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chicklit
10-09-2010, 01:37 AM
Hello everyone,

I have a question and wasn't able to find the answer in the archive, nor elsewhere on the internet. Perhaps this is something everyone already knows but I'm confused.

When someone asks for an exclusive full and you tell them you agree to send them an exclusive full, does this mean you can no longer send out partials? Logically, that wouldn't make sense to me because they are called two different things, which makes them different things in my world.

But maybe they are the same in everyone else's once they've been sent. So if I have agreed to an exclusive 3 week full, does this mean I can't send anyone else a requested partial?

Agent query gives advice on sending exclusive fulls and then says they don't recommend giving exclusive partials, for obvious reasons, which seemed to reinforce my thoughts on them being totally different things.

If anyone has a clear yes or no answer on this, I'd be much obliged because thus far I've gotten loads of conflicting answers from other authors and editors. I've never granted an exclusive in the past, and now that I have, I just want to be clear on what I've done.

Next time, I'll try to know what the hell I'm doing before I agree to something I'm not clear on. :-P

Old Hack
10-09-2010, 02:25 AM
If I had granted an exclusive I wouldn't send out any more of my work, regardless of whether it was a full or partial which had been given the exclusive.

But I would make sure that the exclusive was time-limited.

In the meantime, if anyone asked to see more of my work I'd tell them I'd given a two-week exclusive (or however long you've given them) and let them know I'll be sending them my work the minute the exclusive was up.

chicklit
10-09-2010, 03:01 AM
Hi, thanks for that. Yes, of course it's limited to only a few weeks. Perhaps I'm just taking the phrasing too literally in thinking the exclusive pertained only to the type requested.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has another opinion apart from what's been said here.

brianm
10-09-2010, 09:03 AM
Hi, thanks for that. Yes, of course it's limited to only a few weeks. Perhaps I'm just taking the phrasing too literally in thinking the exclusive pertained only to the type requested.

Welcome to the cooler.

Granting an exclusive, whether it's a partial or full, means you are agreeing not to submit a particular work to anyone else during the agreed upon time period.

This question has been asked many times and you can read the responses in other threads located in the Ask the Agent (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/search.php?searchid=19551126) forum. You'll need to page down to threads with the word exclusive in their title.

If you've already sent out fulls to other parties, just let the person know you can't grant an exclusive because other parties already have fulls. Most of the time the person will just ask that you let them know when you receive representation.

Good luck!

~brianm~

chicklit
10-09-2010, 12:44 PM
Hello Brian, and thank you for the welcome. Thanks for your reply, I didn't check that forum specifically, I just searched via the search function.

I have to say I'm very surprised to learn this, and I don't get why it's called an exclusive full if it's really just an exclusive full stop. But ok, then. Thanks for all the help. :)

Terie
10-09-2010, 01:41 PM
I have to say I'm very surprised to learn this, and I don't get why it's called an exclusive full if it's really just an exclusive full stop. But ok, then. Thanks for all the help. :)

Because no one calls it an 'exclusive full'. It's simply called an 'exclusive submission', or 'exclusive' for short.

chicklit
10-09-2010, 02:47 PM
Was that meant to sound as snarky as it does?

I may have misinterpreted the phrasing of what I was asked for, but my understanding was that I was being asked for an exclusive full and not an exclusive across the board submission, which I would not have given had I realized that's what was being requested. But it doesn't matter, as it's a moot point now.

Thanks so much.

Terie
10-09-2010, 03:37 PM
Was that meant to sound as snarky as it does?

Sorry. No, it wasn't. I was just trying to clarify the common usage.

brianm
10-09-2010, 06:44 PM
Hello Brian, and thank you for the welcome. Thanks for your reply, I didn't check that forum specifically, I just searched via the search function.

You're welcome.

The search function is quite useful in a specific forum but there are so many forums here in AW that you'll need to spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with all of them in order to reap the most benefit. Do stop by the newbie member forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=27) and introduce yourself.


I have to say I'm very surprised to learn this, and I don't get why it's called an exclusive full if it's really just an exclusive full stop. But ok, then. Thanks for all the help. :)

As Terie has already explained, it isn't referred to as an exclusive full or an exclusive partial. It's just referred to as an exclusive. Additionally, it's very unusual for anyone to request an exclusive on a partial submission. Agents use a partial to determine if they want to read the entire manuscript. If they like what they have read, they may then request an exclusive on the full.

Personally I would never grant an exclusive on a partial.

~brianm~

Julie Worth
10-09-2010, 07:03 PM
Since the terms are not defined precisely, the writer can decide what they mean. An exclusive on a full, I would take to mean that no other agent will get a full, but I could still send out queries and partials, while an exclusive on a partial would mean I could still send out queries (even if not advisable), but not partials or fulls. All exclusives are bad, but an exclusive on a partial is particularly bad because it could tie you up for two consecutive time periods. Agents don't take these things seriously and often don't even bother to reply, and it's generally not the best agents who ask for them. So if in your research you find such agents, slot them dead last in your desperation list.

ChelseaWriter
10-09-2010, 07:39 PM
Joining in - I've had nothing but BAD experiences with granting exclusives. I got burned every time. Usually, the agreed-upon time period was way too long (several weeks, even months!!), which tied my hands with other submissions and made me frustrated. And, in the end, each agent waited until the last possible minute to respond (I sent a gentle nudge/reminder the week before the exclusive date was up), and they each gave a quick rejection with no detail at all (leading me to believe they forgot about me entirely, then saw my nudge, and gave my material a hasty glance, and said "no").

After these experiences, I'm finally joining the "don't grant exclusives" club. Because, since then, I've had about 5 GOOD agents who never asked for exclusivity when requesting my full. They simply asked whether anyone else was viewing the material, and I would tell them how many other fulls were out (in a couple of cases, that information actually made them perk up their ears a bit and read a little faster, knowing there was some competition - I really think competition is a healthy thing!). It's all very professional and upfront. And - because of my not granting exclusives, I now have 3 fulls and 1 partial out to agents, and they're all aware that it's a multiple submission.

In the end, I don't think an exclusivity agreement is fair to the writer. This trying-to-get-published process is SUCH a lengthy one (lots and lots of waiting involved), that to ask an author to wait weeks or months before sending anything else out is just...not right. IMO.

*the tone of this post is a bit strong, but it's not toward you, chicklit - it's toward those agents who seem to take advantage of the exclusivity agreement and aren't considerate with the writer in that case. And, honestly, if a TOP agent asked me for a 3-week exclusivity and I was in the position to give it, eh....okay, I probably still would. lol Best of luck to you!!

agentpaper
10-10-2010, 05:22 AM
Since the terms are not defined precisely, the writer can decide what they mean. An exclusive on a full, I would take to mean that no other agent will get a full, but I could still send out queries and partials, while an exclusive on a partial would mean I could still send out queries (even if not advisable), but not partials or fulls. All exclusives are bad, but an exclusive on a partial is particularly bad because it could tie you up for two consecutive time periods. Agents don't take these things seriously and often don't even bother to reply, and it's generally not the best agents who ask for them. So if in your research you find such agents, slot them dead last in your desperation list.


Bolding mine. I have to disagree with this. While this may be true a lot of the times, it's not necessarily all or most all of the time. My agent asked for an exclusive on a full after reading my partial and she's with a very large and respected agency. I didn't agree to the exclusive and she was more than happy with me telling her if someone else offered before she'd read it (which did eventually happen).

If I hadn't queried her because of the exclusive thing, I wouldn't have found a wonderful agent or agency. So, I wouldn't NOT query someone for that reason alone. Though, it is always a good idea to make sure to do your research and verify the agent is competent and legit before submitting. Whether or not they ask for exclusives.

Jamesaritchie
10-11-2010, 07:54 PM
The best agents are often the ones who DO ask for an exclusive, and an exclusive means "don't send anything to anyone else until you hear back from me." In fact, the bigger and better the agent, the more likely it is that agent will want an exclusive.

Writers worry far too much about time. Publishing is a slow business, and the only thing you gain by trying to speed it up is a wonderful collection of rejection slips.

Good agents are busy agents, and expecting them to jump right to your manuscript is unrealistic. Expecting them to spend time reading your manuscript, only to have another agent grab it before they can get to it is also unrealistic.

Getting published is most often lengthy because writers get in too much of a hurry, not because they grants exclusives and take time to get it right. Writers try to play a numbers game, thinking sending to a bunch of agents as quickly as possible is a good thing, thing sending out queries and partials and fulls by the dozens means a better chance of success. It doesn't. What it almost always means is just a faster collection of rejections.

It's fairly easy to get your work into the hands of many agents, but more often than not, this just means getting a bunch of No thank You responses, or, worse, lands you an agent who isn't one of the best.

Take your time. If an agent is one you really, really want, and such agents are the only wants you should query at all, then give her time to do her job. And like it or not, a good agent's job is not to rush into your manuscript and give you an answer in three days, or even three weeks.

Because she is a really good, top agent, her primary job is handling the contracts and all the other rights. This is a good thing, and once you become a client of hers, and you then become a priority, you'll appreciate the fact that nearly all of her time is devoted to you, not to new writers trying to find an agent.

Be patient. Patience gets you where you want to go a heck of a lot faster than impatience.

Julie Worth
10-11-2010, 08:00 PM
The best agents are often the ones who DO ask for an exclusive

And you know this how? You aren't actively querying agents, are you? My experience says just the opposite. Very few agents ask for an exclusive, but those that do aren't the best.

Julie Worth
10-11-2010, 08:07 PM
Bolding mine. I have to disagree with this. While this may be true a lot of the times, it's not necessarily all or most all of the time. My agent asked for an exclusive on a full after reading my partial and she's with a very large and respected agency. I didn't agree to the exclusive and she was more than happy with me telling her if someone else offered before she'd read it (which did eventually happen).

If I hadn't queried her because of the exclusive thing, I wouldn't have found a wonderful agent or agency. So, I wouldn't NOT query someone for that reason alone. Though, it is always a good idea to make sure to do your research and verify the agent is competent and legit before submitting. Whether or not they ask for exclusives.

I said generally. An exception here and there doesn't change that.

Here's what Miss Snark said about exclusives:


Just in case you missed it the other 767 times I've said it:


EXCLUSIVES STINK


I believe they are a bad business practice and are clear demonstrations an agent thinks their time is more valuable than yours. I think it's the sign that an agent is lazy and not willing to make a persuasive case for signing with them. Harsh, but true.

This quote can be found on her blog (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-many-times-have-i-said-this.html). And yet more (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/search/label/exclusives%20stink).

Natalie_M_Fischer
10-15-2010, 12:42 PM
Hey there,

Jumping into the frying pan here probably, but couldn't resist adding my thoughts. I'm the agent agentpaper referenced above, btw.

I asked her for an exclusive because I was really excited about the manuscript, and as I also worked full time at the agency as an assistant as well, I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be snatched up before I read! But, as agentpaper mentioned, when she couldn't grant it, it didn't stop me from reading.

My boss loves exclusives, because she IS so incredibly busy that when she is excited by a manuscript, she wants to KNOW that the time she spends with it was worth it. When she considers a manuscript, she types up pretty in-depth notes, regardless of whether she passes or not. Her time isn't more valuable than the author's, just valuable period, and personally, I think notes from Sandra Dijkstra are worth an exclusive!

I don't ever ask for exclusives anymore, though. I'll be honest: I like the competition. I want to know an author is signing with me because they really connect with me, not because there were no other options. I've also only gotten busier and busier, so even manuscripts I'm excited about don't get read right away, and I hate to keep someone tied up because of that.

So really, I think what needs to be separated here is the notion that exclusive=bad agent. Exclusives STINK, as Miss Snark said, but an agent who requests one isn't necessarily a bad agent.

So, don't worry about the agent quality when confronted with an exclusive request; worry about whether or not you'd feel comfortable granting it (if they're your dream agent, why the heck not, right?!) or you are ABLE to grant it (if you have other fulls out, say so; they're already excited, so you'll either hear back, "that's ok, send and notify me immediately if you get any other offers" or "thanks for letting me know; please send to me when available for an exclusive").

Hope this helps...

Natalie

Susan Littlefield
10-15-2010, 06:48 PM
And you know this how? You aren't actively querying agents, are you? My experience says just the opposite. Very few agents ask for an exclusive, but those that do aren't the best.

He's been an editor and published author for years. However, it sounds like you guys have had different experiences.

I'm getting ready to query, and learning much from this and other threads.