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View Full Version : Offers, Fulls, and emotional wreckage...



IntergalacticEmpress
01-10-2016, 09:14 AM
Hi all,

long time lurker in need of advice!

A month ago I sent out my queries to my top five agents. All five requested the full which I never in a gazillion years thought would happen. I cannot stress this enough: I love all five of these folks, or they wouldn't have been on that list. I researched them to death and all are awesome.

Awesome Agent One has offered representation.
Awesome Agents Two through Five are getting back to me next week (after I let them know I had an offer on the table).

I've followed all the protocols, been straight up with everyone and kept them all in the loop. Thing is... I feel awful, like whatever I do I'm wasting someone's time. I'm not sure what to do!

A) Do I email two through five saying no thanks and take the amazing offer on the table?
B) Do I wait until all of them have had a chance to respond and then choose, even if it means keeping Agent One waiting despite the fact they don't seem too happy about that?
C) Do I nudge everyone and see what they think? At least that way they know that if they sign me that they're getting an emotional wreck for a client.
D) Do I keep drinking this bottle of wine, quit complaining and finish the Christmas chocolates?

I keep swinging back to A because honestly, this agent and their agency are fab, and at the end of the day just because I've got fulls with the others doesn't mean they'll offer. Plus Agent One got back to me lightening fast and is super enthusiastic... and yet everything I read tells me to do B. Plus Agent Two knew about the project a while ago and was really encouraging about it, so I feel like I owe them at least the chance to voice their opinion. And Agent Three is reading it despite being on vacation in another country.


I think I'm going for option D.

Can anyone who has been in this situation give me some advice, please? I'm an emotional wreck clutching a wine glass and a half-eaten box of chocolates.

cornflake
01-10-2016, 09:19 AM
I'm a bit confused. You let them know you had an offer on the table, hence they're getting back to you next week, yes? Then don't screw them by not giving them a chance to respond.

If you haven't responed to the first agent, do so and say you're very interested, but had other fulls out and the agents in question requested a few days; you'll get back to agent A by X.

IntergalacticEmpress
01-10-2016, 09:26 AM
The first agent knows, Cornflake.

What you're suggesting was exactly the path I was following until another writer I know basically implied it was shittier to NOT just accept Agent One, who I would love to rep me, and to hang on to see what the other agents thought as well. Does that make sense? I've spent all day wondering if she was right and whether I'm wasting people's time.

Does that make a bit more sense?

Cyia
01-10-2016, 09:31 AM
It's absolutely normal to inform reading agents of an offer on the table and see if other offers come in. It's also absolutely normal to give a one week window. There's nothing disrespectful or underhanded about it, and the agent who offered you representation will expect you to do this. If two or three agents offer representation, then you can get them on the phone (also the normal next step) and see if you "click" with one better than another.

cornflake
01-10-2016, 09:31 AM
The first agent knows, Cornflake.

What you're suggesting was exactly the path I was following until another writer I know basically implied it was shittier to NOT just accept Agent One, who I would love to rep me, and to hang on to see what the other agents thought as well. Does that make sense? I've spent all day wondering if she was right and whether I'm wasting people's time.

Does that make a bit more sense?

Not really, no. If you told people you'd wait and they're reading and pondering, but you accept the first agent without waiting for their responses, then you are wasting their time.


If you haven't heard from them, you don't know what they're going to say. Also, what have you discussed with the first agent? I know you've done your research, but have you discussed this project, her communication style, her plans, whether she thinks it needs changing and how much, what are her theoretical timelines and who she might be thinking of pitching, etc.

IntergalacticEmpress
01-10-2016, 09:39 AM
@Cornflake, all of the above. It was a good discussion, and we're on the same page. Also you're absolutely right, pulling out now would be wasting their time.

@Cyia, thanks, that's what I thought and why I proceeded the way I did - I was just thrown by the well-intentioned advice from my friend.

Thanks both. I will stick to my planned course and wait until the end of the week to make my decision.

cornflake
01-10-2016, 09:51 AM
Happy to help. So... where'd you put the chocolates?

blacbird
01-10-2016, 10:40 AM
Let me get this straight: You sent five queries, got immediate requests for full submissions on all five, got a fast acceptance from one of the five . . .

and you're posting a thread containing the phrase "emotional wreckage" in the title?

You want a real reason for "emotional wreckage" in the writing endeavor? I can give ya about fifty.

Where's my Talisker??????/

caw

Jennifer_Laughran
01-10-2016, 05:11 PM
Yeah just to reiterate:

* You are doing the exact right thing - your friend is WRONG.

* The offering agent should expect a week wait, it is in no way unusual.

* If you pull the ms from the pondering agents without giving them the week you said they could have - you have forever burned those bridges. Don't.

* All of them MAY say no, in which case, problem solved. Or, some or all of them MAY offer, in which case, you have a different "problem" -- but luckily, it's a pretty classy problem to have.

* Relax. It is currently out of your hands!

IntergalacticEmpress
01-10-2016, 10:34 PM
@Blackbird - I know; believe me if I heard someone say what I did I'd roll my eyes. I have never even had a request for a partial before, and half the time not even a form rejection.

@Cornflake - um.. there's a lot of empty chocolate boxes. I've moved onto the jelly babies.

@Jennifer - thank you, and yes it is an awesome problem to have - but it wasn't something I was even slightly prepared for. I think we all get so used to rejection that genuine interest comes as a complete shock.

Again, thanks to everyone. I'm sticking with my original course of action and resolved to enjoy the process as much as I can.

2gregory
01-11-2016, 12:15 AM
I just want to say congrats. You've clearly written a helluva story. Enjoy the ride!

popgun62
01-11-2016, 03:55 AM
Yeah just to reiterate:

* You are doing the exact right thing - your friend is WRONG.

* The offering agent should expect a week wait, it is in no way unusual.

* If you pull the ms from the pondering agents without giving them the week you said they could have - you have forever burned those bridges. Don't.

* All of them MAY say no, in which case, problem solved. Or, some or all of them MAY offer, in which case, you have a different "problem" -- but luckily, it's a pretty classy problem to have.

* Relax. It is currently out of your hands!

Intergalactic - Jennifer is an agent. Do exactly as she says here.

Roxxsmom
01-11-2016, 04:07 AM
Trying not to hate you and to offer you my hearfelt congratulations on having written what is clearly a very good and very marketable book when my own querying experience has been so much more frustrating :cry:

As far as I know, it's perfectly fine to tell an offering agent that you need a few days to make a final decision. And be sure you research the questions you should ask your agents before accepting an offer of representation so you make sure the one you choose is the best fit possible.

SoulofaWriter
01-11-2016, 07:28 AM
Wowee, congratulations and good luck, whatever you choose to do!

mrsmig
01-11-2016, 07:33 AM
Just echoing the congratulations, whichever way this shakes out. Great news!

Siri Kirpal
01-11-2016, 07:42 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"---a Sikh greeting)

Ah, the terrors of success! Congrats!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

IntergalacticEmpress
01-11-2016, 10:11 PM
Thanks everyone, I will be following Jennifer's advice to the letter - will be speaking with Agent Two this afternoon!

Quickbread
01-12-2016, 01:21 AM
Super happy for you, Intergalactic! That's one hell of a way to come out of the query gate. Good on you!

FLChicken
01-12-2016, 09:06 PM
I was in your shoes a few months ago. While you may feel that initial offering agent is "not too happy about" waiting, I am sure they've been in this spot many times before. It's part of the business. She/He just really wants you! Should you get other offers in the coming days, I HIGHLY recommend going into your phone calls with those agents with an open mind. I was crazy fortunate to have four offers. Yes, I felt honored to have so many offers, but it was very stressful to make the right decision. I felt a bit tied to the initial agent, but I forced myself to be open to the others. In the end, one of the "others" ended up being a better match for me. Also, it is okay to request a follow-up phone call or email with additional questions of the agent to help you reach your decision. For now, come up with your questions that you want to use should you have to compare agents and hold them up to one another.

Best wishes and congrats! You know, no matter where this all lands in the coming days, you have yourself an agent!