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sayamini
10-08-2016, 10:27 PM
So I had an editor from a pretty huge publishing house request a partial from me, but I wouldn't be interested in signing a contract without an agent. I have a partial and a full out with two different agents right now. Should I tell the agents an editor is also reading my MS? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

AW Admin
10-08-2016, 10:35 PM
Don't sign anything if you're offered a contract.

Don't tell them you don't have an agent yet.

It's much easier to get an agent with an offer in hand.

So start working up a short list (2 to 5) of reputable agents you'd like to work with, who would rep the work in question, just in case.

sayamini
10-08-2016, 10:44 PM
Don't sign anything if you're offered a contract.

Don't tell them you don't have an agent yet.

It's much easier to get an agent with an offer in hand.

So start working up a short list (2 to 5) of reputable agents you'd like to work with, who would rep the work in question, just in case.

But I thought it was harder to get an agent if you have an offer from an editor in hand? Or is that just if you've signed the contract?

Cyia
10-08-2016, 10:54 PM
If you get an offer from a huge/reputable house, then you email your agent list with: Offer from [house name] in the email subject. At that point, there's still a contract to negotiate.

Marlys
10-08-2016, 10:57 PM
It is harder to get an agent, though, if you've already shopped your manuscript to all the places where the agent has contacts. So if you really want an agent, you might want to stop approaching publishers yourself.

sayamini
10-08-2016, 11:01 PM
It is harder to get an agent, though, if you've already shopped your manuscript to all the places where the agent has contacts. So if you really want an agent, you might want to stop approaching publishers yourself.

I actually didn't approach this editor, she requested a partial based on my #DVpit pitch on Twitter. I have no experience whatsoever with approaching publishers, haha.

waylander
10-08-2016, 11:19 PM
Be prepared for a very long wait. They haven't yet asked for the full manuscript, and if they do there will always be an agented manuscript in the editor's TBR pile ahead of yours.

AW Admin
10-08-2016, 11:24 PM
Be prepared for a very long wait. They haven't yet asked for the full manuscript, and if they do there will always be an agented manuscript in the editor's TBR pile ahead of yours.

No, that's not the way it works. Books are not commodities; they are unique. If an editor offers for a book it's because they want that book.

Moreover, if a publisher takes unagented subs, you're not a second class citizen.

Dennis E. Taylor
10-08-2016, 11:42 PM
Just to clarify, because there seem to be several things happening and being talked about--and this is just my understanding from hanging around on AW

1. It's a bad idea to be subbing to agents and publishers at the same time. If an agent decides to sign you, they'll want to sub to the same publishers, but that bridge will already have been burned. And a sub from an agent will (generally) have more cred than an unsolicited one from a random author, so you'll have shot yourself in the foot.

2. If you sub directly to a publisher and you get an offer, agents will be the exact opposite of reluctant to take you on. You've done all the subbing work for them, now they just have to negotiate the contract. As mentioned above, query with "offer in hand" or something in the subject line.

3. If you have an offer, should you bother with an agent? Oh, hellz yes. IMO, of course. Agents know a lot more about the industry, how to negotiate, when to negotiate, what to negotiate, etc. 85% of more money is better than 100% of less money.

Sage
10-08-2016, 11:50 PM
Just to clarify, because there seem to be several things happening and being talked about--and this is just my understanding from hanging around on AW

1. It's a bad idea to be subbing to agents and publishers at the same time. If an agent decides to sign you, they'll want to sub to the same publishers, but that bridge will already have been burned. And a sub from an agent will (generally) have more cred than an unsolicited one from a random author, so you'll have shot yourself in the foot.

2. If you sub directly to a publisher and you get an offer, agents will be the exact opposite of reluctant to take you on. You've done all the subbing work for them, now they just have to negotiate the contract. As mentioned above, query with "offer in hand" or something in the subject line.

3. If you have an offer, should you bother with an agent? Oh, hellz yes. IMO, of course. Agents know a lot more about the industry, how to negotiate, when to negotiate, what to negotiate, etc. 85% of more money is better than 100% of less money.

I agree with all these things, but wanted to add to #1 that if you're participating in a pitch contest that results in a request from a publisher, don't hold off from that chance just because of the fear of burning bridges for a potential future agent. At that point you are a solicited submission and are absolutely not wasting their chance to sub.

Pisco Sour
10-16-2016, 07:43 PM
I will add that in my experience agents will only jump to represent you if your offer includes a good advance. Otherwise, they won't bother. I had an offer from a HarperCollins (digital) imprint for my first novel and I told the agents I'd queried. Most never responded even though I put HarperCollins in subject line. One of them kindly explained to me that there was a huge difference between an offer from a digital imprint with no advance, and an offer from a trad imprint with print runs and a good advance. Since my offer was of the former kind, she would be passing. She then looked up my query, read my partial and full and offered to represent the book two days later (but not if if I chose to stick with the HC digial imprint). Of course, she couldn't guarantee a better deal and at the time I thought it was too much of a risk so I signed with HC.

And oh, do I regret it, but that's another story.

I will add in reference to burning bridges by submitting to publishers before you get an agent. Yes, I think it's better if first you get an agent and she/he does all the submitting, but sometimes it doesn't work that way. Eg, if you've been flogging a book for a long time with no takers, and then you get an agent it's not the end of the world. You can give the agent the list of publishers you've targeted, which will only be editors/imprints that accept un-agented subs, of course. There are many, many houses that shut their doors in the face of un-agented authors, so your agent still has all those publishers' imprints you can now approach, depending on your genre. Therefore those bridges are not 'burned'-since you weren't allowed to cross them in the first place. I'm in that situation right now, and I've just received a list of over 30 editors at imprints my agent is intending to target, little by little, with my ms. I couldn't submit to them before I had an agent, and now we can. :)

Just my two p.