PDA

View Full Version : New Agent Wants to Submit A Book My Old Agent Couldn't Sell...



JacksonMcGees
03-19-2010, 04:53 AM
I just left my old agent a few weeks ago. She didn't sell my novel and we parted on good terms. It just didn't work out.

Though a little luck and good fortune, I landed a new agent who is perfect for my work. Probably a better fit than my old one, in hindsight.

Well, I told my new agent about an idea I had for changing the novel that never sold -- an idea my previous agent had said wasn't a good idea. It's actually not a big change, but my new agent thinks it makes the book more sellable and she wants me to make the change so she can submit it as early as this summer while I'm still finishing up my new novel.

I had no written contract with my previous agent, who was very nice and enthusiastic and 100% legit. We had a lot of close calls with the book, deals that almost happened, but it just didn't seem meant to be.

My new agent knows all of this, but thinks she can sell the book with this change. She's really certain she can sell it, in fact.

What does this mean in the long run? What if she sells the book? Should the old agent get a cut?

Anything I should be aware of? Anything I should worry about?

Thanks!

Jackson

PoppysInARow
03-19-2010, 05:06 AM
Though I'm anything but an expert, I believe your old agent gets nothing. You broke off your agreement. The only way she would get anything is if she sold it herself. Your new agent would get the cut for selling it.

It sounds pretty standard. Leave old agent, new agent likes books, makes changes, sells book, everyone is happy. I don't see anything you should worry about.

Toothpaste
03-19-2010, 05:47 AM
I would get something in writing from your old agent, that's what I did even though we parted totally amicably. Remember, it's business. Get them to write something that states they have no claim over any MSs that were shopped but went unsold etc.

For the record it makes absolutely no sense that your old agent would be able to claim anything on a sale your new agent makes. After all, your old agent failed, why should they then make money off of what your new agent succeeded at?

But I'm a girl who likes things in print, even if you didn't get a written contract with your old agent, email them and say you'd like a formal statement of release. It can be in the form of an email, doesn't have to be fancy, but then you don't need to worry about any potential messiness down the line.

Irysangel
03-19-2010, 06:09 AM
I just left my old agent a few weeks ago. She didn't sell my novel and we parted on good terms. It just didn't work out.

Though a little luck and good fortune, I landed a new agent who is perfect for my work. Probably a better fit than my old one, in hindsight.

Well, I told my new agent about an idea I had for changing the novel that never sold -- an idea my previous agent had said wasn't a good idea. It's actually not a big change, but my new agent thinks it makes the book more sellable and she wants me to make the change so she can submit it as early as this summer while I'm still finishing up my new novel.

I had no written contract with my previous agent, who was very nice and enthusiastic and 100% legit. We had a lot of close calls with the book, deals that almost happened, but it just didn't seem meant to be.

My new agent knows all of this, but thinks she can sell the book with this change. She's really certain she can sell it, in fact.

What does this mean in the long run? What if she sells the book? Should the old agent get a cut?

Anything I should be aware of? Anything I should worry about?

Thanks!

Jackson

Did you have a contract with the old agent? Did it discuss termination clauses? You didn't mention that in your post.

JacksonMcGees
03-19-2010, 07:27 AM
Thanks, everyone. This is something I'm going to ask my new agent about, just to make sure everyone is on the same page, but I know there are some very knowledgeable people here and wanted to be sure I'm asking the right questions!

Erin
03-23-2010, 06:49 PM
I would get something in writing from your old agent, that's what I did even though we parted totally amicably. Remember, it's business. Get them to write something that states they have no claim over any MSs that were shopped but went unsold etc.

For the record it makes absolutely no sense that your old agent would be able to claim anything on a sale your new agent makes. After all, your old agent failed, why should they then make money off of what your new agent succeeded at?

But I'm a girl who likes things in print, even if you didn't get a written contract with your old agent, email them and say you'd like a formal statement of release. It can be in the form of an email, doesn't have to be fancy, but then you don't need to worry about any potential messiness down the line.

Ditto. Get it in writing to be safe.

YAwriter72
03-23-2010, 07:12 PM
I got a letter stating old agent released any and all claim to book he did not sell for me. And I got a list of editors he subbed it to also, in case we pursue it down the road we'll know who already saw it.

Jamesaritchie
03-23-2010, 07:49 PM
The old agent gets nothing except a big rasberry. Never let an agent tell you an idea is good or bad. They simply have no clue.