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dot-dot-dash
10-25-2017, 02:47 AM
We don't have that many agents here. What should I be aware of when seeking an agent (for fiction) outside of the country I live in? Where is this on the not-an-issue to forget-it spectrum?

Shoeless
10-25-2017, 02:56 AM
Plenty of agents have clients that aren't in the country they work out of. It's not actually that big deal, especially if it's clear that country you're from doesn't have a big literary agent community to begin with. My own agent is based in the USA, but has a few Canadian clients--of which I'm one--some clients from the UK, and even clients in Oz. So a Kiwi writer with an American, Canadian or UK literary agent actually wouldn't be all that unusual. As long as you take at least one sentence in your query bio to mention that you're from New Zealand, most agents won't even bat an eye and just read your query and go straight to your pages if you included them, treating you like any other writer, with your country of origin not being an issue.

CameronJohnston
10-25-2017, 12:10 PM
What Shoeless said, this should be no problem at all.

PeteMC
10-25-2017, 01:13 PM
I'm in the UK and my agent is in the USA - no problem at all.

Pisco Sour
10-25-2017, 03:19 PM
I'm in the UK and my agent is in the USA - no problem at all.

Ditto, the above. I'm in the UK and I'm in the process of signing with an agent/agency in NYC. In terms of things to be aware of, I'd say you definitely must do your research. Not all agents and agencies are created equal. Read these boards, and target agents who are legit. You're not going to be popping into town for a cuppa with your agent, but with SKYPE, email, and instant holographic tesseracting this shouldn't be an issue.

*Sorry, I invented that last one but it would be nice, no?

dot-dot-dash
10-31-2017, 06:42 AM
Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

Maybe someone can answer this question, too. As a UK born writer, can I submit English-spelled fiction to, say, a US magazine? The technical stuff that I did was US-English-or-go-home, but maybe fiction sees such things as part of the cultural fabric of a story.

Any thoughts?

Cyia
10-31-2017, 07:03 AM
Not sure about magazines, but with novel publishers, they don't usually care. Your editor will change anything that needs changing for the market.

CameronJohnston
10-31-2017, 01:14 PM
If they don't specifically mention to use, say, US spelling in the submission requirements then they are usually good with either.

Atlantic12
10-31-2017, 01:42 PM
My agent is also in a different country than I am. It's no problem. As for the spellings, an editor who looked over my work advised me to change from US to Brit spellings if I was submitting to UK agents, which I did. Agents I've asked said they didn't really care as long as the story was good. It's not that big an issue.

Old Hack
10-31-2017, 06:05 PM
My agent is also in a different country than I am. It's no problem. As for the spellings, an editor who looked over my work advised me to change from US to Brit spellings if I was submitting to UK agents, which I did. Agents I've asked said they didn't really care as long as the story was good. It's not that big an issue.

As I think I said earlier, having your manuscript in UK English rather than US English is not just a question of changing the spellings. There are different rules for punctuation you have to follow as well as other things. You're better to leave your spellings as they are and make them correct and consistent than to try and make it look like something it isn't.

dot-dot-dash
11-01-2017, 12:15 AM
That's what I was hoping to hear :) Thanks all.

atwhatcost
11-02-2017, 07:49 AM
There is an issue with agents from other countries -- $$$! Specifically taxes. Make sure you know what you're getting into tax wise. If I get a UK agent, the UK wants some of that money, and Uncle Sam wants some.

Cyia
11-02-2017, 08:12 AM
There is an issue with agents from other countries -- $$$! Specifically taxes. Make sure you know what you're getting into tax wise. If I get a UK agent, the UK wants some of that money, and Uncle Sam wants some.

You fill out a tax document for every territory in which your work sells, no matter where your agent is. It's where it sells that matters.

The difference is in defining domestic vs international sales. US agent, then the US is your domestic / primary market. UK agent, then the UK is your domestic / primary market. It changes which set of sales your agent gets 15% of vs. 20% (domestic vs foreign sales).

Shoeless
11-02-2017, 09:06 AM
There is an issue with agents from other countries -- $$$! Specifically taxes. Make sure you know what you're getting into tax wise. If I get a UK agent, the UK wants some of that money, and Uncle Sam wants some.

A lot of this depends which specific country you come from and where the book is going to be published. In my case, because I'm Canadian, and there's still currently a trade agreement in place between the two countries, if I sell a book to an American publisher, after some appropriate IRS forms are filled out, the US holds back zero earnings for taxes. It all goes straight to me, and I pay the taxes as normal in Canada.

Of course, if NAFTA gets tanked, then we'll have to see how this unfolds later, but that's the current, much more convenient set up.

Atlantic12
11-02-2017, 05:46 PM
There is an issue with agents from other countries -- $$$! Specifically taxes. Make sure you know what you're getting into tax wise. If I get a UK agent, the UK wants some of that money, and Uncle Sam wants some.

Yes, but you just have to fill out the forms to avoid double taxation, as Shoeless said. Your agency should be able to point you in the right direction on this.

atwhatcost
11-02-2017, 08:38 PM
I didn't say it was a killer problem. I'm saying know what you're getting yourself into before querying agents. Kind of stupid to get all the way to signing a contract with an agent before learning you don't want to pay those taxes in another country.

I'm American. Some of my agents on the list are in the UK, Canada, and I even think Oz is represented. Canada is no big deal, (our countries have never had trade problems, even before NAFTA. I tend to see NAFTA as a joint venture in tax-em-more-and-add-extra-paperwork), but I have yet to find out if UK or Oz are. Frankly, UK is a problem for me. I know my story would do better there than in the States, but they don't merely tax the waz, they also tax the zoo. So they tax the whole wazoo. I'm really going to have to learn how much that is before approaching them. And I'm very much hoping I'm willing to approach them anyway. Let's face it, there really are some fantastic agents elsewhere in the world.

SeaSerpent
11-02-2017, 08:47 PM
This is something I need to look into, having recently signed as a UK author with a US agent. Can anyone direct me to any useful resources and at what stage will I need to take action? Or will my agent advise me on this? Cheers.

Cyia
11-02-2017, 08:58 PM
This is something I need to look into, having recently signed as a UK author with a US agent. Can anyone direct me to any useful resources and at what stage will I need to take action? Or will my agent advise me on this? Cheers.

Your agent should direct you to, or supply links to, the correct forms to fill out when it's time. You can email them to ask the specifics, if you're concerned.

PeteMC
11-04-2017, 05:49 PM
This is something I need to look into, having recently signed as a UK author with a US agent. Can anyone direct me to any useful resources and at what stage will I need to take action? Or will my agent advise me on this? Cheers.

At some point you'll need to fill out a W8BEN form for your agent to give to the IRS, otherwise your agent would have to withhold 30% of your earnings against US tax. It looks horrible but it's not, all they really need is your NI number and a signed declaration of UK residency, but the IRS like to make things look harder than they are. Your agent should ask for this when they need it (which won't be until they've actually sold your work) but feel free to DM me at the time if you need any help.

Ruuzart
11-07-2017, 12:12 PM
Really good advice here, it was one of the things I was worrying about. I am a UK resident and was unsure if I should query to US or abroad agents, this helps out immensely.

SeaSerpent
11-07-2017, 08:50 PM
Thank you. Excellent advice. I may well take you up on your offer PeteMC :-)

Maryn
11-07-2017, 09:27 PM
[Side note: Every time I see this thread title, I misread it as "Finding an agent a broad" and think, Let the agents find their own broads!]

CameronJohnston
11-08-2017, 12:46 PM
At some point you'll need to fill out a W8BEN form for your agent to give to the IRS, otherwise your agent would have to withhold 30% of your earnings against US tax. It looks horrible but it's not, all they really need is your NI number and a signed declaration of UK residency, but the IRS like to make things look harder than they are. Your agent should ask for this when they need it (which won't be until they've actually sold your work) but feel free to DM me at the time if you need any help.

As Pete says, it's not a big issue.

In section 2 (unless they change the form) just fill it out claiming article 12, for a 0% rate of withholding tax, and the type of income is royalties. Your reason for why you meet the treaty is because you are resident in the United Kingdom.

novicewriter
11-10-2017, 01:56 AM
...I'm American. Some of my agents on the list are in the UK, Canada, and I even think Oz is represented. Canada is no big deal, (our countries have never had trade problems, even before NAFTA. I tend to see NAFTA as a joint venture in tax-em-more-and-add-extra-paperwork), but I have yet to find out if UK or Oz are. Frankly, UK is a problem for me. I know my story would do better there than in the States, but they don't merely tax the waz, they also tax the zoo. So they tax the whole wazoo. I'm really going to have to learn how much that is before approaching them. And I'm very much hoping I'm willing to approach them anyway. Let's face it, there really are some fantastic agents elsewhere in the world.

This is what I was wondering, too. I feel a little conflicted; one U.K. agency I looked at mentioned that they receive many submissions from U.S. authors and they recommended that U.S. authors query agencies in their own country, because they said they'd be better served by them than U.K. agents.

Even though the U.S. market is larger than the U.K.'s, I can't help but wonder whether my personality and the type of books I write, or want to write, might be more compatible with a U.K. agent, since one of my parents was born there, and I preferred watching U.K., Irish and Scottish T.V. shows to U.S. ones (borrowed from my local public library.) U.S. agents mostly mention that their favorite T.V. shows are American, ones I've never watched, mostly because my family didn't have cable T.V., which they've said are based on the type of manuscript queries they're interested in (e.g., agents saying, "I'm looking for manuscripts based on Gilmore Girls.") Plus, I get the feeling that U.K. agents are more quiet or introverted like me, and perhaps, aren't only looking for flashy manuscripts, the way American agents seem to.

However, if the taxes would be higher than they if I had an American agent, then I'm not sure whether it'd be a good idea for me to look for a foreign agent.

Cyia
11-10-2017, 02:02 AM
FYI, even if you screw up the tax forms in the UK (ask me how I know...), they send you a very polite letter asking: "Did you intend to fill this out this way?" You, in turn, send them a very polite letter saying: "Nope. I'm an American dodo." (<-- do not actually say this) and they fix the mistakes.