View Full Version : Parting ways with an agent after a long silence

10-19-2014, 10:15 PM
A couple of years ago, I worked with an agent on shopping two novels. Ultimately neither one sold, but he certainly did his job of getting them out there. I went through a long period of not writing anything new, and it's been a good year and a half since we last had any contact.

I did not sign a contract with this agent, and his verbal policy on my future work was along the lines of take each book as it comes and we'll see if we want to work together.

He's pretty old-school and now, I've heard, semi-retired (not taking on new clients). Sometime in the next few months I'm going to have a new book I need representation for, and I think I'd like to find a much more editorial agent who's, well, not retiring. :tongue

I was kind of thinking of sending my former agent an email (a) thanking him profusely for his help in the past and (b) letting him know I'm looking for representation elsewhere. But my question is, does this sound totally bizarre since we haven't even spoken in so long? Is there just an assumption that I would've reached out if I wanted to work with him again, and only if? I'm not even totally sure he'll remember me at this point, lol.

Basically I don't want to send a presumptuous "thanks but no thanks in advance" letter.

10-19-2014, 10:26 PM
Sounds reasonable to me, what you're thinking of doing. He doesn't have one of your books he's shopping around, you haven't heard from him, and you're thanking him for his time and letting him know up-front that you're ready to look for a new agent. He is semi-retired, so he might even see it as a good thing--lessening his work load.

And as you said, it was a verbal handshake. Usually with those you just give notice by email and that's that.

ETA: for your future work, when seeking representation, you can mention that you had an agent but parted amicably.

10-19-2014, 11:26 PM
Seems that your approach is sound and respectful to him. If he is semi-retired he may even welcome one less client.

Siri Kirpal
10-20-2014, 02:23 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I would word it to include your knowledge that he is retiring. That should take off any sting.


Siri Kirpal

10-20-2014, 05:10 AM
In your queries, if you mention that you had representation, you might want to specify that the ex-agent retired versus just saying you parted ways amicably. That gives you a free pass from having agents wonder if anything negative happened to end that relationship.