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(LONG - sorry) Need Some Advice Re: Agent

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Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
(LONG - sorry) Need Some Advice Re: Agent  Reply with quote  

OK. Last April (2007) I attended a Business of Writing type workshop that was offered through a school Id worked for (Id worked there for a little over a year and even though Id left I kept getting brochures for their non-credit writing programs). Included in this workshop was a one-on-one chat with a literary agent. The guy I met with (we were assigned by the coordinator of the workshop to 1 out of 4 possible agents) was welcoming and thoughtful (and easy on the eyes--ahem). As he reviewed a writing sample Id brought we chit-chatted and it turned out hes the son of the woman who temporarily supervised the department Id worked in during my short stint at the college (which was also his alma mater). His feedback on the sample was positive, which emboldened me to ask if I could query him with it, once a friend from said college gave it a professional once-over and Id made any necessary revisions. The gal who gave it the once-over, BTW, is the assistant to this guys mom, and was a classmate of his at this college. (So, yes, synchronicities abounded.)

RIGHT, so last December, I queried him by email. He responded the same day and invited me to email him the manuscript (and said that, even if he werent the right guy for the book, perhaps he could suggest someone who would be). Around that time, my spam-killer went batshit and ate a bunch of emails that people told me theyd sent me (and Id just thought theyd learned to hate me, at long last). It also ate some emails Id attempted to send. As I resolved this issue, at the start of Jan. 2008, it occurred to me that this agent guy might not have received my MS. So I sent him a brief email and again he emailed back the same day, confirmed receipt of the MS, and told me hed get back to me by the end of the week (so, hed had it for a month by that point). I replied with a, Please take your time. SOhe took me at my word! Its been five months and Ive heard bupkis. I emailed him two weeks ago to follow up and he hasnt responded.

What do I do now? Give him another week or two, then email again? I really dont want to pester this guy, but if he isnt interested and cant point me in the right direction, Ive got to move on. There are some agents Id like to query who specify (on their websites) that they dont want any simultaneous submissions. Ack! I dunno what to dooooooooooo! WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?????

Please to be advising me, lovely peoples.
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<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:13 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
leprrkan



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 5089
Location: In the home stretch...
 Reply with quote  

I'd suggest that you politely ask him if he's had a chance to look at it yet. If he has not, ask if to either do so within a specific time frame or ask him to return the MS to you, making sure to tell him that you know he's probably very busy and you don't mean to be a pest but that you'd like to have it back so you can send it out elsewhere.

I got nothin'...
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:34 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

It's okay to ask.

Since it was e-mailed, though, I wouldn't ask for the manuscript back Smile

Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:16 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
 Reply with quote  

Also ... if you are in active query mode, I highly suggest making a habit of reading Nathan Bransford's blog. He's funny and awesome (Watches reality TV and Lives in San Francisco ... if he wasn't 12 and didn't have a girl friend, I'd totally stalk him.)

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:03 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
girlEgirl



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 6412
Location: olympia, wa
 Reply with quote  

find out where he lives and wait till he goes to work, and delete all his other email, do his dishes and walk his dog, so when he gets home he wont have any distractions, and if he still doesnt make good on his promise, sneak into his bedroom at night and whisper in his ear. "help sephonae publish her book or at the very least introduce her to someone who can." and if he still doesnt hook you up fat, yo, i know some guys that can make anything look like an accident!
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
 Reply with quote  

Thanks Lep, AG, knikkki, and Jeannie! I'll put in another email when I can summon up the chutzpah this week. I feel especially twittery about this one 'cause, like, his mom knows me! Very Happy

Knikkki, thanks for the link too; I think I'd read a post of yours, way back when, where you'd posted it and I'd bookmarked Bransford's site then. I give it a glance now and again, and Ms. Snark's as well (damned shame her blog's defunct though!).

And Jeannie! Have mercy! I can't sanction any harm befalling that good-looking face! Though I like your whole "sneaking into his bedroom at night and whispering in his ear" tactic! (I don't have to talk business, though, do I???)
<---I'm sure waking up to that would inspire him to represent me. Laughing
_________________
<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:11 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
So...  Reply with quote  

...the day after I posted this I told myself to quit being a pussy and pile some lumber. I emailed the Cute Agent Guy. A week went by, then another. Today marked two (more) weeks of no response. I resigned myself to this being a dead end and began mentally pumping myself up to send out more query letters.

Just before I left work I checked my personal email and C.A.G. had responded! In the strange way that the world turns, he's gone out of agenting altogether and is building new companies in an unrelated area (W?T?F?). But C.A.G gave me the name of an agent he used to work with at another agency, suggesting that something this guy recently sold was in the vein of my book and I should use his (C.A.G's) name as a reference. He also offered to take a look at my query letter and asked after my progress with the book in general (though he didn't comment on it directly).

So, all very nice, and I shall take him up on both offers. The only thing is that I checked out this "in the same vein as" book on Amazon and, really, it doesn't seem to be like my work at all (the stuff comes off as straight horror/thriller, while my stuff is more horror/thriller/goofy--emphasis on goofy). But I'll follow Ms. Snark's advice to "query widely" and...well, faint-heart never won fair contract, nothing ventured, nothing gained, yadda yadda yadda...
_________________
<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
girlEgirl



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 6412
Location: olympia, wa
 Reply with quote  

way to put your foot down sep! thats awesome that you got some results, but dont let him wait three months to make good on his promises. remember, i know some outtta work goons that work cheap! Wink Wink
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Post Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:50 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
 Reply with quote  

Thanks, Dude, I appreciate the encouragement. But it was less "putting my foot down" and more *fingers crossed, pretty please respond*. 'Cause this guy was/is doing me a favor, he's not charging me for any of this stuff. And, you know...he's cute and all. Very Happy
_________________
<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:22 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
 Reply with quote  

Sephonae wrote:
Thanks, Dude, I appreciate the encouragement. But it was less "putting my foot down" and more *fingers crossed, pretty please respond*. 'Cause this guy was/is doing me a favor, he's not charging me for any of this stuff. And, you know...he's cute and all. Very Happy


Sephonae, I just wanted to jump in here - first off, fingers crossed that the reference works out.

However, I bolded that last bit because it raised a red flag for me. Agents should never, ever, ever be charging you money to shop your book around. Not ever. If they sell your manuscript to a publisher, then they take their payment (usually 10-15%) out of that. But that's the only time. If an agent says "Oh, if you want to retain my services, it's $100 a month," you should probably run the hell away.

Good luck with the new guy!
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Post Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:19 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
 Reply with quote  

^Thank you for the good wishes Lauren. (Feel free to cross your toes for me as well.) Very Happy

I do understand about the money flowing to the author, not away from (I think you'd posted that at some point, no?). I just meant that, since he's doing me a favor, I wouldn't think it appropriate to get all heavy on him. And anyway, I'm not that kind of gal...I generally simmer rather than explode at people, unless I'm seeing some hardcore injustice being done or someone's life or health is at risk. Plus, in my work with college admissions I put up with a lot of bad manners from applicants (and their parents! and some faculty!) and I know how I feel when someone's applying unwarranted pressure on me so I don't like to subject folks to that kind of treatment, if you know what I mean. Finally, I'm a divorced single mom--I've got a finely honed eye for BS when it comes to folks trying to part my hard-earned coin from me. Very Happy
_________________
<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:12 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
leprrkan



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 5089
Location: In the home stretch...
 Reply with quote  

That's great news, Seph, congratulations and all my appendages are crossed for you Very Happy
_________________
"Jesus... is NOT a zombie... I shouldn't have to tell you that."

- "Bones"

Post Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:38 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
 Reply with quote  

Very Happy Congrats, Seph!

leprrkan wrote:

That's great news, Seph, congratulations and all my appendages are crossed for you Very Happy


Shocked How many you got- or do I wanna know? Twisted Evil

Post Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:55 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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