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sirensix
01-26-2006, 06:52 AM
I could swear I posted this before.

What is an associate agent? They're part-time or something, right? Supposing I had the next bestseller under my arm - is there any point in sending it to an "associate?" Even if they're under the wing of a respected agency, wouldn't one assume that agenting is not their top priority and therefore your manuscript probably won't get the best possible marketing?

The person who asked to see my manuscript attached a handwritten note to the agency's form acceptance letter (which by the way was printed on lime green paper). She also attached a business card, which is paisley. I'm not kidding.

Should I waste the postage?

I won't say which agency she's an "associate" with because that's just sort of nasty and gossipy, but I'll just say they've been around forever and as far as I know they are very respected.

Irysangel
01-26-2006, 07:35 AM
Associate agent is the same as junior agent. They're new to the biz and are learning the ropes from the pros that they work with.

Plus side? They're actively looking for clients and are enthusiastic about the job.

Cons? Not quite the connections or the experience of the 'regular' agents.

I've had my work passed to junior agents 3 or 4 times now, and never saw it as a bad thing. Usually it's something more along the lines of "Hey, this stuff might not be bad, but I can't handle another right now. But Bob can!"

Now if one of the juniors would just take me on...

dantem42
01-26-2006, 07:36 AM
I could swear I posted this before.

What is an associate agent? They're part-time or something, right? Supposing I had the next bestseller under my arm - is there any point in sending it to an "associate?" Even if they're under the wing of a respected agency, wouldn't one assume that agenting is not their top priority and therefore your manuscript probably won't get the best possible marketing?

The person who asked to see my manuscript attached a handwritten note to the agency's form acceptance letter (which by the way was printed on lime green paper). She also attached a business card, which is paisley. I'm not kidding.

Should I waste the postage?

I won't say which agency she's an "associate" with because that's just sort of nasty and gossipy, but I'll just say they've been around forever and as far as I know they are very respected.

From what I have seen, there are several ways the term is used. In some cases, it's a title for a junior agent of the agency, much in the way it is used in the legal field (associates vs. partners). So, if you wrote to a high-powered agent, she may have passed it off to an associate agent who is lower down the totem pole. This isn't necessarily bad, but it ain't necessarily good either. It probably depends upon which agent will actually be doing the marketing. As to your agreeing to send the ms, as long as they don't request an exclusive you have nothing to lose except printing and postage. If they come back to you asking to represent you, you can ask some questions then about how they will be handling it.

Another way I've seen it used (not the way it seems to be here) is when agencies have collaborative setups. An agency in Podunk, Montana may have an "associate agent" in New York who handles a lot of the contact at the New York houses. This agent is a member of a different agency, probably headquartered in New York. Typically the setup calls for them to split the 15 percent commissions somehow.

sirensix
01-26-2006, 08:49 PM
Assuming Ms. paisley-business-card is interested in the manuscript (I've looked her up on the 'net and apparently she is doing the agent thing as a "perfect complement" to her hopes of becoming a published author one day), what sort of questions should I ask?

And what's a polite way of saying, "I'd rather take my chances and submit the thing myself than have you represent me"?

And if I feel that way, should I even waste the postage? That's a lot of postage.

Julie Worth
01-26-2006, 09:00 PM
Assuming Ms. paisley-business-card is interested in the manuscript (I've looked her up on the 'net and apparently she is doing the agent thing as a "perfect complement" to her hopes of becoming a published author one day), what sort of questions should I ask?

And what's a polite way of saying, "I'd rather take my chances and submit the thing myself than have you represent me"?

And if I feel that way, should I even waste the postage? That's a lot of postage.

I agree that paisley is a bad sign, but some associates are destined for the big time. Look at what Nicholas Sparks (http://www.nicholassparks.com/WritersCorner/MyAgent.html) experienced.