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Outofcontext
11-15-2013, 09:49 PM
The WD Guide to Literary Agents lists a number of agencies in Canada and the U.K.
Some indicate they do not accept queries from the U.S. But others make no distinction. Assuming they would look at a manuscript from an American writer, are there any advantages or drawbacks to working with a foreign agency--aside, perhaps, from distance and travel considerations?

Outofcontext

Bushrat
11-15-2013, 10:20 PM
If your manuscript best fits the British or Canadian market, it may be a good idea to look for agents in those countries since they'd probably have a better knowledge of the publishing industry there.
Travel considerations would only come into play if your book ended up being released only in Canada or the UK, and you'd be expected to go on a book tour. Meeting with your agent in person isn't necessary and not often done.

Old Hack
11-15-2013, 10:53 PM
The US is a far larger market than the UK and Canada, and you pay your agent a higher commission on foreign sales. So if you're US-based but have an agent who is based elsewhere, you'll end up paying a higher commission on the bulk of your sales.

I'll move this from Publishing Resources to Ask the Agent, as it's a better fit there.

MandyHubbard
11-19-2013, 08:27 PM
The US is a far larger market than the UK and Canada, and you pay your agent a higher commission on foreign sales. So if you're US-based but have an agent who is based elsewhere, you'll end up paying a higher commission on the bulk of your sales.

I'll move this from Publishing Resources to Ask the Agent, as it's a better fit there.

Yes, Old Hack is definitely right about the market. I was talking with a Penguin Canada editor a few weeks ago. She said if they do 10% of the US sales in canada, they consider it a solid success.

I do know some Canadian agents who will allow the US market to be considered your "home" territory (so you don't pay a higher commission.) if you're a US author, not a Canadian one. The thing is my understanding is if you're not Canadian, then when you sell rights in the US they expect Canadian rights to go with the sale-- they'll import it in Canada. Whereas if you're Canadian/live in Canada, you can sell the rights in Canada and then sell to the US seperately. The editor I spoke with did not buy US authors directly at all.

I don't really deal with it as I'm a US agent with almost entirely US authors (one is in the UK) and I focus on the US market.

Interrobang
11-21-2013, 09:22 PM
Unless you have a pressing reason not to, it's best to stick with agents in your own country. If you're a US writer querying UK agents, the assumption will be that you've been turned down by all your local agents and are now spreading your net wider.

If you have a book that you feel is best suited for a foreign market, make a strong case for this belief in your query letter.

Old Hack
11-21-2013, 11:38 PM
Unless you have a pressing reason not to, it's best to stick with agents in your own country. If you're a US writer querying UK agents, the assumption will be that you've been turned down by all your local agents and are now spreading your net wider.

If you have a book that you feel is best suited for a foreign market, make a strong case for this belief in your query letter.

I don't think that's the case. There are all sorts of very good reasons why an author might prefer to query agents who are based in a different country, and having been turned down by everyone elsewhere isn't usually one of them. Although I don't dispute that this does happen, I don't think agents will assume it's the reason.

And if a book is best-suited to a foreign market then I'd approach agents or publishers in that market: doing so would reduce commissions paid; and if a book really is best-suited to another market the implication is that it's not very well-suited to the home market, which means it might well not be published at all.