View Full Version : Competing Offers from Agents

05-12-2009, 08:25 AM
Agentquery's valuable advice, "When an Agent Calls" has this to say when in the enviable position of receiving multiple offers to represent from agents:

Once you inform the other competing agents that you have an offer of representation, they will often ask for an extra week to read it and decide whether or not they want to make a competing offer.

We're not talking auction here. So, what can agents offer to outcompete each other for a client?

05-12-2009, 08:29 AM
If more than one agent offers representation, you might find that talking to each one will give a chance to find who's the best fit with you personality-wise. Just because a person is a major agent doesn't mean you'll click with them or their style. You might like the agent from the smaller agency better.

05-12-2009, 12:26 PM
They might offer to return your calls and answer your e-mails within 2 working days.
This is a valuable offer and you should hold out for it.

05-12-2009, 04:20 PM
They talk about your career and not just the one book. Make sure where you envision going is where they can/want to take you.

Getting along is great, but make sure its useful. I have a friend who is BFF with her agent, she says they talk for hours. Yet after a year and a half her MS is still out there, trying to find a buyer and friend hasn't written anything else. But she and her agent still talk for hours. No thanks.

My agent emails, short and sweet, tells me what needs work in my story (He is a hands on, give editorial suggestions type), when its ready and when we go to sub. He's there if I have a question and despite his huge client list, gets back to me timely. I don't want a BFF, I want someone who is going to be out there selling me. Helping my career.

05-12-2009, 04:31 PM
Competing offer just means multiple people trying to gain the same thing. Which is your acceptance for them to represent you and your book. Agents vary wildly, so one who is a hands on editing in your face kinda of agent might drive you nuts, but one who lets your work be your work and doesn't offer suggestions might be just what you want. Or vice versa. One might have ties to authors and editors you like. One might have a background in marketing you find valuable.

What they have to offer is experience and a working style. You want an agent who has both experience you like and a style you enjoy working with.

05-13-2009, 12:56 AM
Enthusiasm for your work would probably rank high on the list. Do they love it or do they just think it will sell? Selling is important, loving is bonus points.

As mentioned above, what kind of revisions do they propose for your MS? Do you agree with them?

Make a list of questions and interview them, see which would be best for you in the short and long term considering all you've written and plan to write. . .