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View Full Version : Happy, but I have a question



Kaibafangirl77
04-23-2009, 08:54 AM
If this is in the wrong place, I am sorry, I wasn't sure.

I have been submitting my manuscript to agents without much luck, so I thought I would try going to a publisher directly and I might be getting an offer. They requested a partial and then a full not long after. However, I still have no agent.

Would I be able to work the deal myself, or should I try to contact agents and let them know I have a potential publisher?

Birol
04-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Whose the publisher?

Cyia
04-23-2009, 09:00 AM
Who's the publisher? Are you familiar with them? Are they legit? Do they have verified books ON shelves in bookstores rather than available THROUGH bookstores (big difference there)

If you believe the publisher is worth pursuing, write another query to a few agents you want to represent you. Put "Deal from {publisher} in hand" or something like it in the subject line. If it's a real publisher, that's going to get an agent's attention.

You're always better off having someone who knows the ropes deal for you.

(And congrats on the offer. :) )

suki
04-23-2009, 09:07 AM
If this is in the wrong place, I am sorry, I wasn't sure.

I have been submitting my manuscript to agents without much luck, so I thought I would try going to a publisher directly and I might be getting an offer. They requested a partial and then a full not long after. However, I still have no agent.

Would I be able to work the deal myself, or should I try to contact agents and let them know I have a potential publisher?

As others have commented, it depends on the publisher, and especially if you know they are legit and how much is at stake. For example, if it is a small press, where the terms are pretty much set, it might not be worth it. But if it is a larger publisher, then maybe. I'm someone who doesn't think everyone always needs an agent, but I think it depends on each person's own circumstances, experience and knowledge.

But, assuming the publisher is reputable and actually makes you an offer, here is a link to a page from the Ask The Agent forum, where a Very Knowledgeable Agent explained what to do if you find yourself with an offer from a publisher and want to query agents to help close the deal. It's a detailed comment, about half way down the page:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115508&page=15

She confirms what I've understood to be true - that is that agents won't care unless you actually have a firm offer from a reputable publisher. The partial or full request or discussions aren't enough. BUT, once that actual offer is made, then it might be worth querying agents.

good luck.

~suki

Little Bird
04-23-2009, 11:33 AM
I don't want to be discouraging, but a major publisher requested a full from me 2 1/2 years ago. I never heard from them again, even though I sent a follow-up letter one year after I sent the full. It's my understanding that a request for a full is not enough to give you an edge with an agent. I f you want to get a publisher interested first, then wait until they're ready to make you an offer, and then turn to a list of agents you've looked into and can query (preferably by e-mail). Tell them you have an offer.

I strongly advise trying to get an agent first, though, for the simple reason that there are fewer publishers than agents, and once they turn you down, those doors are shut.

I just received an offer from an agent, who already gave me great feedback on my novel once (I revised & resent) and now we've come to an agreement on a second round of revisions. I did not, of course, intentionally send out work that I knew wasn't ready. But the fact is that it wasn't quite ready. It doesn't matter how many agents rejected it; that won't affect its chances at getting published. If I'd gone to publishers first, that would be a different story. She'd be limited in where she could shop it.

It's tempting to go straight to publishers, especially when you get the requests for partials & fulls, even a nice, personalized rejection on an unsolicited full, as I got once, but based on my experience, it's not the best route. One of my novels (one I consider one of my most promising) was rejected by so many publishers, it will be years be for it can be shopped again, if ever.

My experience: four years querying publishers= nada
Nine months querying agents= representation, great advice on my writing, and hopefully a better chance at publication

Wayne K
04-23-2009, 02:32 PM
If you have an offer the agent is pretty easy to get. Some people think it's a waste of percentage but agents do a lot more than just selling the book.

Claudia Gray
04-23-2009, 06:26 PM
If you get the offer, then get an agent. Even legitimate publishers offer contracts that skew rights/payment/etc. to their advantage -- that's just business. An agent's business is to make sure that contract benefits you at least as much as it does the publisher, and they know a lot more about the ins and outs of the business. Once you have an offer in hand, getting an agent should be simple. The publisher will not look at this as you "not trusting them" or anything like it; they probably expect to deal with agents more often than authors.

Wayne K
04-23-2009, 07:16 PM
I think--not sure--Jane Dystel wrote an article about all the after publication things she did for one of her clients, it was incredible. She walked her through appearances and held her hand during a tough time. She had me convinced that it's always better to have someone who's been through this before in your corner.

Gillhoughly
04-25-2009, 02:38 AM
They requested a partial and then a full not long after. However, I still have no agent.

Would I be able to work the deal myself, or should I try to contact agents and let them know I have a potential publisher?

Most agents are more than willing to shepherd an "orphan" deal, and it can turn into a long term business arrangement if you work well together. I'll PM you a couple places.

What's important about having an agent is she knows how to read a publishing contract and can keep you out of trouble. There are often easy to overlook clauses in a boilerplate contract that can cost you money down the road.

An agent can retain your foreign sales & media rights, which can be good money, and see to it you have plenty of author copies. There's more, but if you get an offer from the house, let the editor know that you're interested but have to discuss this with your agent.