View Full Version : A Question about Exclusives

10-27-2005, 05:40 AM
I know this has been covered before, but for the life of me I can't find the thread anywhere.

Here's the deal. I've got a full MS in review with an agent (let's call him Agent A) who has had it for about two months, and who has told me he's not had a chance to read it yet and will need some more time before he gets to my spot in the pile. This is absolutely not a problem for me, as I didn't expect him to get to me immediately.

Today I received a reply from Agency B who said they'd like to see the first 100 pages, "provided that no other agency is now reviewing the work." They go on to say that in return for the courtesy of an exclusive read, they will guarantee me a "prompt response."

Obviously, I don't want to bite myself in the butt by calling Agent A and saying, "Hey, dude, hurry it up so someone else can read this." On the other hand, I don't want to diddledork around waiting for him to reject me so that I can give Agency B their exclusive six months down the road.

Would it be appropriate to tell Agency B, "Look, I know you want an exclusive, but there's one other guy who's had the MS for two months, and if that's okay with you I'd still like to send you my 100 pages?"

Daughter of Faulkner
10-27-2005, 04:25 PM
and say nothing to Agent A. I have learned the hard way that if you don't look out for yourself no one else will. I won't give a long story but just write that regardless of who signs you on, you will know when you find a match for your & your work.

All good wishes I send to you for success!


10-27-2005, 08:03 PM
Would it be appropriate to tell Agency B, "Look, I know you want an exclusive, but there's one other guy who's had the MS for two months, and if that's okay with you I'd still like to send you my 100 pages?"IMO, yes. Even where they ask for an exclusive (and again IMO, it's unreasonable to ask for an exclusive on a partial), agents are often willing to waive it if someone else is reading and they're interested enough.

I assume Agent A didn't ask for an exclusive?

- Victoria

Cathy C
10-27-2005, 08:05 PM
send it out and say nothing to Agent A.

Boy, I sure wouldn't. People talk and you have no way of knowing if Agent A and Agent B are best buds or are playing racquetball that afternoon. I would send a very nice e-mail to Agent A, saying that you've had a request for a second read, that s/he has had the ms. for eight weeks (be specific as to when you sent it) and if s/he is unable to read it by (give them another week) then you thank them for their time, but you'll be unable to offer them exclusivity after X date. Then send an e-mail to Agent B, thanking him/her for their response and you are putting the finishing touches on the first hundred pages and should (be specific -- you should) be able to send it on X date. Then, if you haven't heard by X date, send the puppy back out, because then Agent B's request has been met -- nobody is reviewing it. You withdrew that exclusive peek.

By sending the e-mails, Agent A has been warned, Agent B has been mollified, and you're being proactive! :D
Good luck!

10-28-2005, 04:25 PM
Good advice, Cathy. My full ms was with an agent (A), when another one (B) asked for the full; I told her that it was with A. Agent B advised me to do exactly what you said; she said I shgould give agent A one more week for a decision and then send it to her (B) for an exclusive, and she'd read it within a few days. That's exactly what I did; but, as I knew that the Frankfurt Book Fair was coming up in that first week and they all go crazy with the pressure, I gave her (B) a three week exclusive. This is the second week...

10-28-2005, 04:32 PM
Agent A never asked for an exclusive, so I think I'm feeling okay about sending it on to Agent B, as long as they're willing to peek at it with one other person already having it. It did strike me as odd to ask for an exclusive on a partial, but I figure the worst that can happen is Agent B can say, "You know, we'd like to wait until Agent A no longer has this in review before we look at it." If that happens, I can contact Agent A, politely suggest a time frame, and see what comes of it.

Julie Worth
10-28-2005, 10:44 PM
Exclusives on partials. Id never gotten one of those...until last week! So I wonder if its just one agent doing this?

<paranoid thought> And come to think of it, isn't that a neat way of finding out if you've gotten any interest. If you can honestly say, yeah, I'll give you an exclusive, that means no one else was interested in reading it.