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SHBueche
02-28-2006, 09:09 PM
Hi All--This has probably been covered, so please forgive me in advance (I searched the archives and didn't see the topic, so I was motivated to start a new discussion), here's my question:

If you have an agent, but find a publisher for your work on your own, how exactly does this work? I am sure this is covered in the contract, but I would like to know if anyone at the forums has experienced this before.

Thanks y'all!

Valona
03-01-2006, 10:04 PM
I'm not an expert. Never had anything accepted by either agent or publisher yet. However, from all I've read, if you have an agent and find a publisher who's interested before the agent can find him/her, your agent will be delighted. It's easy money for him/her inasmuch as he/she doesn't have to do the marketing bit. All he/she has to do is the negotiations for you and collect your money.

Cathy C
03-04-2006, 10:37 PM
I guess my first question would have to be, "Why are you looking for a publisher when you have an agent to do that?"

Now, if it's a publisher that you had queried BEFORE you found the agent then, by all means, let your agent know the name of the editor and phone number to contact them. It's the agent's job to get the synopsis and manuscript to the publisher and push for a deal. That's what they get paid for. Now, if you don't WANT to include the agent in a deal you found (i.e., not paying the commission), then you'll have to look at your Agency Agreement to see how that's handled. Asking here won't probably do much good, since every deal is different. This would probably be a better question for a publishing law (entertainment law) attorney.

But if you got the agent first and you're still looking for publishers on the side, is it because you don't think your agent is doing a good job? Quality, selling agents have the ear of editors and often know just what to send and when. If you're submitting on the side, you're sort of cutting the agent off at the knees--making their job more difficult.

More details about your situation would make it easier to answer. :)

aruna
03-05-2006, 10:43 AM
But if you got the agent first and you're still looking for publishers on the side, is it because you don't think your agent is doing a good job? Quality, selling agents have the ear of editors and often know just what to send and when. If you're submitting on the side, you're sort of cutting the agent off at the knees--making their job more difficult.

More details about your situation would make it easier to answer. :)

Cathy, I can imagine a situation where this might happen, in fact it might happen to me as well. I've stopped submitting my ms Last of the Sugar Gods as I believe it is unsaleable to a bigger publisher. I have another manuscript I'm now submitting, which is far more commercial. MY first choice of agent is one who rejected LOSG, but has asked to see the new ms.
Meanwhile, I know of a small publisher of Caribbean literature which I am almost sure would accept LOSG, as it is of local interest, and I intend to submit there in a few weeks. If this agent does accept the new ms, and the small publisher accepts LOSG, there we have the situation. I'll let you know how this turns out...
But in general, that's the situation. If you get an agent for a new manuscript, and you continue submitting an already rejected old ms and find a publisher on your own, then why should the agent get a commission?

Cathy C
03-05-2006, 08:05 PM
But in general, that's the situation. If you get an agent for a new manuscript, and you continue submitting an already rejected old ms and find a publisher on your own, then why should the agent get a commission?

But see, this would fall under category one. You DON'T have an agent for the first ms. so you'd be finding a publisher before you have an agent FOR THAT MANUSCRIPT.

That's why I asked the question in the first place. If SHBueche has an agent for THAT manuscript, then the question still applies. Does that make sense?

aruna
03-07-2006, 10:25 AM
Yep!

MarkN
03-07-2006, 03:53 PM
I would think you would still want the agent to negotiate a deal for you on that manuscript, wouldn't you? A book deal is a legal contract, and there could be gotchas and/or missed opportunities. Agents aren't just for finding publishers, they're for finding Santa in all those clauses. ;) Or am I misunderstanding the agent's role? I have neither publisher nor agent, so I'm just going by what I've heard here.

aruna
03-07-2006, 09:42 PM
You are right, of course, and I'm sure my first choice agent would have no objections to repping me for the book, if found a publisher for it myself!