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former agent question

Posted: September 8th, 2010, 10:27 pm
by angelbug
I had an agent who submitted my fiction ms to 7 editors (the 7 gave excellent feedback, but no sale), and said agent told me she'd put together a 2nd round of submissions-- that was 4 months ago and I've heard nothing further, and my 2 followup emails and 2 phone calls (to agent) have not been returned, as to our status. I'm thinking it's time to move on. My question is this: is it a good idea, when I begin querying again, to mention I had an agent and I've got good reads from some good editors (that I'd be happy to share), or does this taint the pot? Thanks for feedback! L

Re: former agent question

Posted: September 14th, 2010, 1:27 pm
by Krista G.
Angelbug, I've never been in this situation, so I really have no idea what I'm talking about (great caveat, right?), but I think you'd be well within your rights to move on. Did you actually sign something when you signed on with this agent, like an agency agreement? If you did, there may be some lingering legal issues you have to clear up (like you'll have to give your agent official notice, and there'll probably be a bit of lag time before you can query again). Even if you didn't, I think it'd be a good idea to let your agent know that you don't think your partnership is working anymore and that you're going to seek another agent. If your agent gets back to you and you can work things out from that point, great. If not, then everyone has a clear understanding of what's going on and what will happen from there.

If you do query again, I'd just be completely upfront in your query about your manuscript's status. Several agents have blogged about how you deserve to have a list of all the editors and publishing houses your agent subbed your manuscript to, because that will obviously affect how a new agent would handle the submission process. So if you do part ways with your current agent, that would be something to procure before you go.

Best of luck. Also, you might post this question in the "Ask Nathan" thread, because then he'll be sure to see it and respond.

Re: former agent question

Posted: September 14th, 2010, 1:48 pm
by Mira
angelbug - I don't have an answer to this, but I would definitely ask Nathan. I like what Krista said - you are completely in your rights to severe a partnership that isn't working, but I'd find out to whom she submitted your piece before severing.

A piece that has already been 'shopped' can be problematic, I've heard, so I might get some expert advice.

Re: former agent question

Posted: September 14th, 2010, 9:54 pm
by angelbug
Thanks for the feedback, Krista and Mira! As it turns out, my agent got in touch with me shortly after I submitted my last post, with a list of editors my ms has been submitted to, including the latest 6 pubs (currently considering). I do have copies of all editors' reads . . . so, for now at least I guess I'm back in the fold-- but, yes, I will definitely ask Nathan this same question if/when the need presents itself (again), b/c I haven't read the question anywhere else (which is not to say it's not everywhere & I've just missed it), and that is: If a writer's project has been previously represented (to no avail), should said writer mention this first (or dead last) when restarting an agent seach? Thanks again! AB