View Full Version : Query agent while book is out for open submission

Evil Overlord
01-28-2016, 01:55 AM
I have a novel that's out at two publishers for their open submissions periods. Is it gauche to query an agent before the publisher's responses come in (providing I'm upfront that the novel is out)? Even if an acceptance comes in, I'd consider using the agent to negotiate the deal.

Jeff C. Stevenson
01-28-2016, 03:03 AM
Hi EO--

As long as you tell the agent, it's perfectly fine, but you don't need to make a big deal of it or reveal who the publisher is. And should the publisher express interest and offer a contract, absolutely get an agent to review the contract and be certain to reach out to the moderators here and they can help put you in touch with someone. Best of luck!

01-28-2016, 05:25 AM
If an acceptance comes in, you'll definitely want an agent to do the negotiation. As it is, sure, query. Just be honest about where the book is. No big deal.

01-28-2016, 05:31 AM
Ha! For once, I agree with Jamesaritchie.

Go ahead and query, but if it comes to a call with the agent, then you absolutely must inform them that the book is with the publishers you've submitted to. You don't want an agent to be in the position of submitting to an editor who already has your novel. And should you get an offer from one of the publishers before you get responses from any agents you query, then you can nudge the agents with news of the offer.

Good luck.

Evil Overlord
01-28-2016, 05:53 AM
Thanks to all. I went ahead and submitted the query, noting that the book was out. Given a 6-8 week response, I may have heard back from publishers by the time the agent answers.

Old Hack
01-28-2016, 11:03 AM
If I were you I would not send the book out to any more publishers. Query all the agents you're interested in first, and only start sending it out yourself when you've run out of agents to query.

Agents are far more likely to have success when submitting to publishers than you are. They know the most appropriate editors to send it to, and their submissions will be looked at more quickly, too.

Becca C.
01-28-2016, 12:53 PM
I think Laura Lam (an AWer and published author) did this with her book, Pantomime. She had submitted it to (the now defunct) Strange Chemistry's open submissions period, and queried agents, so she had an agent when the offer from the open sub came in. I can't remember if she queried before or after the offer.