Thursday, July 15, 2010

If You Have An Offer...

Question:
I'm in process of sending queries out both to agents and publishers (the few that still take unrepresented queries).

Let's say there is an offer on the table from a publisher, but I want an agent to handle it. I would imagine there would be some urgency about getting a deal sealed (of course, I have no idea, this is just how I dream it). I have heard that an author with a deal already in the works has a much better chance of getting an agent's attention. If that were to happen, would I still go through the regular query process? Just change my hook to "I have an offer from Insertnamehere publishing house"? Even so, would it be so sure of a thing (of course, provided that the agent represented similar work -- I do do my homework and don't just spam queries)?

If you answer this question, great. If you don't, it's all good. It's sort of a random question and really, just me procrastinating from editing for a contest.

I got my agent this way. I had partials and fulls out when I got the offer from the publisher. Two situations here:

(1) If you don't have anything currently sitting at an agency, including a query, query them by email or mail but put that offer information at the top. Include your phone number and email.

(2) If you have things at agencies, even queries, email or call (seriously, call) the agencies and tell them, "Hey, you're looking at something. There's an offer on the table. Here's my number." Then wait for the calls. Most of them will not have read your query/partial/full and beg for 24-48 hours to read it before getting back to you. Enjoy the attention while you can, because it's rare in publishing.

6 comments:

Erin Kane Spock said...

On that, if the agent picks you up based on that one offer on the table, will they just take that offer? Or try to represent to you other publishing houses based on their experience?

The Rejecter said...

Generally when you have an offer from one company because you only submitted to one company (as is in this case), you have to deal with that company exclusively and only if you reject that offer can you go to other publishers.

If you're an agent, you can submit to multiple companies, but you do it all at once so the ground is even.

In this case, the agent would probably only pick up the client if they also felt the offer on the table was reasonable.

Gabrielle said...

There is some urgency when it comes to answering a publisher's offer, but it's not like it's going to go away in thirty minutes, or even overnight. If you acknowledge the offer, thank them graciously, and let them know that your decision will be forthcoming (maybe ask them for a week), you have time to notify agents and give them that time to catch up on your submission.

Publishers would probably question it more if they gave you an offer and heard nothing back from you at all (while you did your agent rounds).

The Rejecter said...

Good point, Gabrielle.

Anonymous said...

I am in this position. I have a contract but no Agent.I want to sign withan Agent longer term and not just for the book with the contract. So, how can I circumvent six months of slush to let an Agent know about my contract? also I really want push my other work more than the book with the deal, will that get in the way?

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