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View Full Version : OK, first agent didn't ask for exclusivity; second did. HELP!



DeadlyAccurate
05-09-2006, 03:02 AM
The second agent's time limit was reasonable, so I don't have a problem with that in and of itself, but what do I say that basically boils down to, "Can't give you an exclusive now, but I'll send it along if she says no thanks?"

clara bow
05-09-2006, 03:59 AM
Hm. Sounds like some great luck, but also kind of sticky.

What this situation also could mean is that you grant the second agent the exclusive, but you do not respond to first agent, even if offered representation, until the second agent's exclusivity period ends.

Or you could email the first agent and give a time limit (very carefully, of course!).

Basically, you might be stuck with waiting to send the manuscript until the first agent makes a decision. Even if it means you have to wait several months, at least you have another agent willing to take a look if the first one declines. Probably a friendly email thanking second agent very much for the interest and you will send 'script along as soon as you can grant an exclusive. Miss Snark had a recent post regarding wording to this effect very recently, I believe.

good luck!

victoriastrauss
05-09-2006, 04:34 AM
Let Agent 2 know that someone else is reading on a nonexclusive basis, and ask if she/he would waive the exclusive. Often, agents will say yes. If not, tell Agent 2 you'll send it along when Agent 1 is finished.

- Victoria

dantem42
05-09-2006, 05:28 AM
Let Agent 2 know that someone else is reading on a nonexclusive basis, and ask if she/he would waive the exclusive. Often, agents will say yes. If not, tell Agent 2 you'll send it along when Agent 1 is finished.

- Victoria

I prefer this approach. I would give Agent 2 the two options: waive the exclusive or wait until Agent 1 is finished. Most good agents have far more manuscripts to review than they have time, so they usually don't mind waiting for a few weeks to get yours.

jchines
05-09-2006, 05:31 AM
Let Agent 2 know that someone else is reading on a nonexclusive basis, and ask if she/he would waive the exclusive. Often, agents will say yes. If not, tell Agent 2 you'll send it along when Agent 1 is finished.

- Victoria

What she said. I had this happen myself when I was shopping an earlier novel around. Agent #2 was more than happy to wait until I was able to grant an exclusive. He didn't snarl at me for daring to have queried other agents or anything like that. Very polite, very professional.

And when I signed with another agent before giving him that exclusive, I just sent a quick e-mail, and once again got a polite "Best of luck" response.

It's stressful, but it's also one of the nicer dilemmas to have :)

popmuze
05-09-2006, 06:20 PM
Had I been on this board a year and a half ago, I might not have written to agent one, who'd had the manscript a few months by then, to inform him that I was planning to start sending it around if I didn't hear from him.

Sure enough, I got the rejection the next day.

maestrowork
05-09-2006, 07:11 PM
Sure enough, I got the rejection the next day.

Agents can be a moody lot. One agent asked for exclusivity on a full ms. Six months later, I kindly sent her a letter asking for status and stating that I would be willing to grant her another month (since I really can't wait forever -- I needed to send it out because some other agents were asking for it). She snapped and rejected me, saying, "It usually takes me more than a year to decide."

Oh. Well. Your f*cking loss.

transom-jumper
05-09-2006, 07:22 PM
Maestrowork,

A year at the agent? Exclusive? Then, if they accept, another two or three months to polish to their specs. Then off to a publisher for six months to a year of careful study. Then to the next publisher if rejected or if they accept, a few more months of editing then the wait for actual publication (perhaps a year or even two). A fellow could grow a long white beard in that time. I'm not going to even think about how much hair could grow on a gal's legs. That calls for a cold beer and a YIPES!

Transom Jumper

DeadlyAccurate
05-09-2006, 08:12 PM
Thanks, everyone! I went with Victoria's suggestion, though it may not matter as upon closer inspection, I'm coming across some stuff online that's making me curious about the agency, stuff I didn't see on the first search.