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onceagainsam
06-30-2010, 01:29 AM
I got really lucky. More than one agent is interested in representing my coming-of-age adventure novel. I never thought that would happen and now I don't know what to do.

What's more important:
1. An agent with 20+ years experience (who offered representation without reading the full manuscript)
2. An enthusiastic agent (with less experience but with a prestigious agency)
3. An extremely active agent (who mostly reps romance, not my genre)

jvc
06-30-2010, 01:42 AM
Greetings and welcome to the watercooler :welcome:

I'm going to leave this thread here as a welcome thread, but you may want to pop over to the 'Ask the Agent' (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=58)forum and ask there. Loads of helpful peeps over there.

Don't forget to read the newbie guide (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315), and if you want to know what all the buttons mean check out this thread. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28185)

Sage
06-30-2010, 01:43 AM
Welcome and congrats :D

This question is probably better in another subforum, but I'm sure the appropriate mod will come move it where you can get better answers.

My advice is to first of all talk to all of them. Get an idea of what their vision is for the novel. If the romance agent wants you to make huge changes, it might not make sense to make those changes for your genre (I've had this problem, lol). Also, you want to consider if the romance agent is going to have contacts to editors that publish your genre.

For all of them, see who you click with, and see what revisions they want and if you're okay with those. Get a feel for how they view you and your book and your future writing career. If your next book is going to be a thriller and they don't handle thrillers, that might be worth considering.

I'm a little wary of someone offering rep without reading the full novel. First of all, how can the agent know that your novel ends as well as it begins? Many fall apart at the end. How can they give you an accurate view of what you might have to change or know where they'd be able to send the novel?

There are good things about experienced agents and good things about new agents, especially those with experienced agencies. Experienced agents have great relationships with lots of publishers, but you might be a small fish in a big pond, and they might ignore you for bigger clients. Newer agents can focus on their clients, since they have fewer of them, but they might be lacking the connections to the publishers.

Without knowing the specific agents or agencies, I suggest checking out the Bewares, Recs, and Background Checks forum and searching for those agents. You'll find lots of information about them there (most likely). But definitely don't make a decision until you talk with them and get a feel for who you click with, whose vision is in line with the book, and who has a plan for the book and your future writing career.

ETA: Crossposted with JVC

jvc
06-30-2010, 01:50 AM
Okay, I'll move this thread over to the Ask the Agent forum. But, only if you make sure you come back to the Newbie forum to introduce yourself. :)

jvc
06-30-2010, 02:01 AM
I second what Sage said, especially about the agent who didn't read the full. That doesn't sound like it's a good idea. Talk to them and see if their vision for your novel is the same as what you had in mind.

Also, knowing which agents are good and which, well let's just say may not as good, can be even trickier. The Bewares Recomendations and Background Check Forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22) should help you with this. Something I would recommend for everyone who is searching for a pubisher/agent is to check them out first. If only everyone did, there would be a lot less heartache afterwards.

C.T. Richmond
06-30-2010, 03:41 AM
First of all, congrats! And welcome to AW! :)

Secondly, I definitely agree with what Sage suggested above. It's really important for you to speak with all of these agents before you make a decision. Once you've set up the phone interviews, be sure to ask questions about revisions (how extensive?), communication preferences (phone? email?), and contracts (written? verbal?). You may also want to ask about the agent's vision for your career and what will happen if your book doesn't sell.

Third, I would ask the agents if they could give you a couple client referrals. This helped me out a lot when I was trying to decide on an agent. I knew I had found the right agent when his clients simply raved about him for paragraphs upon paragraphs (and I had only asked them three little questions!).

Good luck! And feel free to PM me if you'd like!

Ryan_Sullivan
06-30-2010, 04:09 AM
I got really lucky. More than one agent is interested in representing my coming-of-age adventure novel. I never thought that would happen and now I don't know what to do.

What's more important:
1. An agent with 20+ years experience (who offered representation without reading the full manuscript)
2. An enthusiastic agent (with less experience but with a prestigious agency)
3. An extremely active agent (who mostly reps romance, not my genre)

Experience matters, but so does enthusiasm. If you're looking for a quick sale, agent 3 might be okay, but it sounds like he/she would be less of a fit for the long term.

My best advice: go with who's personality and vision is best for you. I cannot tell you how appreciative I've been that my agent fits my personality. It is a business relationship, but you need to work well together. I'd also suggest going over to Bewares and Background Checks and reading up.

onceagainsam
06-30-2010, 04:55 AM
I really appreciate the responses. I think by the end of the week I'll make my decision about which agent to go with and let you guys know. I just hope its the right decision!

cate townsend
06-30-2010, 10:40 PM
Congrats on the offers, onceagainsam. Sounds like there's some good advice above, and you've got a lot of homework to do. But I'll just offer some personal experience: my agent offered rep after reading only about 1/4 of my novel; elsewhere, I've heard of others with similar experience. I don't think it's a bad sign that an agent does this, esp. of one with so much experience - they do a lot of skimming, and they should know how it ends if you've provided them with a detailed synopsis. After you do all your research and it comes down to a decision, the best advice I have is to listen to your gut.

Eddyz Aquila
06-30-2010, 10:48 PM
Think of the long term, I would go for agent number two particularly if you are planning on a writing career. :)

And congratulations! I wish the same thing would happen to me when I will submit!

Jamesaritchie
07-01-2010, 12:01 AM
I'd avoid agent number three. She's at a real disadvantage.

One or two both sound fine.

You need to check oput which agent has made the biggest sales in your genre. This matters more than anything.

Having a plan for a book means next to nothing. No agent can plan what a book will or won't do. All an agent can do, any agent, is put your book in the hands of the top editors out there.

I will disagree with Sage completely about which agent has a plan for your career. Only a damned fool allows an agent anywhere near his career plan.

kaitlin008
07-01-2010, 01:05 AM
I will disagree with Sage completely about which agent has a plan for your career. Only a damned fool allows an agent anywhere near his career plan.

I think you're completely misreading what Sage means. I agree with her, you should see what an agent thinks about your plans for your career. If they have this specific vision of you and your career and how it's going to go, and it's wildly different than your own vision of your career, then it's unlikely you will have a good long-term relationship with that agent.

dgrintalis
07-01-2010, 01:14 AM
Congratulations! I will second the advice to talk to each of them and get a feel for their personalities. You'll know right off the bat if you 'click' more with one than another. And I don't know that it's that uncommon for agents to offer without reading the entire manuscript. If they love the voice and the concept enough, my guess is they decide that any issues they come across later in the manuscript can be fixed with revisions. I ended up with 4 offers of rep, including one who didn't read the entire manuscript and one who scheduled the offering phone call after reading only 20 pages. I spoke to all of them on the phone and my gut instinct told me which one was right for my book and my career.

Ryan_Sullivan
07-01-2010, 02:30 AM
I think you're completely misreading what Sage means. I agree with her, you should see what an agent thinks about your plans for your career. If they have this specific vision of you and your career and how it's going to go, and it's wildly different than your own vision of your career, then it's unlikely you will have a good long-term relationship with that agent.

He's not misreading, he just doesn't like agents, and has expressed that opinion time and time again...on the agents board...go figure.

scope
07-01-2010, 03:36 AM
I agree that before making any decision you should speak to all of them. And don't forget that the key to eliciting the information you seek lies in the questions you ask -- so take your time in preparing the questions. Given the diversity of the agents, some of your questions will be the same, but others are likely to differ.

My bet is on agent 2.

dragonjax
07-01-2010, 03:43 AM
My bet is on agent 2.

Ditto.

Ryan_Sullivan
07-01-2010, 04:21 AM
Ditto.

double ditto. We writers, by nature, are often self conscious or unsure. An agent with enthusiasm can potentially be a great support and help boost that confidence.

Stacia Kane
07-03-2010, 05:09 AM
I just want to pop in here quickly and say my agent hadn't finished reading my full when he offered. :) He knew I had other fulls out there, and didn't want to miss out. I did ask him about that and he basically said it was obvious I knew what I was doing and he was confident that if the ending had problems I'd be able to fix it.

Granted, I had seven published erotic romances, one published UF and another under offer, in addition to the one I was querying, so it wasn't like it was my first manuscript ever.

But my agent has something like 20 years experience himself, with a great, solid agency; he knows what he likes. :)

I just wouldn't say that offering without finishing the ms is an absolute no-no, at all. To me, it showed that he was so impressed and excited that he wanted to snap me up before someone else did.

I've certainly never regretted the decision, considering that we have deals in seven countries, and audiobooks. ;)

Just another viewpoint.

onceagainsam
07-03-2010, 05:40 AM
Well, that's good to hear. Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

I went with Agent #1 in the end.

Now all the scary stuff is about to happen, huh? Suddenly I want to rewrite the whole novel. Suddenly I feel its not good enough, that it never has been. Suddenly I can't sleep. Please tell me this is normal first-timer jitters...

scope
07-03-2010, 07:01 PM
ONCEAGAINSAM,

No, I don't think yours are normal the first-time jitters one would expect. You shouldn't want to rewrite the whole novel -- your agent has to like it or she wouldn't have signed you. Sure, certain parts may need revision, but not the entire manuscript.

cate townsend
07-05-2010, 09:28 PM
Well, that's good to hear. Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

I went with Agent #1 in the end.

Now all the scary stuff is about to happen, huh? Suddenly I want to rewrite the whole novel. Suddenly I feel its not good enough, that it never has been. Suddenly I can't sleep. Please tell me this is normal first-timer jitters...

Congrats! I felt the same way you did, and after two rounds of revisions (and possibly more) I think I did rewrite the whole thing. Has the agent talked about any revisions yet?

onceagainsam
07-06-2010, 07:55 PM
The agent hasn't mentioned revisions yet but since she's the one who made the offer after only three chapters and synopsis, I have a feeling my controversial ending may need to be toned down some in order to sell the novel to publishers down the line.

cate townsend
07-06-2010, 08:43 PM
Didn't she know the ending from the synopsis? Maybe she won't suggest changing it. Good luck!

Ryan_Sullivan
07-07-2010, 12:01 AM
The agent hasn't mentioned revisions yet but since she's the one who made the offer after only three chapters and synopsis, I have a feeling my controversial ending may need to be toned down some in order to sell the novel to publishers down the line.

There's nothing wrong with controversial--bad endings are the ones people don't like. In all likelihood, you'll have to do revisions, and you can discuss it with her at that point. A good agent won't make you change something you really don't want to (but if the reasoning is good, you may want to). It's your work, and you shouldn't do anything you're uncomfortable with. Listen to her comments, and discuss them.

But, also, there are agents out there who don't ask for revisions (sometimes the more senior ones), rather letting the editor do that.

Kasey Mackenzie
07-14-2010, 08:33 PM
I know I'm chiming in late but just want to give another perspective for any writers who find themselves in a similar situation. I actually had both agents who offered to rep Red Hot Fury do so before they had finished reading the manuscript. I believe I emailed the full to Agent 1 on a Sunday and she called me mid-morning Monday to make her offer. Agent 2 had the partial but was one of my very top choice agents so I let her know along with the other agents reading fulls, and she promised to respond within 3 days. She held to her promise and knew before she got to the end that she wanted to offer on the book, so she did.

Both of these agents had solid, long careers in the publishing industry and Agent 1, though new, was with an established agency, so the fact neither of them hadn't quite reached the end before offering didn't throw me in the slightest.

Just wanted to give another experience to consider! And congrats to signing with an agent, original poster! =)

sissybaby
07-15-2010, 01:17 AM
I just found this thread and wanted to add my congratulations, onceagainsam. Woot!!

Glad you didn't have much trouble making up your mind after all.