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Branwyn
02-20-2006, 10:02 PM
Agents. I am NOT signed with anyone...yet. I am receiving help from an agent with rewrites and editing(free).

'What if' another agent in the meantime asks for my ms and decides they want to sign me?

(I should have such problems!)


But what's my repsonsibility to the first agent?

Thanks

Julie Worth
02-20-2006, 10:04 PM
Agents. I am NOT signed with anyone...yet. I am receiving help from an agent with rewrites and editing(free).

Why on earth would they be doing that?

Branwyn
02-20-2006, 10:10 PM
Out of the goodness of their heart?

I don't really know other than that. She wants no money.

Julie Worth
02-20-2006, 10:17 PM
Well, if it's just a friendly thing, and she's not doing this because she wants you as a client, then you don't owe her anything at all.

victoriastrauss
02-20-2006, 10:38 PM
Is this agent successful? Has she sold books in your genre? Do you know whether she's competent to help you edit?

An established agent who hasn't made you an offer will usually only provide editing assistance if she's really interested in representing you, assuming you can fix whatever problems she has identified. There's an inherent risk in this situation, because if you can't fix the problems to her satisfaction, she may decline representation. Assuming the agent is successful, her suggestions will be based on knowledge and experience--but editing recommendations are also subjective, and revising to one person's taste doesn't necessarily make a better novel, just a novel that suits that person's taste.

Speaking for myself, I would never edit to an agent's recommendation unless she had already offered me representation, or had expressed strong interest in representing me if I could fix whatever she felt was wrong (and I wouldn't have approached her in the first place unless I knew she was an established agent with a track record in my genre). I certainly wouldn't accept editing recommendations without knowing why they were being offered.

- Victoria

stormie
02-20-2006, 10:56 PM
There is an agent from a very reputable agency in NYC who, from what I gather from other writer's boards, if interested, will ask for rewrites and explain why. From there she either rejects or accepts.

If another agency meanwhile wishes to represent you, of course notify that first agency that you have another agent interested.

Branwyn
02-21-2006, 12:52 AM
Thanks;)

triceretops
02-21-2006, 09:21 AM
There is an agent from a very reputable agency in NYC who, from what I gather from other writer's boards, if interested, will ask for rewrites and explain why. From there she either rejects or accepts.

If another agency meanwhile wishes to represent you, of course notify that first agency that you have another agent interested.

I'm in total agreement with this--I've had two agents requests rewrites without mentioning rep at all. I complied and did the neccessary re-writes on both occasions, and that is when they opened up their doors to me. It's a trust thing. I would definitely try the rewrite route, and hopefully this agent will want the second/revised sub. Now, if she has already stated that she is not interested in repping you, even with a rewrite, then I am agog of what his/her motivation is. I could very well be a kindly gesture--it's been known to happen, but it's not the norm.

Tri

Branwyn
02-21-2006, 09:25 PM
There is an agent from a very reputable agency in NYC who, from what I gather from other writer's boards, if interested, will ask for rewrites and explain why. From there she either rejects or accepts.

If another agency meanwhile wishes to represent you, of course notify that first agency that you have another agent interested.

I'm in total agreement with this--I've had two agents requests rewrites without mentioning rep at all. I complied and did the neccessary re-writes on both occasions, and that is when they opened up their doors to me. It's a trust thing. I would definitely try the rewrite route, and hopefully this agent will want the second/revised sub. Now, if she has already stated that she is not interested in repping you, even with a rewrite, then I am agog of what his/her motivation is. I could very well be a kindly gesture--it's been known to happen, but it's not the norm.

Tri

She didn't say she's not interested in repping me, just wanted to know if Iwas interested in trying the rewrites and take it from there, because the way it stood she didn't feel she could shop it around as is.

Julie Worth
02-21-2006, 09:35 PM
Oh, that’s completely different. That implies she’s interested in representing you, but only if you’re interested in fixing what she sees as problems. She’s not saying it outright, because she doesn’t want you to misinterpret it as a commitment.



So get to work!

UrsusMinor
02-22-2006, 12:28 AM
I've known agents who wanted to see if clients could shape a book to their liking before offering representation.

Your original question, I believe, was one of ethics: What if someone offers you representation in the meantime.

You certainly have no binding obligation to the agent who is offering suggestions--just as she has none to you.

As a matter of courtesy, were I in your situation, if I were offered representation by another agent, I would at least want to call up Agent 1 and tell her the offer was on the table and see if she wanted to get serious.

On the other hand, if the agent of your dreams offers representation, then you probably owe it to yourself to simply write Agent 1 a nice e-mail thanking her for all her input and time...and then sign with Agent 2.

PS. The average divorce rate seems to be about the same, too.

Keep in mind that you should be as courteous as possible, but this is a business decision. The rules of, say, dating ettiquette, don't apply. Signing with an agent is a marriage.

Julie Worth
02-22-2006, 01:37 AM
Signing with an agent is a marriage.

I don't understand why people keep saying that. I have two ex-spouses and two ex-agents, and they aren't anything alike!