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Old 11-29-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Agent interaction, Is this normal?

I was fortunate enough to receive an in person request from the head of an agency to send my manuscript to one of her agents. I did. At first everything seemed to go well. We emailed back and forth. She wanted me to change a few things and I did. Then it seemed like I had a hard time getting her to read the full. She lost it at one point and I resent it, so it took a few months though many times during our emails, she said she'd get to it "next week." Anyway, I guess she finally read it, but she never said what she thought of it, she said she was sending it out to editors and if she received any offers then we could talk contract. I understand the logistics of it, but is that normal? Now, I try to stay in touch, just a brief email once every two weeks but the responses I get make me feel like I am bugging her and usually her response isn't at all addressing my email. For instance, last I wrote her I said I didn't expect an update yet and was writing to say hi and stay in touch and she wrote me back saying she had no news and it would take up to three months before she had any feedback and she'd be subbing my novel to editors "next week." Oh dear.

So here's my questions, is that normal?
I feel like I shouldn't email her anymore because I think I'm bugging her, and that can't be normal. Would it be okay to ask her to send me a list of who she subbed and when?
She hasn't offered to rep me yet and she's had my book exclusively for almost four months. I never promised to maintain the exclusivity but I feel that is the decent thing to do. I am so confused. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Wait a minute - she's sending it out to editors with the idea that she'll offer a contract IF there's an offer? That's not right AT ALL.

NO agent should be shopping a MS they don't represent. You can only approach editors once. If she burns through them all, and doesn't get an offer. You're sunk and still have no offer of representation. If she DOES get an offer, you still don't know what her contract looks like. What if you don't want to sign it?
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
Wait a minute - she's sending it out to editors with the idea that she'll offer a contract IF there's an offer? That's not right AT ALL.

NO agent should be shopping a MS they don't represent. You can only approach editors once. If she burns through them all, and doesn't get an offer. You're sunk and still have no offer of representation. If she DOES get an offer, you still don't know what her contract looks like. What if you don't want to sign it?
Oh, dear, this so much. This woman should not be submitting a ms she doesn't represent. Not at all.

Can I ask who this woman is? You can PM or reppie me if you don't feel comfortable saying it publicly.

Has she started submitting yet?
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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This is NOT normal.

If she's not your agent, she should not be sending your manuscript to editors. (Even if she were your agent, she should give you feedback first, and she should discuss with you which editors/publishers she planned to submit the ms. to.)

Contact her now. Tell her that you're happy for her to continue considering your manuscript, but until you're a client, you do not give her permission to submit your ms. to publishers. If by chance she's done that already, you want a list of those publishers. (And you want her to stop subbing your work.)

Then I'd start querying other agents.

If you don't feel comfortable sharing the agent's name on the Bewares & Background Checks sub-forum, maybe you could email Writer's Beware and let them know the name. They might have more information about the person.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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I repeat what everyone else has said. This isn't right at all.

Do let Writer Beware know who this agent is. You're welcome to let me know in private and in confidence, too, if you'd like, but I'm more at home with UK agents than with US ones so Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware is probably the person you need to talk to.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Oh wow, so it's worse than I thought. I'm so glad I finally posted it here. I've been debating it in my mind for a while. Something felt "off." Being new at this speaking-with-an-agent thing, I thought it might be just that it wasn't living up to my expectations.
I will tell you she is with a very reputable agency, and I love the agency but had never heard of her, though she does represent quite a few authors, again, none I've heard of but that's not really saying much because I haven't heard of a lot of great writers.

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Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
Wait a minute - she's sending it out to editors with the idea that she'll offer a contract IF there's an offer? That's not right AT ALL.

NO agent should be shopping a MS they don't represent. You can only approach editors once. If she burns through them all, and doesn't get an offer. You're sunk and still have no offer of representation. If she DOES get an offer, you still don't know what her contract looks like. What if you don't want to sign it?
I didn't even consider if she burns through the editors. I did think about what if I don't want to sign her contract and she has an editor for it. That would be a mess.

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Oh, dear, this so much. This woman should not be submitting a ms she doesn't represent. Not at all.

Can I ask who this woman is? You can PM or reppie me if you don't feel comfortable saying it publicly.

Has she started submitting yet?
I'll send it privately. Last week she said she'd sub "next week" but if it is anything like reading my manuscript, that means next month, which in this case, could work to my advantage.

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This is NOT normal.

If she's not your agent, she should not be sending your manuscript to editors. (Even if she were your agent, she should give you feedback first, and she should discuss with you which editors/publishers she planned to submit the ms. to.)

Contact her now. Tell her that you're happy for her to continue considering your manuscript, but until you're a client, you do not give her permission to submit your ms. to publishers. If by chance she's done that already, you want a list of those publishers. (And you want her to stop subbing your work.)

Then I'd start querying other agents.

If you don't feel comfortable sharing the agent's name on the Bewares & Background Checks sub-forum, maybe you could email Writer's Beware and let them know the name. They might have more information about the person.
She is clear on all the bewares, I looked her up first. Is this really something I should report? I guess I am more naive than I realized. Now I'm nervous.
What you said makes perfect sense, even if she were my agent, she should discuss who she is sending it to with me. Gosh, what was I thinking?

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I repeat what everyone else has said. This isn't right at all.

Do let Writer Beware know who this agent is. You're welcome to let me know in private and in confidence, too, if you'd like, but I'm more at home with UK agents than with US ones so Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware is probably the person you need to talk to.
I will contact her with the information and see what she says. Thank you.



So, is the consensus that I should write the agent, ask her not to sub my work because I'm not comfortable having an agent who doesn't represent me subbing my novel? And that I'm fine with her still considering it but I will be sending submissions to other agents.

Here's my worry. You know it is a small world and I'm worried she will bad mouth me to other agents, editors, and such. I think I might just have to write her and tell her my concerns and she seems like her moods shift quite a lot, so I'll have to hope I catch her on a good, reasonable day. Should I also write the head of the agency, the one who liked my work in the first place, the one I'd actually heard of, and see if this is protocol for her agents?

Sorry about my rambling questions. I am just a bit flabbergasted now.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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I can't help but wonder if it's this agency, which, while otherwise reputable, has a track record of doing this. If it's a different agency, it's kind of scary that this bad habit might be starting to spread.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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I can't help but wonder if it's this agency, which, while otherwise reputable, has a track record of doing this. If it's a different agency, it's kind of scary that this bad habit might be starting to spread.
Nope, not that agency. I have no idea if other agents in her agency (again, reputable, decent track record) do the same, but I am going to ask her if this is normal and tell her I don't feel comfortable with it. If she says it is protocol for her, I might speak to the head of the agency, who I've already met, and ask if this is normal for all her agents and ask the reasoning for it and express my concerns, concerns helpful AWers validated and others brought to my attention.

I am soooooo nervous to contact this agent now but so thankful for the help and advice.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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Okay, so I reread the email and she worded it much better than I did, so maybe it's not as bad as I thought?

Here's a quote from her email:
I'm going to test the waters and submit your book to a couple of editors. If there is any interest we'll discuss a contract. I don't want to sign anything until I feel I can find a home for your book.

So is this as bad as I made it originally sound? I still don't feel comfortable with it and I still have not received any information on the editors she is subbing.
Anyway, does knowing the wording change anything?
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by StoryG27 View Post
Okay, so I reread the email and she worded it much better than I did, so maybe it's not as bad as I thought?

Here's a quote from her email:
I'm going to test the waters and submit your book to a couple of editors. If there is any interest we'll discuss a contract. I don't want to sign anything until I feel I can find a home for your book.

So is this as bad as I made it originally sound? I still don't feel comfortable with it and I still have not received any information on the editors she is subbing.
Anyway, does knowing the wording change anything?
I still don't like the sound of that tbh, but I hope some other people will be able to clarify if this is good or not.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Nope, not that agency. I have no idea if other agents in her agency (again, reputable, decent track record) do the same, but I am going to ask her if this is normal and tell her I don't feel comfortable with it. If she says it is protocol for her, I might speak to the head of the agency, who I've already met, and ask if this is normal for all her agents and ask the reasoning for it and express my concerns, concerns helpful AWers validated and others brought to my attention.

I am soooooo nervous to contact this agent now but so thankful for the help and advice. I reread the email, making sure she did indeed say she was subbing my work and if she got an offer, then we could talk contract, so I am not crazy. . .well, I might be but that is a different topic all together.
I have a somewhat different take on this matter. I think the agent HAS already taken you on. Saying that she'll deal with contracts if the book sells could simply mean that she doesn't require a written client agreement (plenty of agents don't), and will formalize your agreement with an agency clause in the contract if the book sells. It may also mean that if she can't sell this one, she doesn't want to continue as your agent: hence no contract. In either case, if the ms. is already out with publishers, you want to try to rescue this relationship, because as others said, every submission through her makes it less likely that another agent would take this book on.

It is very unusual that she wouldn't have a conversation with you first. But you submitted, revised according to their specs, and resubmitted--they may feel that you already have a deal. Your emails to her requesting information on submissions would seem to acknowledge that relationship as well.

Speaking of which, don't email her every two weeks. That's annoying and time-consuming. Offers take a long time to develop and she would be notifying you if she had anything. Contacting her once in 2 months is more reasonable.

Anyway, the most pressing question is whether she has indeed started submitting, and to that you are entitled to an answer. I'd suggest one more email, asking that question and confirming that she is indeed acting as your agent for the usual 15% commission. But you should mention that if the answers are yes, you are now going to back off and let her do her job.

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Terie View Post
I can't help but wonder if it's this agency, which, while otherwise reputable, has a track record of doing this. If it's a different agency, it's kind of scary that this bad habit might be starting to spread.
That was my first thought, too, but the OP cites a female owner for the unnamed agency. The one in your link is owned by a man.

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Originally Posted by StoryG27 View Post
Here's a quote from her email:
I'm going to test the waters and submit your book to a couple of editors. If there is any interest we'll discuss a contract. I don't want to sign anything until I feel I can find a home for your book.

So is this as bad as I made it originally sound?
Yes, it's still as bad.

Normally, an agent will have editors in mind when s/he signs an author/book. If the agent can't think of editors who would read and potentially buy the book, then they don't sign it. You get a lovely "not for me," or "I'm not sure how to pitch this." semi-form rejection.

When a book goes on submission, there's a list of (usually) more than "a couple" of editors, and it's definitely NOT "testing the waters." The idea is to get as many editors as possible interested in a project so that you can either trigger an auction or get a serious preempt.

Now every sale is different, but they can happen in as little as a matter of hours if an editor is really interested. So what's this agent going to do? Tell the editor to hang on while she goes and signs you as a client?

And if you do get interest fairly quickly, then the agent can't sub it to more than those "couple" of editors after-the-fact. Either way, she's limiting your options.

It's unprofessional.

Publishing is a risk, but it's a joint risk. Agents take on part of it when they sign a client. In your case, the only risk is on your shoulders, and it shouldn't be.

Quote:
Speaking of which, don't email her every two weeks. That's annoying and time-consuming. Offers take a long time to develop and she would be notifying you if she had anything. Contacting her once in 2 months is more reasonable.
Every two weeks is not unreasonable. I check-in with my agent every Friday if I've got something on submission, just to see if she's gotten any rejections. The only "unreasonable" contact schedule is one that you don't discuss with your agent ahead of time. Anything that can be agreed upon is "reasonable."
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #13
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Barbara, thank you. If she can't sell my book, it wouldn't benefit either of us to have a contract. So I see why she is doing it. I just find it odd. I think I will send one more email (and then stop bugging her) and say I need to know who she is subbing my work to and that I would like to see an example of her standard contract. At least then I will know she won't burn through all the editors, so that will be one comfort and that we can set a time frame to move on if nothing comes of it. If she can't see why I want this information, we can part ways right away and save us both time and trouble. I don't feel comfortable with the situation. Once we play out whatever subs she has done, I think it might be time to part ways. After all, I don't even know if she likes my novel but I guess she must like it somewhat if she is "testing the waters" with it. It is just odd to me.

I guess the best thing now, is to write her and get things as straightened out as possible.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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When a book goes on submission, there's a list of (usually) more than "a couple" of editors, and it's definitely NOT "testing the waters." The idea is to get as many editors as possible interested in a project so that you can either trigger an auction or get a serious preempt.

Now every sale is different, but they can happen in as little as a matter of hours if an editor is really interested. So what's this agent going to do? Tell the editor to hang on while she goes and signs you as a client?

And if you do get interest fairly quickly, then the agent can't sub it to more than those "couple" of editors after-the-fact. Either way, she's limiting your options.

It's unprofessional.

Publishing is a risk, but it's a joint risk. Agents take on part of it when they sign a client. In your case, the only risk is on your shoulders, and it shouldn't be.
All of this.

This is really, really unprofessional, risky for you, and HIGHLY UNUSUAL compared to the normal process (agent reads MS > thinks of several editors she KNOWS would be interested > signs you > subs to those eds).

She's putting all the risk on you without giving you any of the protections of a contract. You have no idea which editors she's subbing to, and no protection of the work you're putting in her hands.

I strongly urge you to not do this and insist on a contract before you let her represent your work. The contract will put rules and regulations in place that will PROTECT you (and her, too--which is part of why it's weird that she wants to shop it around without one).

Seriously, contact the Writer Beware folks and let them know about this. The agent may not be intending anything predatory, but at best this is really unprofessional and dubious.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #15
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The lack of a contract is actually bad for both of you. There are clauses that protect the agent/agency, too. A standard one would likely apply in your case.

Say you decide that you don't like the arrangement as-is, so you go off and query other agents. And say one of those agents signs you as a client and sends your book out on submission. In this span of likely months, it's still possible that one of the editors your unnamed maybe-agent has subbed to will make an offer on your novel.

With a contract, the maybe-agent would still be entitled to a commission from the sale she initiated. Without a contract, she's lost that protection. Your future-agent could decide the offer is worthwhile and negotiate the contract, instead. That means that maybe-agent is out of luck.

(I'm not saying you'd do that, just trying to illustrate that business outside a binding agreement is bad business.)
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by StoryG27 View Post
If she can't sell my book, it wouldn't benefit either of us to have a contract. So I see why she is doing it.
No, this isn't really how it works. An agent represents writers, not books. It's very common for an agent to sign a writer and never sell the first book. Either the agent wants to represent YOU or she doesn't. As Ciya said, it sounds as if this agent is trying to hedge her bets, and that's not fair to you.

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I guess the best thing now, is to write her and get things as straightened out as possible.
This is exactly right. Good luck, and I hope it all works out spectacularly for you.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #17
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When a book goes on submission, there's a list of (usually) more than "a couple" of editors, and it's definitely NOT "testing the waters." The idea is to get as many editors as possible interested in a project so that you can either trigger an auction or get a serious preempt.

Now every sale is different, but they can happen in as little as a matter of hours if an editor is really interested. So what's this agent going to do? Tell the editor to hang on while she goes and signs you as a client?

And if you do get interest fairly quickly, then the agent can't sub it to more than those "couple" of editors after-the-fact. Either way, she's limiting your options.

It's unprofessional.

Publishing is a risk, but it's a joint risk. Agents take on part of it when they sign a client. In your case, the only risk is on your shoulders, and it shouldn't be.
*bolding is mine*

I love that last part and I am not really aware how all this works. What you say makes perfect sense. I was thinking, well, if I don't have a contract, at least I'm not tied to an agent who can't sell it, but if I doubt her ability to sell it, what am I doing with her in the first place? It is a joint risk. Thank you.



Quote:
Every two weeks is not unreasonable. I check-in with my agent every Friday if I've got something on submission, just to see if she's gotten any rejections. The only "unreasonable" contact schedule is one that you don't discuss with your agent ahead of time. Anything that can be agreed upon is "reasonable."
I guess from now on, I'll have to ask upfront what contact the agent considers "reasonable."
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Terie View Post
No, this isn't really how it works. An agent represents writers, not books. It's very common for an agent to sign a writer and never sell the first book. Either the agent wants to represent YOU or she doesn't. As Ciya said, it sounds as if this agent is trying to hedge her bets, and that's not fair to you.



This is exactly right. Good luck, and I hope it all works out spectacularly for you.
You are right. Either she wants to represent ME or she doesn't. Well, I guess I need to figure out the best possible wording for the email I need to write.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:06 PM   #19
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Okay, so I reread the email and she worded it much better than I did, so maybe it's not as bad as I thought?

Here's a quote from her email:
I'm going to test the waters and submit your book to a couple of editors. If there is any interest we'll discuss a contract. I don't want to sign anything until I feel I can find a home for your book.

So is this as bad as I made it originally sound? I still don't feel comfortable with it and I still have not received any information on the editors she is subbing.
Anyway, does knowing the wording change anything?

Oh, SG. {{Hug}}

No, it doesn't change anything. What she's doing/trying to do is, as Cyia says below, is put all the risk on you. She'll submit your work without agreeing to rep you, so if an offer comes in she reaps the benefits but if an offer doesn't come in she's not left with a client who has an unsold book. And you? You're left with a book you can't submit anywhere else and no agent who help you/guide you as you start another project, and you're left having to query agents again; start all over.

Normall, I agree with Barbara and think she's a sharp cookie. But I have to disagree with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara R. View Post
I have a somewhat different take on this matter. I think the agent HAS already taken you on. Saying that she'll deal with contracts if the book sells could simply mean that she doesn't require a written client agreement (plenty of agents don't), and will formalize your agreement with an agency clause in the contract if the book sells. It may also mean that if she can't sell this one, she doesn't want to continue as your agent: hence no contract. In either case, if the ms. is already out with publishers, you want to try to rescue this relationship, because as others said, every submission through her makes it less likely that another agent would take this book on.
I think if that were the case she wouldn't have used the phrase "testing the waters," and I think it's clear that if this book doesn't sell she's not interested in having SG as a client.

The fact that she's doing this and not really explaining herself makes me doubt her effectiveness as an agent and her commitment to protecting authors--which is the job of an agent, after all.


Quote:
It is very unusual that she wouldn't have a conversation with you first. But you submitted, revised according to their specs, and resubmitted--they may feel that you already have a deal. Your emails to her requesting information on submissions would seem to acknowledge that relationship as well.
I think you're correct that she may think she has SG's approval to do this, but I do disagree that she thinks SG is her client.



Quote:
Anyway, the most pressing question is whether she has indeed started submitting, and to that you are entitled to an answer. I'd suggest one more email, asking that question and confirming that she is indeed acting as your agent for the usual 15% commission. But you should mention that if the answers are yes, you are now going to back off and let her do her job.
I would definitely email to ask if she's started submitting, but I've got a very different idea what the email should say. See below.


Barbara[/QUOTE]

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Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
That was my first thought, too, but the OP cites a female owner for the unnamed agency. The one in your link is owned by a man.
The OP has informed me of the agency, and having read their BR&BC thread, I have to say it's not really impressive (but not a scammer per se, so don't worry, folks). I mention this only because:

Quote:

Yes, it's still as bad.

Normally, an agent will have editors in mind when s/he signs an author/book. If the agent can't think of editors who would read and potentially buy the book, then they don't sign it. You get a lovely "not for me," or "I'm not sure how to pitch this." semi-form rejection.

When a book goes on submission, there's a list of (usually) more than "a couple" of editors, and it's definitely NOT "testing the waters." The idea is to get as many editors as possible interested in a project so that you can either trigger an auction or get a serious preempt.
After reading the thread and looking them up on PM, I am not convinced they will be submitting to the right editors. Submitting to the "wrong" editors--which doesn't mean they'll submit to PA or something, it means, say, Editor A at S&S loves subplots about missing persons but Editor B doesn't like those, and the agent isn't familiar enough with either so submits your missing-person-subplot story to Editor B and it gets rejected--is worse than not submitting at all.

As is submitting with poorly written or amateurish letters or whatever else, which will put your mss to the very bottom of the pile.

I'm not suggesting this agency regularly does these things, just that I wouldn't be surprised.


Quote:
Now every sale is different, but they can happen in as little as a matter of hours if an editor is really interested. So what's this agent going to do? Tell the editor to hang on while she goes and signs you as a client?

Yes, this. Now, my agent is a contract man, so he had me sign that puppy the night he offered representation. I know some agents still go by "handshake." But even in those cases, an offer to represent you should be extended and accepted before the mss is submitted. Quite frankly, it's very poor business sense on the agent's behalf, too; what if you got an offer from an editor, said "Great!" and then called the editor to make your own deal? And contacted another agent to handle the contracts etc.? That would be unethical of you, and I don't think the editor or other agent would appreciate it, but the fact remains that without at last an agreement to rep she is just as unprotected.

What if you're offered a large advance, and then turn around and say "Okay, you can rep me, but you're only getting 10% or I won't sign the contract?"

Again, not hugely realistic, but still. Agents are supposed to be making sure things are airtight.


QFT:

Quote:
Publishing is a risk, but it's a joint risk. Agents take on part of it when they sign a client. In your case, the only risk is on your shoulders, and it shouldn't be.


Quote:
Every two weeks is not unreasonable. I check-in with my agent every Friday if I've got something on submission, just to see if she's gotten any rejections. The only "unreasonable" contact schedule is one that you don't discuss with your agent ahead of time. Anything that can be agreed upon is "reasonable."
Yes. Conversely (ha), there's me. I don't want to know to whom my agent is submitting my work. I don't want to know when he's sending it. I mean, he tells me when he's started submitting, and he'll update me when something happens or drop me an occasional "No word yet. Early days" type email, but I don't want to know. I just don't. It freaks me out and I know myself too well; I'll start twitter-and-Facebook-stalking the editors in question, or obsessively hunting down their authors to see how I "fit in," or whatever else.

My agent thinks this is bizarre of me, but he complies. The point is that I've requested it and he's okay with it; it's reasonable for us although it would be unreasonable for many others.


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Originally Posted by StoryG27 View Post


She is clear on all the bewares, I looked her up first. Is this really something I should report? I guess I am more naive than I realized. Now I'm nervous.
Yes, you should. Please do. And honey, she is not as "all-clear" here as you seem to think. Sales and track records are what matter.


Quote:
What you said makes perfect sense, even if she were my agent, she should discuss who she is sending it to with me. Gosh, what was I thinking?
You were thinking "An agent wants to submit my book!" You were thinking "I guess that's how it works..."

Both of those are perfectly natural and normal things to think and feel. Please don't blame yourself for that. It's EXCITING when an agent shows real interest. And honestly, it's difficult sometimes for even the most savvy author in the world to resist having someone finally show interest in their book. Reason can sometimes go out the window.

I certainly should have known better than to sign with a particular publisher I gave a book to early in my career. By that time I'd been here for a while. I knew what to look for and what not to. But man, I got "print book" stars in my eyes and ignored all the bad signs, all the potential bewares--of which there were OMGsomany--because of those stars.

Point is it happens. Don't beat yourself up.




Quote:
So, is the consensus that I should write the agent, ask her not to sub my work because I'm not comfortable having an agent who doesn't represent me subbing my novel? And that I'm fine with her still considering it but I will be sending submissions to other agents.

Yes. Say something like, "I'm a little concerned about the submission policy you're planning to follow with my mss. To be honest, I'm not really comfortable with the idea of having my book submitted to editors by an agent who doesn't officially represent me. I'm looking for an agent to guide my career, not just submit one book for me, and I'd rather you not proceed with submitting my work to anyone until we have discussed this, and until we have discussed where and to whom you plan to submit. Could you please let me know what you'd like to do?"

That's not perfect, but you get the idea. Just be polite and honest.


Quote:
Here's my worry. You know it is a small world and I'm worried she will bad mouth me to other agents, editors, and such. I think I might just have to write her and tell her my concerns and she seems like her moods shift quite a lot, so I'll have to hope I catch her on a good, reasonable day. Should I also write the head of the agency, the one who liked my work in the first place, the one I'd actually heard of, and see if this is protocol for her agents?

Sorry about my rambling questions. I am just a bit flabbergasted now.

To be blunt? Publishing is a fairly small world. I have seen no real indication that she is much of a part of it. Don't worry about that, really.

What is she supposed to say, anyway? "I tried to submit Author A's book before I agreed to represent her and she asked me not to?"

I wouldn't write to the agency head. Just see what this woman says.

Again, I'm sorry this is happening to you. You're right to think it's weird. You're not right to blame yourself for not "catching on" sooner. {{Hugs}}
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:21 PM   #20
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After all, I don't even know if she likes my novel but I guess she must like it somewhat if she is "testing the waters" with it. It is just odd to me.

Wha-wha-WHAAT? You don't even know if she likes your book? She's never actually said she likes your book?

Jeebus. Run. An agent looking to sign a client should be fairly effusive in how much they like that particular book. It should be something they discuss quite a bit. Yes, some agents are more effusive than others, but the fact remains that the words "I love this book" should have been spoken at least once (or something similar, i.e. "I think this is a wonderful book"). An agent is supposed to love your book, and be excited about it. They should be able to tell you exactly what they like about it and exactly what excites them about it. They should tell you how talented they think you are and how good at character-building/worldbuilding/emotions/whatever.

An agent should be like a guy about to ask a woman to marry him; unable to keep silent about how great their intended is.

If your agent won't even tell YOU how great they think you/your book is, what in the world are they going to say to editors, who they're supposed to be SELLING the book to?
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
Oh, SG. {{Hug}}
Thanks, I needed that.


Quote:
You were thinking "An agent wants to submit my book!" You were thinking "I guess that's how it works..."
Lol! That is exactly what I was thinking.

And thank you so much for the time and effort you put into helping me. I really like the advice on what to actually say to her as well. Very helpful.
Quote:
What is she supposed to say, anyway? "I tried to submit Author A's book before I agreed to represent her and she asked me not to?"
Yeah, I guess I don't need to worry about that.


Quote:
Again, I'm sorry this is happening to you. You're right to think it's weird. You're not right to blame yourself for not "catching on" sooner. {{Hugs}}
Thank you so, so much!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #22
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I never even got, "I finished the book," much less, "I love this book!"
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #23
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StoryG27,

First off, big for you. Sounds like a mess.

Personally, I would email her and put a complete stop to this fishy situation and move on to querying other agents. My guess is she has not done much.

I'm sorry this is happening to you.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #24
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IMHO you need to have an actual written contract with anyone representing you work and sending it to editors. Otherwise, what happens if someone offers you a deal?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:22 PM   #25
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I'm not the expert with experience, as others here are, but I would contact this agent today to withdraw my manuscript from consideration unless and until a contract is in effect.

Maryn, big believer in contract law
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