View Full Version : New agent a possibility?

10-21-2014, 03:02 PM
Hi Everyone,

My question has to do with a young adult novel I wrote years ago which has been represented by the same agent for several years.

My agent is successful in the publishing world. She has submitted my young adult novel to dozens of editors. Unfortunately none have been interested in publishing my novel.

Should I suggest that she try to query UK publishers? If I break my contract with her after all these years, might another agent be interested in viewing my query and first three chapters?


10-21-2014, 03:19 PM
I haven't been in the Absolute Write Forum for a while. I just reviewed my previous posts asking similar questions. Thanks for all of the replies.

So I will reword the above: If my agent submitted a novel to dozens of editors, what are the chances of another agent wanting to represent the same work? Maybe he or she would know of other publishing houses to contact? Perhaps they would contact publishers in the UK?


10-21-2014, 03:34 PM
If my agent submitted a novel to dozens of editors, what are the chances of another agent wanting to represent the same work? Maybe he or she would know of other publishing houses to contact? Perhaps they would contact publishers in the UK?


If your agent only submitted to US editors, a UK agent would potentially have different UK editors to submit to. But you'd need to be upfront about your previous representation, and I'd expect it to discourage a lot of agents.

No harm in trying, though, as long as your query is clear on the situation.

10-21-2014, 05:17 PM
Is there a reason you would want to terminate your relationship with your agent, in addition to not getting a sale? Have you talked to your agent about what to do with your manuscript? Does your agent have any ties or agreements in the UK with agencies/agents there?

My understanding of the situation is that agents are hesitant to take on manuscripts that have been extensively submitted in the past. Fewer options for them. The US/UK divide might make you more attractive in the UK market, but like EMaree said, you'll have to be upfront about its history.

Have you gotten any feedback to revise the manuscript? Have you written anything new that your agent might want to try submitting?

10-21-2014, 06:27 PM
Oooh, yeah, Mayqueen's response is spot-on. I focused on getting an agent after splitting with one, but trying to reconcile things with your existing agent is a much better plan if you can. It sounds like she's worked hard with your current manuscript.

10-21-2014, 10:04 PM
A key question is whether your manuscript would work in the UK market.
There are significant differences between the UK and US markets in some genres (e.g Christian fiction), I don't know enough about the YA market to know what those differences may be.
Why did your agent choose to not try UK markets? Because they have no contacts, or because they judged it would not appeal to UK editors?

If your agent tried all the relevant YA markets in the US and they all said no, then I can't another US agent wanting to take it on.

10-21-2014, 10:46 PM
Here's the thing, not every book sells on the first go. That isn't necessarily the agent's fault (nor even the book's fault). Before getting all,"You aren't selling my book I'm going elsewhere" with it, find out what the feedback is on the rejections. Also do you like your agent in general? Do you think she is on your side, understands your writing etc? If yes, then maybe you should consider working on the next book rather than dumping this agent and continuing to put all your eggs in one basket with this current novel.

Story time: I have a friend who's first book with her agent didn't sell but then the second did to great acclaim. Three books later and with a much bigger reputation now as an author, she sold that first book that was rejected.

Heck I'm a great example as well. OUTCAST was the first book I tried to sell with my at the time new agent. It didn't. There was also another book that she tried to sell to no avail. But then we pitched THE FRIDAY SOCIETY and THAT one sold. A year later, OUTCAST sold as well.

Selling a book isn't just a matter of a good agent and good book, it's also the current market situation and a bucket of luck.

Absolutely ask your agent if she thinks trying the UK market makes sense and if she has the appropriate connections. But also start on your next book. The next book is an extremely important step.

And yes, if you are feeling like your agent isn't getting your writing, isn't communicating with you, in general if you feel like your agent isn't a good fit, then maybe you might want to change. But don't just change because this one book isn't selling. This is a long marathon, not a short sprint.

10-22-2014, 05:22 AM
Definitely ask your current agent if she could submit to UK houses. As others have mentioned, she might have a co-agent in the UK or have connections with UK publishers herself.

If you do decide to part ways, be sure to get a complete list of all the editors/houses it was submitted to. A new agent may be willing to take it on, but chances are much lower than if the book hadn't been shopped yet, or shopped much.

10-23-2014, 04:00 AM
What else have you written in the time your agent has been representing this novel? If you stopped at one, expecting a sale is unreasonable, at best.

The fact that this novel hasn't sold is not your agent's fault. The agent has done everything right, and nothing wrong. If you have other novels finished and ready to go, ignore this, but if you haven't, I doubt any agent, anywhere, is going to do you any good.

Your agent will probably try UK publishers, if the book looks like a fit there, but that's a very, very long shot. What you need to do is write a book that makes the editors your agent shows it to slobber all over themselves at first read.