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View Full Version : When agents offer representation



Maze Runner
03-25-2015, 11:22 PM
have they already tested the waters to see how likely it is that they'll be able to sell your ms?

Sage
03-25-2015, 11:26 PM
It would be unethical for them to shop a book they didn't represent. But they probably have a good idea of where they'd like to submit the novel.

mayqueen
03-25-2015, 11:26 PM
What do you mean by test the waters? Agents shouldn't be sending your work around to editors if you don't have a contract.

Maze Runner
03-25-2015, 11:30 PM
I guess I have the impression that it's a small world, publishing is, and that they know each other, agents and editors and publishers do, and that a phone call before offering rep would save everyone a lot of time, including the author. I don't mean an actual submission, but just something like, "Hey, you looking for an xyz sort of book?"

amergina
03-25-2015, 11:35 PM
I guess I have the impression that it's a small world, publishing is, and that they know each other, agents and editors and publishers do, and that a phone call before offering rep would save everyone a lot of time, including the author. I don't mean an actual submission, but just something like, "Hey, you looking for an xyz sort of book?"

Good agents have a pretty good idea of the interests of the editors they know, so they wouldn't need to call around. They would know that Editor A at House B loves XYZ.

CAMueller
03-25-2015, 11:36 PM
I guess I have the impression that it's a small world, publishing is, and that they know each other, agents and editors and publishers do, and that a phone call before offering rep would save everyone a lot of time, including the author. I don't mean an actual submission, but just something like, "Hey, you looking for an xyz sort of book?"

Part of an agent's job is to understand the current marketplace. They should have good working relationships with editors that allow them to know their tastes and be aware of what types of books are being bought.

And, like the others have said, shopping or discussing a book that is not contracted would be unethical.

Maze Runner
03-25-2015, 11:39 PM
Oh, I see. Okay, makes sense. Thank you.

Sage
03-25-2015, 11:47 PM
It would be pretty crummy for the author if agents did do that. Say Agent A has a good relationship with Editor Z. She has a full that she loves but she doesn't know if there's a market for it so she pitches it to Editor Z. Editor Z says, "I'd love to see that book!" and waits for Agent A to send it. Agent A offers rep and the author tells the 3 other agents with her full and she gets another offer, which she decides to go with. Agent B takes her novel and sends it to Editor Z. But Editor Z's been told that a novel with the exact same premise is coming from Agent A, who she's worked with before and liked. Now the author's novel doesn't look so shiny because the exact same novel was already shopped to Editor Z.

Maze Runner
03-25-2015, 11:51 PM
Hmm, never would have thought of that. You're right.