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Luzoni
06-07-2013, 03:58 AM
I've heard it's extremely bad form and unacceptable for an author to have two agents at the same time, but is that true for multiple novels? I happily signed with one agent and her agency recently, but before that I had queried agents with another different novel and today received a late full request for that novel. It's completely feasible that the agent I'm signed with, or others in her agency, could represent this other novel once they're finished with the current one, but I'm very new to this process so I don't know what's standard.

So what do I tell the agent who asked for the full on the other novel? After trying to get an agent for so long I absolutely do not want to offend her! Yet I'm also hesitant to just shoot down the full request for the other novel because it's currently just sitting around, gathering dust. Is it standard that I automatically reject these late full requests for other novels, now that I've got one work signed with an agent?

Sorry for the dumb question! I wanted to ask people who'd know the correct thing before assuming something and doing it and maybe making a mistake. :cry:

thothguard51
06-07-2013, 04:14 AM
Yes...

DahlELama
06-07-2013, 04:35 AM
This is why you generally notify all agents before accepting an offer from one.

It's not really a question of "bad form"; it's a question of if it's even legal. Your agency contract most likely states that all of your material is theirs for the duration of the contract; you probably can't sign it away to anyone else. Unless you signed strictly for the one book your agent offered on, in which case I'd discuss it with your agent, you should just apologize to the agent who asked for a full for not notifying him/her that you've already accepted representation and explain that your work is no longer available. Obviously be both polite and grateful; it's your best hope at keeping that bridge open if you need it in the future!

Little Ming
06-07-2013, 04:39 AM
Have you asked your current agent if she (or her agency) wants to represent your other novel?

Siri Kirpal
06-07-2013, 06:39 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Tell your current agent about the situation and ask if he/she would like to agent that one.

Tell the other agent that you accepted representation with another agent for another novel.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Terie
06-07-2013, 12:09 PM
I've heard it's extremely bad form and unacceptable for an author to have two agents at the same time, but is that true for multiple novels?

Agents represent writers, not books.

There are cases where a writer has multiple agents, but when that's the case, it's usually when the writer is working in multiple, very different genres, such as adult romance and children's nonfiction, and it mostly happens when both of the agencies involved don't rep the other genre. Some big-name authors use one agent for domestic and a different one for foreign rights. (George R.R. Martin and Stephen King fall [or at least until not long ago, fell] into this group.) And in ALL cases, all agents involved are aware.

If the agency you signed with can rep the second book, you shouldn't even be considering sending the full to another agent. How could an agent manage your career if they're not the only one representing you in the genre?

The correct response to the agent who just requested your full is, 'Thank you for your interest, but I've recently signed with another agent.'

And you need to ask your agent when they want to see your next book. Mention that you've just had a request for a full from a query you sent out before you signed.

Luzoni
06-08-2013, 06:19 AM
Thank you everyone! I thought that was the case, that agents handle writers more than books, but since the contract I signed is for the current novel specifically (with the possibility of future projects added) I had to ask.

I'll bring it up with my agent, but I guess in my head it feels like I'm trying to pressure her to look at all my projects at once, so I'm sheepish about it. I don't want to overwhelm her or come off as demanding.

I did reply to the other agent letting her know I've signed elsewhere since I submitted to her back in February and thanked her.

gingerwoman
06-08-2013, 07:16 AM
I've never even tried to get an agent myself, (apart from one pitch once at a conference) but I believe as soon as you signed your contract with your agent you should have contacted the other agents and let them know you had an agent now so as not to waste their time. (Not meaning to be harsh, but it I suspect you have made a mistake here.) Better inform any others if you have some more manuscripts floating around out there.

thothguard51
06-08-2013, 07:26 AM
No harm in asking but in my limited experience, they may want to wait until they sell this one...

Luzoni
06-08-2013, 09:41 AM
Thoth, yeah that's what I thought.

Gingerwoman, As far as I know, I only have an obligation to contact agents who actually asked for fulls or partials of my work. Queries don't count. I've only ever gotten 3 requests for partials/fulls out of about a 100 queries, I figured it was safe to assume most of the unanswered queries said no with their silence (and several said no with rejections). There's no need to clog their inboxes unless they're interested, as this one was. Otherwise they won't know me from a hole in the ground!

If multiple agents had my work(s) when I signed, then I'd contact all of them and let them know I'd signed with someone else, but no one had my full manuscript or even a partial when I signed, so I didn't.

Terie
06-08-2013, 09:48 AM
I've never even tried to get an agent myself, (apart from one pitch once at a conference) but I believe as soon as you signed your contract with your agent you should have contacted the other agents and let them know you had an agent now so as not to waste their time. (Not meaning to be harsh, but it I suspect you have made a mistake here.) Better inform any others if you have some more manuscripts floating around out there.

Actually, no, you're not expected to notify every agent you've queried, only those who have requested partials or fulls.

juliesondra
06-08-2013, 10:02 PM
My agent actually specifically said she was okay with it if I thought my other projects were better for another agent, but that if I wanted to show them to her first, she'd give reading mine first priority above non-clients (of course). My book title is named specifically in my contract and we had to amend the contract when she decided she was interested in representing the whole series and not just the first book.

Unless there is some reason that you think your existing agent would be a poor match for your next project, I would offer it to your existing agent first. If there's some reason you want to send it to someone else, I'd disclose that to your existing agent. It's true that agents represent "clients, not books," and that many of them would like to continue representing your projects throughout your career, but this CAN vary and you just need to make sure everyone involved is in the loop (giving, I think, priority to your existing relationship with your agent, always). I have one project signed to my agent and I have two more on the back burner, but I haven't given them to her to represent yet. I plan to if she sells the first one.

I do have two agents; however, the newer one only represents my nonfiction. My fiction agent doesn't represent the genre my nonfiction is in so there was no conflict. But the nonfiction agent DOES represent the fiction genres I write in, so I made sure both agents knew about each other and about my intentions before signing with the second.

mellymel
06-09-2013, 01:35 AM
Thank you everyone! I thought that was the case, that agents handle writers more than books, but since the contract I signed is for the current novel specifically (with the possibility of future projects added) I had to ask.

I'll bring it up with my agent, but I guess in my head it feels like I'm trying to pressure her to look at all my projects at once, so I'm sheepish about it. I don't want to overwhelm her or come off as demanding.

I did reply to the other agent letting her know I've signed elsewhere since I submitted to her back in February and thanked her.

Wait, so an agent signed you up as a client for that one book specifically? Or you mean, that is the book that landed you your agent? Does the contract actually say that s/he is only representing you and that ONE book with the possibility of representing future works of yours? Sounds a little...odd to me? Was the contract about your book or about you being his/her client?

Corinne Duyvis
06-09-2013, 07:19 PM
My contract with my first agent also mentioned the book specifically, but the agent did want to represent me for my career. That's what's standard in the business. Definitely talk to your agent about clarification--you don't necessarily need her to read all your books RIGHT NOW, but you do need to know for sure what her expectations are.

Re: contacting agents who only have queries vs. partials or fulls: it varies. Some agents strongly want to be kept informed of offers even if you're only at the query stage, particularly if they haven't had much time to consider the query. No agent has ever complained when I did this.

Old Hack
06-09-2013, 10:52 PM
It's not usual to have more than one agent.

It's not usual for an agent to sign you for a single book, rather than for the course of your writing career.

It's much simpler and easier if you have only one agent. A good agent will help you make career decisions and plan your goals; if your agent doesn't deal with all of your books, she's not going to be able to do that for you.

This doesn't mean that exceptions shouldn't happen, or that you should run away when you encounter them. It does mean that if an agent says she'll only represent you for one book, you should ask why she works that way and think about it carefully; or if an agent says she'll represent your fiction works only, you should ask why she doesn't represent non-fiction and again, think about it carefully.

mellymel
06-11-2013, 03:30 AM
It's not usual to have more than one agent.

It's not usual for an agent to sign you for a single book, rather than for the course of your writing career.

It's much simpler and easier if you have only one agent. A good agent will help you make career decisions and plan your goals; if your agent doesn't deal with all of your books, she's not going to be able to do that for you.



Ahh, this is good to know. If I ever get that call, I will be sure to ask if the agent is interested in just representing that one book, or in representing that book and my writing career.

Jamesaritchie
06-11-2013, 06:51 PM
Unless each agent simply does not handle the genre the other is going to represent, there is no reason to have more than one agent. It's bad for the agents, and worse for you.

Either you have an agent you can trust to handle everything you write, and as important, all the possible deals and interests that may come along because of that book, or you don't. If you do, the last thing you want is another agent. If you don't, you need to get rid of that agent and find one who can do it all.