View Full Version : Agent left the door open...

04-06-2012, 01:13 AM
Hi All,

I am hoping that you fellow AWers can lend some advice here. I am currently querying a YA mystery. I've had some requests for fulls but not a huge amount and on those have had mostly "liked it, didn't love it" responses and the dreaded "didn't connect with characters."

One agent, though, really liked it but stated that she was at 99% but wanted to give me a chance to find an agent that would go for it 100%. She did say that if I was unsuccessful in that to get back in touch with her. When I wrote back my thanks she said that she really did mean it so I don't think she was just letting me down easily (I hope).

So I guess my question is, when do I decide I am unsuccessful in finding another agent? I've been querying for about a year total and it's been about six months since the agent responded. I have revised but not majorly since then and I just hit triple digits in querying but of course there are hundreds of more agents I could query.

Any guidance or advice on this would be greatly appreciated.



04-06-2012, 01:25 AM
Personally, not necessarily meant to tell you what to do, but just me personally, I would query another 100~150 people (about 280 was usually the max possible for me, and I never made it that far) and see what the responses are. I'd probably also do it relatively quickly. For my second book I queried a lot of agents over about 4 months. Granted, the one who offered was one of the earliest, but I was pretty lax with sending it out in big batches.

Normally I'd do smaller sets just so that I could go back and revise if something isn't working, but in this case, you know that you have a good product so I don't think it would hurt to send them out quicker.

Again, that's just me. I'd just want to exhaust alternatives before I got back to her.

04-06-2012, 01:27 AM
That's really tough (and a really strange situation...). I mean, triple digits is where I quit with my longest-running query.

It's been 6 months which is a really decent length of time. I would tentatively say contact her and see what she thinks the next step is. I assume it's a revision to get to that last 1%, so see if it's one that you would be happy with.

If, however, a revision isn't what she has in mind, what she might be saying is that she sees that she could sell it, but maybe doesn't have the 100% enthusiasm for it that we so want our agents to have. So it's up to you what you want to do.

And have you been writing since then? Do you have another novel that's query-able. It might be worth mentioning that to her whenever you do contact her. Maybe she'd be 100% behind that one, after all.

In the end, though, it's all up to you.

04-06-2012, 02:31 AM
Hmm, tough situation. Personally, I'd probably contact the agent. What's the worst that could happen? So she might say she's not interested--at least then you know and can now focus on querying more agents.

Good luck!

Erin Latimer
04-06-2012, 06:01 AM
That is strange, to say the least. The reason I was so happy to get a call from my agent (besides the obvious) is that he was really exited about my book. Of course, he had ideas he thought we should add to make it perfect. Do you think that's the case with this agent? It's a bit confusing that she's said "come back if everyone else rejects you". Huh? Do you have any more projects? Maybe query her with a different one, or ask what you can change to make her 100% into your manuscript.

04-06-2012, 06:14 AM
You need clarification from that agent. I agree she left the door open, at the very least to ask, "Hey--what do I need to do to make you like it 100%?"

Then if she answers you and tells you what that edit would involve, then you need to make a decision--is it worth it to make the revision on the off chance you might land this agent? Or, would you rather search for other options and continue to query?

Oh and word of advice--if she asks for a R & R, don't make those changes really fast and zip them back to her. Edit, revise, edit again. Get someone else to look at it before you send it back. Just my two cents.

04-06-2012, 04:27 PM
I second mscelina. Find out why she wasn't 100% excited about it and what changes you can make to get her there. As much as I want an agent, I don't think I'd settle for someone who wasn't as excited about my work as I was. I'm also guessing there is no guarantee she'll still want the work when she finds out everyone else has passed on it but it doesn't hurt to try.

04-06-2012, 06:10 PM
Yeah I agree with the others. If she really isn't that interested now, won't that mean she won't try her hardest to sell the novel then? Like Determination said, if she does pitch it and lets say the first round of pitches decline, I really don't see her wanting to persue it. I suppose you can take that gamble, it might work out. But then again, will she give you her full attention in the process? I'm assuming someone not as interested would give you all sorts of problems, one being the blow off.

04-07-2012, 12:59 AM
Thanks everyone for the quick and helpful replies.