View Full Version : contacting agents and publishers at the same time

05-06-2008, 04:53 AM
Have any of you or are any of you going after publishers at the same time as agents? What are some of the things to keep in mind while taking this approach? While I am trying to get an agent, is there anything wrong with contacting a few publishers? I was given a few contacts and with the publishers I am thinking about contacting, I am able to drop a name (I have a referral). What would some of you do? Thanks.

Little Red Barn
05-06-2008, 05:56 AM
Hi, getting by. I would do if it were smaller presses, however if you have a referral for a big one(pub) --go for it as well. Just be sure and let agent know about them after you're agented or if big publisher likes your ms, then you can use this to get your agent when querying.

Good luck!

Marina Snow
05-22-2008, 12:04 AM
If I were you, I would consider the fact that you might contact a publisher and be turned down for any number of reasons and it could be the exact publisher that an agent might have gotten you signed with. Once rejected, you will have a red flag by that publisher. I think it is better to do one or the other. (read: contact only agents, or contact only publishers) Start with agents because once they are exhausted, then you can then begin contacting publishers.

Hope this helps.
Good wishes. :Sun:

05-22-2008, 02:12 AM
I agree with Marina. For any particular work I think it can be dangerous to contact publishers and agents at the same time. It's kind of like cross purposes. An agent wants clear sailing when it comes to contacting publishers for sale of a work. In addition, you could have a problem if when accepted by an agent you tell her before signing that you have contacted (let's say 5 publishers) and been rejected. You have not only cut down on her resource pool, you are giving negative info about your work which may result in her thinking twice. You have to do what you think best, but if it were me, I'd try for an agent first.

05-22-2008, 06:53 AM
I understand what all of you are saying, and I tend to agree. However, I am not talking about blind submissions to publishers. One of the publishers invited me to send my proposal whenever I want. She has read a sample chapter and really liked it. The door is open. I am still not sure if I should send it in. However, when I get an agent, I want my agent to work with this publisher. She is from one of the top four publishing houses. Again, this was not a blind query. This editor has never even seen my query. The other editor is at a midsize press. He was told about my book by someone we both know and said he would be interested at taking a look. I just don't want to wait so long before taking these people up on their offers. The agent search has been so up and down for me. I was just thinking the whole point of getting an agent is to get my work in front of the very people who are offering to look at it now. Maybe an agent will have more connections, but does that really matter right now if I have these two interested on my own?

05-22-2008, 07:13 AM
I think you should wait until (and if) your current round of agent queries, at least, are exhausted before you contact publishers directly. Your agent is going to want a fresh start in the marketplace with your book.

And yes, even though an editor from a big publishing house has expressed interest in seeing the book, another editor from the house might be a better fit. If you go ahead and submit it to BigPub Editor #1, that means the agent isn't going to be able to submit it to BigPub Editor #2, who might be a total slam dunk.

The editors won't mind waiting. Unless the topic of your book is very time-sensitive (the 2010 Winter Olympics or something), it's really a mistake for you to jump the gun here.

Don't you have a bunch of agent queries out there that are only a few weeks old?

05-22-2008, 07:36 AM
Let's stick with the two publishers you mention. First of all, I'm a bit confused about the first publisher. You say that the publisher invited you to send your proposal whenever you want based on her reading of one of your sample chapters. That she has never seen your query. How did she become aware of you and how did she come to get your sample chapter? Are you saying she's willing and desirous of reading your manuscript without receiving a query letter or a proposal with your manuscript?

I could be wrong, but it sounds as if both publishers come to you by way of a friend recommending to the editors that they read your manuscript. If so, you have a good and powerful friend. Only you can gauge what you believe is true interest on the part of these publishers vs the pretense of a favor to your friend. If you are convinced that your manuscript would be a good fit for these publishers, and you see a need within their catalog, that's a different story. You could limit your involvement with publishers to these two, thereby only creating a slight dent in an agents list. However, I still do not think you should solicit publishers and agents at the same time. There are too many possibilities that things could get messy. Since you apparently want to submit your work to the two publishers, why not do so and give each eight weeks to get back to you. If things work out, great. It will make it that much easier to get an agent with an impending contract under your belt. If they reject your work you can then go out and query for an agent -- when you get one you of course have to tell her of the rejections.