View Full Version : Changing Agents, Part 2

02-21-2009, 01:19 AM
So I sent my agent a letter officially terminating our business relationship--very straightforward, businesslike, even polite. She e-mailed me a week later to say my book was being read by seven editors. Four of those editors have since rejected, though we've gotten some good reads and very "nice" rejections from a couple of them.

The 60-day termination period has now elapsed, and three submissions are still active. Another agent is very interested in reading the manuscript, a very good agent with sales in my genre, etc. etc. (He has even said he doesn't mind if all the submissions from the previous agent result in rejections. He'd still like to see it. I should note that I had some contact with this agent several years ago, before I signed with the one I've just terminated. Still with me here?)

What are my ethical obligations at this point, since the 60 days is up? I'd be a fool not to consider an offer, if one results from one of the remaining active submissions, but at the same time, I'm ready to move on (for many reasons).

I'd be interested in thoughts on this rather delicate situation. Thanks.

02-21-2009, 03:08 AM
Obviously this entire situation is crucial to you. Not being an attorney or having the original contract and termination (I hope letter) from your present agency to look at makes it very hard for me to even try to recommend anything -- as obvious as some things seem to be. If it were me, I would enlist the services of an IR attorney to make sure you are protected in the present and future. If you've had anything published and are a member of the Authors Guild, you could ask their legal department for help.

Good luck, and be careful.

02-21-2009, 05:15 AM
Generally speaking, if a publication offer results from a submission your agent made, she will expect to be the agent of record for that sale, even if you've terminated the relationship. Since she did the work, she deserves to benefit from the sale.

Check your contract--there's often specific language dealing with an eventuality like this.

Bottom line: you need to wait until all the editors' responses are in before signing with a new agent for this manuscript.

- Victoria

02-21-2009, 10:47 PM
Victoria, this would indeed seem to be the most prudent thing to do...just wait until the other three editors make a decision. If I get an offer, great! If not, I move on. I'm just impatient to get my career restarted (great timing to restart anything, yes?).

03-08-2009, 05:46 PM
With the contract time frame finished with, you can also ask your previous agent to remove the MS from consideration from those 3 editors. I had to do this in my case. It allowed me to create a 'clean' break'. Once you get a new agent, you can get their opinion as to whether it is prudent to resubmit to these editors. Just make sure you keep copies of all corespondence with your previous agent regarding these submission decisions. Good luck!