Agent protocol after an agent has suggested changes

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Posts: 8
Joined: December 19th, 2009, 1:55 am

Agent protocol after an agent has suggested changes

Post by CabSav » December 27th, 2011, 3:02 am

One of my dream agents got back to me with some suggested changes to my novel. The changes are all sound. Most of them are just to improve the story and one of them is to make it more commercial. It's the commercial one that has me worried. While it's a relatively simple change it alters the story dramatically and I can see already that it will change the direction of my writing, and not in a way I necessarily want to go, or can even sustain.

However, that's a nice problem to have. I've agreed to look at the changes and see what I can do. She hasn't promised anything, and I understand that even if I make the changes there's no guarantee she'll take me on. Equally, I may decide that I can't write the way she wants me to.

It's taken us six months to get this far, via occasional emails, and it will take time to work in her recommended changes properly.

My question is, given the above what is the etiquette? Do I stop sending the novel out to other agents until she says no (or maybe yes, or maybe I say no)? She hasn't asked for an exclusive, but have I effectively given her one by agreeing to look at her recommended changes?


Posts: 4
Joined: August 2nd, 2011, 8:19 am

Re: Agent protocol after an agent has suggested changes

Post by Hopeful » December 27th, 2011, 3:54 pm

Congrats on getting this far! Great that the agent is interested enough to suggest changes and (I presume) want to read it again after you've made them. I'd give some serious thought to her suggestions and make any changes you think would improve the manuscript. But in the meantime, feel free to query other agents. If the agent didn't expressly ask for an exclusive and you didn't expressly agree to it, you aren't required to stop talking to other agents while you wait for her response. Good luck with it!

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