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View Full Version : Spoke with agent, now I have a new question



sgunelius
07-18-2007, 06:56 PM
First, thank you to everyone who encouraged me in my "How to Interpret Agent Response" post. I spoke with the agent, and she told me that "yes" if I make the changes to my proposal and she likes them, she would represent the book. She said she sees potential for it in the domestic and foreign markets as well as in terms of creating a series of related books. She really seemed to understand the book and the market.

I revised the proposal and sent it out to her last week. She did tell me she is very busy right now, and I know a new project is low on the priority list. Here's my question. I don't have a contract yet just a verbal interest in representing the book. Does that mean I should stop querying other agents? How should I proceed? I don't want to wait around then have her tell me she changed her mind, but if what's she's saying is as good as a contract, then I don't want to keep sending queries. What should I do?

Thank you!

Ziljon
07-18-2007, 07:06 PM
Wait. Have faith that you made the right changes.

giftedrhonda
07-18-2007, 08:06 PM
Actually, I wouldn't quit querying until I had an official offer. But that's just me.

Perks
07-18-2007, 08:08 PM
You may want to consider following up with any other agent who might have it on their desk and let them know that if they want to take a peek, they'd better do it now.

Tish Davidson
07-18-2007, 08:28 PM
I'm assuming that your book is not timely or tied to current events. In that case, I'd ask the agent to give you a time frame in which to expect a reply. If she tells you 6 months, I'd respectfully tell her that if it is going to take that long to look at the revisions, you'd like to continue to query other agents. If she says 6 weeks, I'd wait. A couple of months is really not very long in the life cycle of getting a book published, although it seems endless when you are waiting for a response.

You are now out of the slush pile and are two professionals dealing with one another. There is no reason the agent should refuse give you some sort of idea on how long her response will take, and it won't hurt to remind her that other agents may be interested if she doesn't move on the project within some reasonable time frame.

Lauri B
07-18-2007, 09:44 PM
What Tish said.
Do you have other agents interested in the book?

sgunelius
07-18-2007, 10:20 PM
I just started querying agents, and I've only sent out 10 queries over the course of the last few weeks. I've received 3 rejections, and I haven't heard back from anyone else yet except for this agent who has expressed interest. I'm so new to this that I definitely needed some guidance as to how I should proceed.

Thank you!

Prevostprincess
07-19-2007, 01:34 AM
I can see Tish's point and think it's quite valid. That may be the way you want to go.

However, even if an agent says "6 weeks" sh*t happens and it may very well drag out. (I learned not to give exclusives after a promised 8 week turnaround turned into 12 and when I emailed to ask, was told how sorry the agent was, but the "interns" were swamped and "hadn't gotten around yet" to sending rejections.)

Anyway, I personally would not stop querying until you get a "yes." If you get a "yes" from someone else, you can tell this current agent (assuming she's your first choice) that you now have an offer of representation. That'll make you go to the head of her pile. If you haven't promised her an exclusive (which hopefully you didn't, as you do have queries out), she'd have no reason to be angry. And if she is, that's good info to know about her before signing.

Good luck and way to go on your very first batch of queries! Keep us posted.

Stijn Hommes
07-21-2007, 02:42 AM
I'd check in with the agents that already have it and ask for a timeframe in which she'd respond. If it takes too long, keep on querying, otherwise, stop adding querying any new agents.

Tish Davidson
07-21-2007, 03:51 AM
Keep in mind that August is traditionally a slow month in publishing because of vacations.

Hillgate
07-22-2007, 06:21 PM
Keep in mind that August is traditionally a slow month in publishing because of vacations.

The words 'slow month in publishing' fill me with dread because it's cripplingly slow the other 11 months. In fact, can't think of any other business where someone can legitimately take 4-6 months getting back to you. In the real world they'd all be fired for dereliction of duty!

Chumplet
07-22-2007, 06:32 PM
Did she specifically ask for an exclusive? Otherwise, keep querying if you feel you must.

Tish Davidson
07-23-2007, 12:36 AM
The words 'slow month in publishing' fill me with dread because it's cripplingly slow the other 11 months. In fact, can't think of any other business where someone can legitimately take 4-6 months getting back to you. In the real world they'd all be fired for dereliction of duty!


Bringing almost any new product to market is a slow process from conception to prototype to test marketing to revisions to scale-up to retesting to marketing campaign to release. It's just that with publishing its individuals being slow, not corporations. I think writers should keep that in mind when they complain about the length of the process.

Julie Worth
07-23-2007, 01:08 AM
You have no contract, no exclusivity, so take full advantage of that. Query other agents. Don't tell the present agent you're doing this. She's just another person with your proposal.

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2007, 02:32 AM
How good is this agent, and how much do you want this agent to represent you? If this is the best agent for the book, wait her out. At least for a couple of months.

Not all agents are created equal. You want the very best one for you and for your particular book. If you think this is that agent, don't do anything to lose her.