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Guinea
09-22-2013, 12:05 AM
I have what I think may be an unusual dilemma.

A couple of months ago an agent who had requested my full MS, contacted me saying that he had discussed it with one of the Big 6 publishers (UK branch), who loved the concept and wished to read it. The agent asked me to do R&R, and would then submit, but would only offer representation if the publisher wished to take on the book. There was no mention of exclusivity as I still have the MS out of fulls to a few other agents.

In the meantime I did pitmad and another big publisher requested the partial of the MS and then the full, which I have since sent.

So now my dilemma is what do I tell the agent? He does not represent me and doesn't have exclusivity, yet I think I should still tell him of the new request as it is from a publisher. My other dilemma is I have no idea how to word an email like that!

So any advice will be appreciated.

Old Hack
09-22-2013, 12:48 AM
My feeling is that an agent has no business talking to a publisher about your book if he doesn't already represent you.

If he's only prepared to offer you representation if that one publisher wants to sign you, he's not keen enough on your work to do a good job for you.

If I were you I'd not send it out to any more publishers. I'd query this book in the usual way, and see what happened then.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 01:01 AM
My feeling is that an agent has no business talking to a publisher about your book if he doesn't already represent you.

If he's only prepared to offer you representation if that one publisher wants to sign you, he's not keen enough on your work to do a good job for you.

If I were you I'd not send it out to any more publishers. I'd query this book in the usual way, and see what happened then.

I agree with you, which is why I sent the MS to the other publisher. And it has been queried in the usual way, with rather a lot of interest. But the Pitmad thing was something different as I didn't query the publisher directly.

I was quite pissed that he didn't offer rep, but if I have a chance of getting a big pub to take on the MS, even if in an unconventional manner, then I'm certainly not going to burn that bridge.

I have already sent emails to the other agents who have the full, telling them of the publisher who has requested. Maybe something will come of one of them.

LuciaJoy
09-22-2013, 01:03 AM
I would let the agent know as a courtesy that a publisher has requested the full. And I would word it like that - an informal email - Dear Bob/Jane/whoever, this is a courtesy email to let you know X publisher has requested a full of my manuscript.

What a wonderful dilemma to have!

Guinea
09-22-2013, 01:07 AM
I would let the agent know as a courtesy that a publisher has requested the full. And I would word it like that - an informal email - Dear Bob/Jane/whoever, this is a courtesy email to let you know X publisher has requested a full of my manuscript.

What a wonderful dilemma to have!

Thanks LuciaJoy. It is a wonderful dilemma, but it is also scaring the crap out of me. I really don't want to cock this up by saying the wrong thing.
I am trying to word an informal email, but all my attempts are rubbish so far. Curses!

LuciaJoy
09-22-2013, 01:11 AM
Thanks LuciaJoy. It is a wonderful dilemma, but it is also scaring the crap out of me. I really don't want to cock this up by saying the wrong thing.
I am trying to word an informal email, but all my attempts are rubbish so far. Curses!

It sounds like you have stage fright in your fingers!

Take some deep breaths, write the email, then let it sit. You can stew all day (or all night, it's morning here for me) and the wording will come to you.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 01:18 AM
It sounds like you have stage fright in your fingers!

Take some deep breaths, write the email, then let it sit. You can stew all day (or all night, it's morning here for me) and the wording will come to you.

Evening here for me. I think I'll have to sleep on it. Love the stage fright in your fingers. So cool!

kkbe
09-22-2013, 02:53 AM
Guinea, first of all, Yay to you! It's a good dilemma, but yeah, I can see how it seems kind of dicey. I'd like to hear from a certain stealthy kitty cat, get her take but my feeling is, that agent is hedging his/her bets at your expense. It's cool that your ms in in that hands of that publisher, the one Agent X is communicating with. I know the publisher is on the up and up, but the whole set up seems off to me. I've never heard of an agent not signing a writer until said writer's ms was picked up by a particular publisher.

On the bright side, you've reviewed your ms and revised it. Hopefully it's better than it was. Hard to imagine, but. . .

:)

I'm glad you sent your ms to the second publisher--an independent publisher and well-respected, correct? And very enthused about your novel. I am certainly wishing you good luck on that front.

I'm not published yet, nor am I nestled cozily in the hands of a capable and ethical agent. Having said that, I offer my two cents: I'd send that agent a courtesy email, professional and succinct. Something akin to LuciaJoy's suggestion. Curious to know what the agent's response would be. Regardless, I'd be really hesitant to sign with Agent X at this point.

xo kk

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 03:13 AM
Thanks LuciaJoy. It is a wonderful dilemma, but it is also scaring the crap out of me. I really don't want to cock this up by saying the wrong thing.
I am trying to word an informal email, but all my attempts are rubbish so far. Curses!
I don't know that you owe this agent any explanations or information about anything at this stage since s/he doesn't represent you, and hasn't really offered to represent you.

Little Ming
09-22-2013, 04:11 AM
Guinea, first of all, Yay to you! It's a good dilemma, but yeah, I can see how it seems kind of dicey. I'd like to hear from a certain stealthy kitty cat, get her take but my feeling is, that agent is hedging his/her bets at your expense. It's cool that your ms in in that hands of that publisher, the one Agent X is communicating with. I know the publisher is on the up and up, but the whole set up seems off to me. I've never heard of an agent not signing a writer until said writer's ms was picked up by a particular publisher.


It has happened before, but not to good results.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259418


My feeling is that an agent has no business talking to a publisher about your book if he doesn't already represent you.

If he's only prepared to offer you representation if that one publisher wants to sign you, he's not keen enough on your work to do a good job for you.


Sorry, but I agree with Old Hack here. This guy might otherwise be a good agent, but sending out your work, even to just one publisher, before he officially represents you is not a good idea. If he has no interest in representing you unless this one publisher accepts, then I don't see this as the basis for a good relationship here even if you get a contract.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 04:16 AM
Sorry, but I agree with Old Hack here. This guy might otherwise be a good agent, but sending out your work, even to just one publisher, before he officially represents you is not a good idea.
I could be wrong but I get an image here of the agent and editor at the big publisher having a conversation. The publisher mentions he's really keen to see such and such a genre and book type and the agent says "Oh I did have something like that come in blah blah" And the publisher says "Oh my God I'd LOVE to see it" So the agent ended up mentioning something s/he himself wasn't keen enough to represent because that publisher is really looking for that kind of thing.
However.....yeah....it doesn't sound like the agent loves the book himself.

Little Ming
09-22-2013, 04:29 AM
I could be wrong but I get an image here of the agent and editor at the big publisher having a conversation. The publisher mentions he's really keen to see such and such a genre and book type and the agent says "Oh I did have something like that come in blah blah" And the publisher says "Oh my God I'd LOVE to see it" So the agent ended up mentioning something s/he himself wasn't keen enough to represent because that publisher is really looking for that kind of thing.
However.....yeah....it doesn't sound like the agent loves the book himself.

I know we're just speculating here, but the bolded parts would concern me, since the agent-author relationship generally goes beyond the contract signing and usually involves the entire publishing process (including anything that could go wrong between the author and publisher in this time), subsidiary rights, payment of royalties, etc. It just seems like a bad idea to sign with an agent who didn't really want the book in the first place and didn't love it.

Captcha
09-22-2013, 04:41 AM
I'm not clear - did you do the R&R, or not?

Either way, I wouldn't mention this to the agent. There's a big difference between being asked for a full and being offered a publishing contract. If nothing comes of the pitmad connection, there's no need to mention it to someone who isn't even your agent yet, and if something DOES come of the pitmad thing, maybe you can use the contract offer to find a better agent, one who's willing to commit more fully to your work.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 05:35 AM
Yes I agree with Captcha. Just do what gives your book the best chance in every direction, don't put other people's possible needs before you own.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 05:37 AM
I know we're just speculating here, but the bolded parts would concern me, since the agent-author relationship generally goes beyond the contract signing and usually involves the entire publishing process (including anything that could go wrong between the author and publisher in this time), subsidiary rights, payment of royalties, etc. It just seems like a bad idea to sign with an agent who didn't really want the book in the first place and didn't love it.
On the other hand I don't think the OP should get too paranoid about all that at this stage and miss out on a potential big opportunity.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 09:44 AM
Hello everyone. Wow, so many responses while I was sleeping, so I'm jumping back into the convo. Thanks to you all!


Guinea, first of all, Yay to you! It's a good dilemma, but yeah, I can see how it seems kind of dicey. I'd like to hear from a certain stealthy kitty cat, get her take but my feeling is, that agent is hedging his/her bets at your expense. It's cool that your ms in in that hands of that publisher, the one Agent X is communicating with. I know the publisher is on the up and up, but the whole set up seems off to me. I've never heard of an agent not signing a writer until said writer's ms was picked up by a particular publisher.

On the bright side, you've reviewed your ms and revised it. Hopefully it's better than it was. Hard to imagine, but. . .

:)

I'm glad you sent your ms to the second publisher--an independent publisher and well-respected, correct? And very enthused about your novel. I am certainly wishing you good luck on that front.

I'm not published yet, nor am I nestled cozily in the hands of a capable and ethical agent. Having said that, I offer my two cents: I'd send that agent a courtesy email, professional and succinct. Something akin to LuciaJoy's suggestion. Curious to know what the agent's response would be. Regardless, I'd be really hesitant to sign with Agent X at this point.

xo kk

Hey KK. I agree! I agree! The agent who originally asked for the full has left the agency. From what I have been able to ferret out it is very much a scenario that Gingerwoman said below, as the agent remembered the other agent waxing lyrical about the MS, then having a chat with the pub brought the story back to mind (ye gods, that sounds confusing, but I'm sure you get my awkward drift there).
This agent is definitely hedging his bets, as you've all pointed out. However, what if I have a chance to sign on with a big publisher through this? And would I have to sign on with this agent if they do?

Oh, and to answer your other question: yes, the other publisher who has requested the full is also one of the big 6. Her response was satisfying enthusiastic about the MS.


I don't know that you owe this agent any explanations or information about anything at this stage since s/he doesn't represent you, and hasn't really offered to represent you.

But I think it might be polite just to inform him anyway. Just a quick note


It has happened before, but not to good results.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259418



Sorry, but I agree with Old Hack here. This guy might otherwise be a good agent, but sending out your work, even to just one publisher, before he officially represents you is not a good idea. If he has no interest in representing you unless this one publisher accepts, then I don't see this as the basis for a good relationship here even if you get a contract.

What he said, was he wasn't offering rep yet, but wanted to see what happened with the publisher, and he wanted the R&R (which wasn't onerous at all, more nitpicking). And based on that, if the publisher does accept the MS, do I have to sign with the agent? There is no obligation between us as yet.


I could be wrong but I get an image here of the agent and editor at the big publisher having a conversation. The publisher mentions he's really keen to see such and such a genre and book type and the agent says "Oh I did have something like that come in blah blah" And the publisher says "Oh my God I'd LOVE to see it" So the agent ended up mentioning something s/he himself wasn't keen enough to represent because that publisher is really looking for that kind of thing.
However.....yeah....it doesn't sound like the agent loves the book himself.

I think this is exactly what happened, Gingerwoman. I mentioned this above in response to KK, but another agent at this agency originally requested the full, then she left after telling X agent about it. It stuck in his head, pub comes along etc and I got the phone call.

I know we're just speculating here, but the bolded parts would concern me, since the agent-author relationship generally goes beyond the contract signing and usually involves the entire publishing process (including anything that could go wrong between the author and publisher in this time), subsidiary rights, payment of royalties, etc. It just seems like a bad idea to sign with an agent who didn't really want the book in the first place and didn't love it.


I'm not clear - did you do the R&R, or not?

Either way, I wouldn't mention this to the agent. There's a big difference between being asked for a full and being offered a publishing contract. If nothing comes of the pitmad connection, there's no need to mention it to someone who isn't even your agent yet, and if something DOES come of the pitmad thing, maybe you can use the contract offer to find a better agent, one who's willing to commit more fully to your work.

Yes, I have sent the R&R, and am now waiting for the agent to come back to me (it's only been a couple of weeks). I have the full out to 4 other agents atm, and have emailed them with the pitmad publisher's interest. One of the agents is my dream agent, so I am hoping it goes that way, but both publishers are huge. I'd be thrilled with either.


Yes I agree with Captcha. Just do what gives your book the best chance in every direction, don't put other people's possible needs before you own.

I won't. But I also don't want to burn any of those proverbial bridges I seem to be teetering on atm.


On the other hand I don't think the OP should get too paranoid about all that at this stage and miss out on a potential big opportunity.

Exactly! It's not an opportunity I'll get again.

So now I have a new question/scenario: if the publisher does offer a contract, would I still have to go with this agent? I know he would still need his commission, which I'm good with, but would I be under any obligation, after a publishing contract has been offered, to accept his offer of rep?

Old Hack
09-22-2013, 11:18 AM
If the scenario is as described and the agent remembered the ms when the publisher mentioned something he was looking for, then the agent should have checked with you before letting the publisher see it.

If he didn't, then that shows a marked lack of respect for writers, and it's something I would not be at all happy with.

I don't think you'd be obliged to sign with this agent if he offers you representation, but he might expect you to. That's something you'd have to negotiate between you.

He's already feeling ambiguous about your work. This isn't a good sign, and my feeling is that he isn't the best agent for you. You need someone who is going to champion you and your work.

Right now, you seem to have two very good publishers interested in your work. This would probably make you very interesting to agents. Now might well be the time to get querying, so that you could find an agent who is passionate about your work, and does want to represent you. That way you'll get it submitted to several more publishers who might want to publish it, and you'll get the best deal out of the pot, too.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 01:59 PM
Exactly! It's not an opportunity I'll get again.

So now I have a new question/scenario: if the publisher does offer a contract, would I still have to go with this agent? I know he would still need his commission, which I'm good with, but would I be under any obligation, after a publishing contract has been offered, to accept his offer of rep?
I was wondering this too. I'm guessing you would have to to take this deal on this one book if he gets it for you? But you could change agents later for the next book if the two of you didn't mesh, and I gather agents are most interested in people who have an agent and want to change.

Captcha
09-22-2013, 04:04 PM
I was wondering this too. I'm guessing you would have to to take this deal on this one book if he gets it for you? But you could change agents later for the next book if the two of you didn't mesh, and I gather agents are most interested in people who have an agent and want to change.

Sure, you can always change agents later, but I don't think this situation puts the OP under any obligation to sign with the agent, even if the agent DOES get him the deal. I mean, it'd be complicated, but what if the agency contract isn't to the OP's liking?

As writers we get so caught up in the agent search and the publisher search that we forget that they're searching for us, too. A good agent needs good writers to represent, and a good publisher needs good books. Just because an agent wants to work with an author it doesn't mean the author has to sign with that agent. This agent seems to be trying to bypass the part where the OP gets to choose which agent to work with, and that's not right.

An agent doing something like this, and shopping an MS that s/he doesn't actually represent? It's shady, and I'm not sure I'd want to work with an agent who'd do something like that.

Also... I'm just going through my first agented submission now, so I'm far from an expert, but this doesn't seem like the best way to get the best deal for the OP. It seems more like a sweetheart deal for the publisher. If the MS is only submitted one place, the agent can't really negotiate effectively. No chance for an auction or a pre-empt, no real way to gauge the level of interest from other publishers...

Maybe, OP, you should ASK the agent why s/he wants to do things this way. And maybe ask if it's standard for that agency to submit to only one publisher at a time.

Old Hack
09-22-2013, 04:58 PM
I was wondering this too. I'm guessing you would have to to take this deal on this one book if he gets it for you? But you could change agents later for the next book if the two of you didn't mesh, and I gather agents are most interested in people who have an agent and want to change.

I don't see why the OP would be obliged to accept the deal if the agent set it up for him: he's under no obligation to anyone, as far as I can see, and could reject the publisher's offer and the agent's offer without worry.

A problem here is that the agent isn't really attached to the book: so even if the deal does go through, the agent is very unlikely to go out of his way to make subsidiary deals or to sell any foreign rights for this book, which would severely limit the income the OP could expect for this book. It's not a good way to work, I'm afraid.


Sure, you can always change agents later, but I don't think this situation puts the OP under any obligation to sign with the agent, even if the agent DOES get him the deal. I mean, it'd be complicated, but what if the agency contract isn't to the OP's liking?

Complications like this are another reason why it's important to do things the right way round.


This agent seems to be trying to bypass the part where the OP gets to choose which agent to work with, and that's not right.

An agent doing something like this, and shopping an MS that s/he doesn't actually represent? It's shady, and I'm not sure I'd want to work with an agent who'd do something like that.

Also... I'm just going through my first agented submission now, so I'm far from an expert, but this doesn't seem like the best way to get the best deal for the OP. It seems more like a sweetheart deal for the publisher. If the MS is only submitted one place, the agent can't really negotiate effectively. No chance for an auction or a pre-empt, no real way to gauge the level of interest from other publishers...

Agreed.

Barbara R.
09-22-2013, 05:58 PM
I could be wrong but I get an image here of the agent and editor at the big publisher having a conversation. The publisher mentions he's really keen to see such and such a genre and book type and the agent says "Oh I did have something like that come in blah blah" And the publisher says "Oh my God I'd LOVE to see it" So the agent ended up mentioning something s/he himself wasn't keen enough to represent because that publisher is really looking for that kind of thing.
However.....yeah....it doesn't sound like the agent loves the book himself.

That's the image I had as well. Agents and editors talk books all the time, and if the OP's genre was mentioned, the agent might well have brought up the book. He didn't offer it, in that scenario; he just mentioned it, and the editor said, "Cool, I'd like to read that one." All very casual.

What I DON'T like the in OP's story is that the agent said he'd only handle the book if that editor made an offer. That would leave you in a lousy position vis-a-vis other agents, most of whom don't want to touch a book that's already been offered.



If he's only prepared to offer you representation if that one publisher wants to sign you, he's not keen enough on your work to do a good job for you.

Agreed. I'm guessing it's a genre the agent doesn't usually represent and doesn't care enough about to invest in learning. Whatever. You will write other books after this first one, and you need an agent who's going to give it his/her best shot, not just aim for the low-lying fruit.


I'm not clear - did you do the R&R, or not?

Either way, I wouldn't mention this to the agent. There's a big difference between being asked for a full and being offered a publishing contract. If nothing comes of the pitmad connection, there's no need to mention it to someone who isn't even your agent yet, and if something DOES come of the pitmad thing, maybe you can use the contract offer to find a better agent, one who's willing to commit more fully to your work.

I agree. I don't think you're at the stage yet where you need to tell the other agent anything. If and when you get an offer, that's the time.


I don't see why the OP would be obliged to accept the deal if the agent set it up for him: he's under no obligation to anyone, as far as I can see, and could reject the publisher's offer and the agent's offer without worry.

A problem here is that the agent isn't really attached to the book: so even if the deal does go through, the agent is very unlikely to go out of his way to make subsidiary deals or to sell any foreign rights for this book, which would severely limit the income the OP could expect for this book. It's not a good way to work, I'm afraid.



Complications like this are another reason why it's important to do things the right way round. .

If the agent's not a complete moron, he won't actually submit the book to the interested publisher without having formalized his own standing. Unless I missed something, which is possible, the agent hasn't made the submission yet, just asked for an R&R with the intention of submitting the resulting ms. If the OP agrees to allow the agent to submit on his behalf, then IMO you do have an obligation to the agent on this book. Doesn't mean you have to continue with him if he doesn't pan out, but if he makes the sale, he's got a right to his commission. The OP could in that case have a serious conversation about subsidiary rights. Most agencies except the smallest have someone in charge of foreign rights, so the agent wouldn't be handling it personally.

Sounds like the book is garnering a lot of interest. Good luck!

Guinea
09-22-2013, 06:04 PM
You guys have given me even more complicated things to think about. I didn't even think to ask at the time why he wasn't offering rep immediately. I assumed it was because he wanted an R&R.
Captcha - this is a really good agency too, an old, established one, which is why I'm sticking this out for the moment (and the possibility of an pub contract, of course!). So as far as I know this isn't their standard practice, but it is something I will be asking the next time I speak to the agent.

Old Hack - I have a question for you - you say because the agent wouldn't be attached to the book, he wouldn't try too hard to make other deals, but surely he would as he'd be earning a commission on everything he sells here? To me, it doesn't make sense to take on a book, attached or otherwise, and not try make money out of it. I'm probably totally wrong here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 06:16 PM
Hey Barbara.


That's the image I had as well. Agents and editors talk books all the time, and if the OP's genre was mentioned, the agent might well have brought up the book. He didn't offer it, in that scenario; he just mentioned it, and the editor said, "Cool, I'd like to read that one." All very casual.

I think this is what happened from what I could gather from the agent.

What I DON'T like the in OP's story is that the agent said he'd only handle the book if that editor made an offer. That would leave you in a lousy position vis-a-vis other agents, most of whom don't want to touch a book that's already been offered.

Agreed. The agent also asked for a synopsis of the second book as short outlines of the third and fourth (He got quite excited about that when I mentioned I'd written a few books in the series, which is one of the reasons why he wanted me to do revisions so it could be seen at the end that it was not a one off, but lead to another story. I have sent this too, but he won't be sending those to the publisher. I think he just wanted a feel of what the later books would be like.

Agreed. I'm guessing it's a genre the agent doesn't usually represent and doesn't care enough about to invest in learning. Whatever. You will write other books after this first one, and you need an agent who's going to give it his/her best shot, not just aim for the low-lying fruit.

This may be the case re genre. I think he is picking up the slack from the agent that left (who originally requested the full), so maybe this is why he is leery of taking the MS on as he didn't request it in the first place. It doesn't excuse his manner regarding my MS, of course.

I agree. I don't think you're at the stage yet where you need to tell the other agent anything. If and when you get an offer, that's the time.

And this is where I am getting a little confused. Almost everyone I've spoken too, and many agencies' websites say to please let them know if an MS they have requested gets interest elsewhere. That's why I feel obliged to at least send him a heads-up.

If the agent's not a complete moron, he won't actually submit the book to the interested publisher without having formalized his own standing. Unless I missed something, which is possible, the agent hasn't made the submission yet, just asked for an R&R with the intention of submitting the resulting ms. If the OP agrees to allow the agent to submit on his behalf, then IMO you do have an obligation to the agent on this book. Doesn't mean you have to continue with him if he doesn't pan out, but if he makes the sale, he's got a right to his commission. The OP could in that case have a serious conversation about subsidiary rights. Most agencies except the smallest have someone in charge of foreign rights, so the agent wouldn't be handling it personally.

I did ask him previously not to submit without talking to me first once he had been through the revisions. That's when I'll ask him the growing list of questions I've got.

Sounds like the book is garnering a lot of interest. Good luck!

Old Hack
09-22-2013, 09:50 PM
Old Hack - I have a question for you - you say because the agent wouldn't be attached to the book, he wouldn't try too hard to make other deals, but surely he would as he'd be earning a commission on everything he sells here? To me, it doesn't make sense to take on a book, attached or otherwise, and not try make money out of it. I'm probably totally wrong here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'd be concerned that he'd not make any more sales because he only seems interested in selling the book to this one publisher, and not in submitting it more widely.

If he's not going to submit it more widely in your home territory, why would he go to the effort of trying to sell foreign rights too?

Captcha
09-22-2013, 09:55 PM
I think there's also the possibility of less-than-scrupulous agents focusing more on their relationships with editors rather than their relationships with authors. Since this agent seems to have made it pretty clear that he doesn't value the relationship with the OP very much at all, it seems like there'd be a temptation to not work that hard to get a great deal on THIS book, but using it as a way to make an editor owe him/her a favour for a different book for a more favoured author.

This might just be paranoia. I mean, we WANT our agents to have good relationships with editors. But the potential for a sort of conflict of interest is there.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 09:57 PM
I'd be concerned that he'd not make any more sales because he only seems interested in selling the book to this one publisher, and not in submitting it more widely.

If he's not going to submit it more widely in your home territory, why would he go to the effort of trying to sell foreign rights too?

Thanks for the clarification. He isn't actually in my home territory as I don't live in the UK. So this is will be another question added to the growing list as to what he plans to do selling foreign rights. Thanks Old Hack.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 10:17 PM
I think there's also the possibility of less-than-scrupulous agents focusing more on their relationships with editors rather than their relationships with authors. Since this agent seems to have made it pretty clear that he doesn't value the relationship with the OP very much at all, it seems like there'd be a temptation to not work that hard to get a great deal on THIS book, but using it as a way to make an editor owe him/her a favour for a different book for a more favoured author.

This might just be paranoia. I mean, we WANT our agents to have good relationships with editors. But the potential for a sort of conflict of interest is there.

Writers are paranoid anyway, goes with the territory while we wait, biting our nails on subs etc.
This is where I get a little confused; why would an agent not work on a book that has a publisher? They have a financial interest in the book, and if it is published, then - to me - it makes sense that they would work just as hard on a book, regardless of their personal feelings for it, so they can make money on it.
And we got on just fine the few times I've spoken to the agent. So from a personal author-agent point I don't think that would be the issue.
And there's nothing unscrupulous about the agent or the agent, even though this particular situation is unconventional. I wouldn't have subbed them in the first place if there was.

Old Hack
09-22-2013, 10:56 PM
If he's in the UK I might know him. And based on what you've told me, I think I might. If I'm right, then I strongly advise you to avoid him despite his good sales record.

Perhaps you could PM me his name or even just his initials, and if it is the one I'm thinking of I'll let you know.

Guinea
09-22-2013, 10:58 PM
If he's in the UK I might know him. And based on what you've told me, I think I might. If I'm right, then I strongly advise you to avoid him despite his good sales record.

Perhaps you could PM me his name or even just his initials, and if it is the one I'm thinking of I'll let you know.

Will do

Guinea
09-26-2013, 09:52 PM
Hello everyone.

This is just a quick one to let you know that the agent has since offered rep, which, I have decided to accept. It's exactly what I wanted, the contract is standard, and having since spoken to the agent, he has allayed all my concerns saying that he first wanted to see if I would do the R&R requested before offering.

So a big thank you to all of you, and AW, for all your fabulous advice which made me ask all the right questions.

gingerwoman
09-29-2013, 07:07 AM
Now that's understandable. He just thought it needed more work and wanted to make sure you were open and able to complete the R and R. ! I'm sure agents have to be cautious they don't end up with clients who can't work with constructive criticism. Oh that's excellent congratulations!

J.Reid
09-30-2013, 06:10 PM
Sending your ms to a publisher without your permission, and only offering rep you if the publisher is interested are two serious red flags.

There are reasons an agent might do one or the other, or maybe both, but s/he should explain them to you, and you should agree with the strategy before you sign.

Guinea
10-23-2013, 11:54 PM
Now that's understandable. He just thought it needed more work and wanted to make sure you were open and able to complete the R and R. ! I'm sure agents have to be cautious they don't end up with clients work with constructive criticism. Oh that's excellent congratulations!

Yes, that was the case. All my interactions since then have been brilliant, so am really pleased I went with them. Thanks for the congrats. Still buzzing!

Guinea
10-24-2013, 12:00 AM
Sending your ms to a publisher without your permission, and only offering rep you if the publisher is interested are two serious red flags.

There are reasons an agent might do one or the other, or maybe both, but s/he should explain them to you, and you should agree with the strategy before you sign.

He wasn't sending without my permission, but asked that I do the rewrites with a view to submitting to a particular publisher. As it turns out he offered once I'd submitted the rewrites. So it was more to see if I would do the rewrites, and since then not a thing has gone out without them first confirming with me. In the initial phone conversation I had with them we agreed on a strategy which was then followed up with an email to confirm, and since they have kept to it so far. Thanks for your help. Appreciated as always.