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scfirenice
07-19-2005, 12:05 AM
Is it acceptable to continue to send queries to agents while your book is on submission to a publisher?
Thanks
scfirenice

Cathy C
07-19-2005, 05:15 AM
Absolutely! It's especially useful to approach an agent with the words, "it's already had an offer from XXX." It's simply amazing how fast that'll get you represented! Money in the bank for them for a minimum of effort. LOL!

Andrew Zack
07-19-2005, 05:49 PM
I recommend that authors do NOT pursue publishers before agents. Find an agent first, then let the agent find you a publisher.

victoriastrauss
07-19-2005, 09:29 PM
If you're approaching larger publishers on your own, your submission is going to get much less attention than it would if it came from an agent--if it gets any attention at all. This is true even if the imprint you're submitting to is willing to look at unagented material. And once you're rejected by a particular imprint, you generally can't submit that manuscript there again. For some genres (such as science fiction/fantasy), the number of imprints is so small that if you get rejected by just two or three of them, you've closed off a significant segment of the market. So if you approach publishers yourself, you may be closing doors for an agent--which will make you a good deal less attractive as a client, no matter how good your work is.

- Victoria

Valona
07-19-2005, 09:35 PM
Does all this advice apply to young adult literature as well? I've heard that agents generally don't accept YA clients unless they have an offer from a publisher first.

scfirenice
07-20-2005, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the tips. Finding an agent is WOW... daunting to say the least.

Katiba
07-20-2005, 01:33 AM
Many agents do accept YA authors - go to agentquery.com and do a search for 'young adult' to find agents who will accept YA submissions.

Valona
07-20-2005, 02:15 AM
Many agents do accept YA authors - go to agentquery.com and do a search for 'young adult' to find agents who will accept YA submissions.

Thanks. I'm working on that list now, but haven't had much luck. Maybe it's my book? NAW!

victoriastrauss
07-20-2005, 04:02 AM
Does all this advice apply to young adult literature as well? I've heard that agents generally don't accept YA clients unless they have an offer from a publisher first.That doesn't reflect my sense of things; the YA field seems just as competitive as much adult fiction, especially if you're writing YA fantasy. Again, if your goal is one of the large houses, an agent is really the best option. If you want to approach independents (there are some good indies that do YA, such as Milkweed Editions (http://www.milkweed.org/)), you can go agentless, since most indies are willing to work direct with authors.

- Victoria

Andrew Zack
07-20-2005, 05:26 PM
IMHO, going "agentless" is a bit like walking into the hospital and asking where you go to perform surgery on yourself. Sounds crazy, no? I have spoken to very smart lawyers who don't understand publishing contracts. I have spoken to contracts people at publishing houses who do not understand THEIR OWN HOUSE'S contract. You need an agent. Period. Can you do a deal with an indie on your own? Or a major? Maybe, but I promise you, you will eventually be posting your worries and complaints in this site, asking how you can get out of your contract.

Zolah
07-20-2005, 08:09 PM
IMHO, going "agentless" is a bit like walking into the hospital and asking where you go to perform surgery on yourself. Sounds crazy, no? I have spoken to very smart lawyers who don't understand publishing contracts. I have spoken to contracts people at publishing houses who do not understand THEIR OWN HOUSE'S contract. You need an agent. Period. Can you do a deal with an indie on your own? Or a major? Maybe, but I promise you, you will eventually be posting your worries and complaints in this site, asking how you can get out of your contract.

Not always true. I submitted my novel to a major publisher without an agent, was invited down to have lunch with the editor, got paid to do revisions on the book and THEN found an agent. My agent then got the revised novel accepted for publication and the contract negotiated and I couldn't be happier. My advance is about four times bigger than I hoped it would be, in fact.

But there's also a significant number of children's writers who are not agented and never have been - Michael Morpurgo, for instance, a best-selling, multi-award winning previous Children's Laureate with a forty year career. I doubt he could have done much better if he had six agents...

victoriastrauss
07-21-2005, 01:25 AM
IMHO, going "agentless" is a bit like walking into the hospital and asking where you go to perform surgery on yourself. Sounds crazy, no? I have spoken to very smart lawyers who don't understand publishing contracts. I have spoken to contracts people at publishing houses who do not understand THEIR OWN HOUSE'S contract.I agree. You shouldn't consider signing a publishing contract without getting professional advice, whether the publisher is large or small. What I meant to point out was that most smaller publishers are accustomed to dealing directly with writers, and you don't need an agent to submit to them--as you do with most imprints of larger publishers.

- Victoria