
    New York, NY 10018
    First, a disclaimer: Janet Rosen is a dear, personal friend of mine, and I generally try to keep business away from friendships (I have a different agent), but I want to respond to this by posting that about 10 years ago, Sheree read a manuscript from a writer I know in Californa, didn't want to represent it, but referred her to another agent, who signed her and sold the book to a major publisher for big bucks. So don't worry that the comment highlighted above reflects badly somehow on the agency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traven View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about their being in NJ. It's just across the river from NYC. No harder to get to Manhattan from there than from Brooklyn or Queens.
    Sheree is in NJ, but I'm pretty sure there is still a Manhattan office where Janet works.

  18. #18
    *insert catchy phrase here* BarbaraSheridan's Avatar
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    Just bumping to say Kathryn Patten, a new agent there has posted introducing herself in another thread here at AW
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by BarbaraSheridan View Post
    Just bumping to say Kathryn Patten, a new agent there has posted introducing herself in another thread here at AW

    Thanks for letting us know Barbara
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  20. #20
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    Subbed to Kathryn, so we'll see what happens!


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  21. #21
    Writing like a madwoman Ginger Writer's Avatar
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    I submitted to her a few hours ago, too. Fingers crossed!
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  22. #22
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