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schaumburg
02-02-2012, 04:10 PM
Hello,

I'm new to the forum. I've had a reputable agent for a couple years. My question is for the first few years my agent mailed me copies of the rejection letters he received from various editors he queried. Last year I once again requested copies of the queries he submitted and he did not mail these to me. It seemed he did not have the time. He did tell me he had queried several publishing houses.

What I was wondering was because it took me several years to find a reputable agent and at this junction in my life I do not want to begin the process of querying agents again should I just trust the situation and not ask to see copies of these letters?

Thanks!

shaldna
02-02-2012, 05:12 PM
Has the agent been trying to sell the same book for several years?

If so, given that the submissions have trailed off, it's likely that the agent is loosing interest in the book and most likely concentrating on the other books on their list which are likely to sell.

In addition, contact between agents and writers is important, and the leve of contact you have varies from person to person, but generally you should be kept informed of who is being submitted to and what their response it.

Cyia
02-02-2012, 06:52 PM
You definitely have a right to know where your book has been submitted, and which editors have seen it. You don't necessarily need the rejections, though.

Subbing one book for a period of years may have exhausted all of the avenues open to your agent, if you're meaning all this time has been with the same book. Have you not sent him a new MS?

Having said all that--

I know you say your agent's legit, but we've had people come on here and crow about the legitimacy of some of the better known scam outfits. Are you SURE you checked this person out thoroughly? Do they have a verifiable sales record? Is their agency known in the industry (As in, are you sure they have the contacts they say they do?)

Being without an agent is better than being with a bad one.

schaumburg
12-27-2012, 06:09 PM
Hi Everyone,

I've had a literary agent for a number of years who I'm thrilled is still interested in representing me, but I'm concerned about whether she could find a publisher for me if my novel has Christian leanings and she represents authors who write erotica, horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Maybe there are some publishers who represent authors who write books with Christian leanings who would look the other way and not mind the types of books my agent represents?

She is querying publishers who represent Christian books and publishers who do not represent Christian books.

One other thing to mention is she has stopped sending me copies of the rejection letters she receives from publishers. I've asked for them but she doesn't send them. Is this a red flag?

I hope to not go through the process again of looking for another agent. I would consider the genre of my book fantasy because it's a time travel.

Thanks!

EMaree
12-27-2012, 06:33 PM
Hi Everyone,

I've had a literary agent for a number of years who I'm thrilled is still interested in representing me, but I'm concerned about whether she could find a publisher for me if my novel has Christian leanings and she represents authors who write erotica, horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Maybe there are some publishers who represent authors who write books with Christian leanings who would look the other way and not mind the types of books my agent represents?

I don't think a publisher minds who the agent's other clients are. They're not you. And it would be you (and your book) that they want to publish.

I'm not experienced in the Christian market though so hopefully one of our Christian writers can chime in here.



She is querying publishers who represent Christian books and publishers who do not represent Christian books.

This seems normal to me, an agent will generally try to get you the biggest advance possible which might mean trying non-Christian publishers if your fantasy novel has mainstream appeal.


One other thing to mention is she has stopped sending me copies of the rejection letters she receives from publishers. I've asked for them but she doesn't send them. Is this a red flag?

This is a major red flag. I'd ask again, stating your request very clearly and firmly if you haven't already. Your agent is your business partner. If she's ignoring your request then that's a very bad sign.

EDIT: Did you mean for this topic to be in the Writers Literary Agency/AEG Publishing Group/Strategic Book Publishing/Eloquent Books forum? I think it might need moved by a mod.

taylormillgirl
12-27-2012, 06:36 PM
I don't see the issue with your agent representing a variety of genres. My agent reps inspy in addition to horror, sci-fi, YA, and very spicy romance. She's had no trouble selling to editors across the board. In fact, she just sold my CP's inspy crossover to Z0nd3rvan.

As for the rejection letters, I wouldn't call that a red flag, but it warrants a conversation. Sometimes agents withhold rejections for fear of crushing your writing mojo. If you really want to see each and every one, tell her that. If she still refuses to comply with your wishes, then you have a problem.

CaoPaux
12-27-2012, 07:56 PM
EDIT: Did you mean for this topic to be in the Writers Literary Agency/AEG Publishing Group/Strategic Book Publishing/Eloquent Books forum? I think it might need moved by a mod.Thread moved and merged with OP's other thread in Ask the Agent.

MandyHubbard
12-27-2012, 09:11 PM
If she's spent years shopping the same book, it's unlikely there are many rejections to pass along. Also why is she snail-mailing them to you? Is she not electronically submitting your novel? I forward/Copy & Paste rejectiosn via email for my clients within a day or two of receiving the passes.

Cyia
12-27-2012, 09:27 PM
OP, is this the same agent?

The first post you made references a male agent that you've had for years, and the second references a female agent that you've had for years.

schaumburg
12-27-2012, 11:46 PM
Thanks, everyone, for all of your advice.

Cyia, that was a post I wrote back in February. I don't know how it showed up in this thread. I must have selected the wrong option. Regarding "him" or "her", I guess I wanted to appear more anonymous. My literary agent is a female and she does look through this website. I forgot all about that. Thanks for pointing this out.

I have another question, when an agent like Mandy (above post) takes the time to give some helpful advice, if you were me would you consider querying Mandy along with other agents? If I do so and I discover another agent is interested in representing me, is the correct procedure to tell him or her that I am already represented and then look into breaking my contract with my agent? I am presently doing a rewrite of my young adult novel which I am enjoying immensely. Now there will be a revised work to shop around.

I very much appreciate everyone's advice. Thanks again!

heyjude
12-28-2012, 12:56 AM
Don't query other agents until you've dissolved your relationship with your current agent, as per your contract guidelines. It's unethical and not very nice.

Cyia
12-28-2012, 01:05 AM
Your threads were merged by a mod because they're so similar. Also, what heyjude said - DO NOT query another agent while represented. An agent at another agency likely can't take on someone already represented, and there may not be room in your existing contract for a second agent. it's just plain bad practice -- TALK TO YOUR AGENT.

JanDarby
12-28-2012, 01:41 AM
Seriously bad karma and bad etiquette to query other agents (and even editors) while you're represented.

Mr. Anonymous
12-28-2012, 01:47 AM
It's standard procedure to inform a writer when an editor requests to see a manuscript and then rejects (my agent always forwards me the rejections so I can read them for myself).

However, I don't think it's standard procedure to inform a writer whenever an editor turns down an opportunity to read the manuscript in the first place.

schaumburg
12-28-2012, 02:15 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your advice.

I didn't think it was ethical but I wanted to make sure I was right.

I'll have to take a look at my contract.

EMaree
12-28-2012, 03:02 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your advice.

I didn't think it was ethical but I wanted to make sure I was right.

I'll have to take a look at my contract.

Have you spoken to your agent about your concerns? If you agent lurks this forum, it's unwise to even talk about querying other agents before you discuss your worries with her.


It's standard procedure to inform a writer when an editor requests to see a manuscript and then rejects (my agent always forwards me the rejections so I can read them for myself).

However, I don't think it's standard procedure to inform a writer whenever an editor turns down an opportunity to read the manuscript in the first place.

Thanks for this, Mr. Anonymous. I'm going out on submission soon so this information is good to know.

Old Hack
12-28-2012, 11:06 AM
I don't think it's necessarily standard procedure: it might be for one agent, but not for another.

Tell your agents you want to know everything: where each book is going, when it's rejected, by whom, and why. Compile a file with all this information in it as it comes in, so that you don't have to go hunting for it if you need it in the future.

ARoyce
12-29-2012, 01:45 AM
As lots of people have pointed out in different ways, ultimately you should have clear lines of communication with your agent about what each do you expects from this relationship. If you feel dissatisfied with your agent's level of communication, you should make that clear and ask for alternatives. If you aren't sure what your agent expects from you, ask. If you think you want to look for a different agent, figure out what it is you want from the agent/author relationship and communicate with your agent. Like any relationship, this one only thrives if you are clear with each other about what you want and need and are willing to do for each other.

Some writers want minimal notifications until there's an offer. Some want every single word of every single rejection. Make sure your agent understands where you are in that continuum.

Oh, and do not, repeat, do not approach another agent while still agented. Not only is it unethical and rude, but it is also likely a breach of contract.

Good luck with everything!

MandyHubbard
12-29-2012, 03:07 AM
I am presently doing a rewrite of my young adult novel which I am enjoying immensely. Now there will be a revised work to shop around.



Actually, if the book was already shopped by your current agent it's really difficult to then go query agents with it, even if you really overhauled the book. A pass from a publisher is still a pass even if you've revised, and I can't/won't send it back to the same editors or imprints that already saw it unless they expressed interest in a rewrite.

You need to:
A) Work on something new
B) Sever ties with your agent if that's the route you're going.
C) Query agents with a fresh book.

WarnerB
12-29-2012, 09:54 PM
If she severs ties to look for another agent, how does she refer to her past representation, even if she's submitting a new ms to different agents?

Old Hack
12-29-2012, 10:39 PM
If you're querying a book which hasn't yet been sent out by anyone then you don't need to mention that at query stage. If you're offered representation then I think it's best to discuss past representation before accepting that offer. And be completely open about it: you need to be able to talk to your agent, and be honest with her.

Cyia
12-29-2012, 11:28 PM
If she severs ties to look for another agent, how does she refer to her past representation, even if she's submitting a new ms to different agents?



Dear [Agent]:

I have recently made an amicable split with my former agent.^ worked for me.

Just follow that line with details of any sales your previous agent made for you, and make it clear that what you're currently querying isn't something that's already been shopped. Also, be prepared to answer questions on the nature of the split, if asked.

Corinne Duyvis
12-30-2012, 12:16 AM
I used,

"After amicably parting ways with my previous agent..."

I was querying a brand-new book, and my previous agent hadn't made any sales for me, so I technically could've left it out, but a) I thought it might work in my favor, and b) several of the agents I queried had read my work before, when the previous agent offered. (I gave them a heads-up at the time to give them time to read my MS.) It might've looked odd if I just queried them again without any mention of being previously represented when they knew for a fact I had been.

Anyway, one offering agent asked about why we parted ways, another didn't. Nobody mentioned the previous agent before the "offering representation" stage.

Mr. Anonymous
12-30-2012, 02:50 AM
I don't think it's necessarily standard procedure: it might be for one agent, but not for another.

Tell your agents you want to know everything: where each book is going, when it's rejected, by whom, and why. Compile a file with all this information in it as it comes in, so that you don't have to go hunting for it if you need it in the future.

That's fair, probably wrong of me to generalize, I guess I made the mistake of assuming it was standard practice based on an insufficiently small sample size.