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Star
02-01-2008, 01:34 AM
Greetings fellow writers,

My novel has been sold. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful agent AND editor. My editor asked me if I'm working on a sequel to the YA that's been sold, and I explained that I already wrote a sequel and it needs a lotta work. She's still excited about my character and says she's happy to see what I have.

Enter my agent. He expressed apprehension about me putting energy inot a sequel before my first YA comes out (outcome of sales, reviews, etc are his concerns). Nevertheless, my editor says that she'd welcome my proposal anytime. So question: Do I send my proposal/chapters to her and cc my agent? Or do I send the proposal/chaps to my agent first and get his approval?

For those of you who are wondering why I won't just go and ask them what's preferred, let me tell you, I'd much rather ask here before I make a fool of myself there. Besides, I value the good folks at AWWC's opinions.

Irysangel
02-01-2008, 02:36 AM
Go through your agent. Always. How can they be your advocate if you go around them?

Straka
02-01-2008, 03:25 AM
I have no experience in this but I'd go through the Agent. That is how they do make their money and if you sideline them I would think that's a big deal. I guess remember your agent works for you, right?

And congrats on the sell.

Will Lavender
02-01-2008, 03:55 AM
You shouldn't be talking to the editor about the next book. That's bad form on the editor's part for even attempting to discuss it. I can't even imagine a situation where the editor discusses sequels and what-not with you without the agent's consent.

What happens if you give this book to the editor and he/she hates it? You're screwed, as they say.

If you're hesitant about dealing with your agent, I would recommend getting another agent. No writer should fear talking to her agent.

mikeland
02-01-2008, 03:57 AM
I agree. Go through your agent.

I am, however, a little surprised at the agent's stance here. If you play your cards right, you might be able to sell the editor the sequel before the first book even comes out.

Edit: And just to be clear, by "you" I mean "you and your agent".

Will Lavender
02-01-2008, 03:59 AM
I am, however, a little surprised at the agent's stance here. If you play your cards right, you might be able to sell the editor the sequel before the first book even comes out.

It would had to have been done in the deal for the first book, I imagine.

There are benefits to single-book deals. Perhaps this is what the agent was thinking when he/she negotiated the contract.

Hillary
02-01-2008, 06:49 AM
Agent, agent, agent.

Just because it can't be said enough... Agent!

Star
02-01-2008, 06:35 PM
Hey guys,

I always cringe when I'm not clear with my questions! Of course I'm keeping my agent in the loop! And he's EXCELLENT. My concern is about creativity and protocol. Now that I have an established relationship with an editor, I wanted to know if it's necessary for my agent to approve my work before I send it off to my editor.

Will Lavender
02-01-2008, 06:42 PM
Hey guys,

I always cringe when I'm not clear with my questions! Of course I'm keeping my agent in the loop! And he's EXCELLENT. My concern is about creativity and protocol. Now that I have an established relationship with an editor, I wanted to know if it's necessary for my agent to approve my work before I send it off to my editor.

Absolutely. You work through the agent re: future work and not the editor. It's frankly none of the editor's business until the work is submitted through the agent, because the editor looks at the work with a completely different (read: business) perspective.

You could really damage your career if you began to discuss this stuff with an editor. And when I say "damage," I mean kill.

Hillary
02-01-2008, 07:11 PM
Absolutely. You work through the agent re: future work and not the editor. It's frankly none of the editor's business until the work is submitted through the agent, because the editor looks at the work with a completely different (read: business) perspective.

You could really damage your career if you began to discuss this stuff with an editor. And when I say "damage," I mean kill.

I'll give this a hearty "AMEN" and then tell you to see my previous post. You give your material to your agent. It's his JOB to talk to the proper people and negotiate the proper deals. Seriously, why else would you have an agent?

ETA: From what I've seen in my house... An "established relationship" with an editor means they like you a lot, you like them a lot, you talk to them and email them, they send you nice presents at Christmas, the attach loads of handwritten notes to material the publishing house sends you, they congratulate you and talk you up to people in the industry, they push for great marketing, they keep negotiating deals through your agent, and, MOST important, they take you out to lunch and/or dinner when you're in New York City (or wherever your publisher is) and you order really, really, really expensive food and wine. Trust me, making them pay for your food is the hallmark. *nods seriously*

Carrie R.
02-01-2008, 07:49 PM
I'm in a similar situation, actually. I was talking to my editor recently and she told me that there's a good possibility they'll want me to continue with the character I created in my debut book for my second book under contract. Now, in this case the book is already under contract so I think it's find for the editor to want to talk about what they'd like (it's unspecified in the contract). But I always make sure to talk to my agent about it as well (and I'll send everything through him -- he deals with the business, the editor deals with the words).

However, I think there's a big difference between being under contract and not being under contract. Not being under contract means that the editor doesn't have any rights in your next work (yet) and that your next work may end up at another house. Honestly, I think an editor saying they'd like a seqel from you is a great card to have in your hand when you go to negotiate your next contract -- they're already saying they want more from you. But I think you want to be under contact before you get into details on anything -- it's not their book yet.

As for your agent. I understand the desire to wait to see how the first book does, but I also think that sequels need to come out within a year of the first book to be effective. Therefore, it would have to be sold and in production before the first comes out. If you wait until your first book is on the shelves to sell another book, you're creating a very long lag between books that I don't think helps build brand and name recognition. At the same time, you hire an agent to handle career issues and advise you on these things. So it seems to me you'll want to talk to your agent about your career path, goals, and how to get there.

Also, it's my understanding that you can get guages on your book before it comes out -- what kind of buy in are you getting? What kind of marketing are they doing? That will show what the house expects.

Star
02-01-2008, 08:27 PM
You guys bring up great points.
My editor is doing all of the pushing. The house didn't pay big dividends. I've rec'd great reviews from two well-established authors within my genre, and I guess there's more to come!

Okay. So it's settled. Agent first. I have no problem with that. I LOVE him. Just didn't want to do anything stupid, ya know?