Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Deal With the Nice Agent Lady

To provide some context for the preceding post, my deal with NAL is as follows: because she was undertaking to go through the entire ms. again with her red pen in hand, I would not query any new agents until I got the book back, made the revisos and sent it back for a decision.  I was free to follow up with requests for partials or fulls from any of the agents I had previously queried and had not yet heard from, or even to sign with one of them.  There were a lot of no-responders in that bunch, but the ones I did hear back from after striking my deal with NAL all said, "Fuck off," or some agentspeak variant of that.

We sort of arrived at this decision mutually.  I believe I brought it up--something along the lines of, "What are your expectations of me?"  I thought it was fair.  Still do, for that matter.  She's not just reading it but providing edits and stuff.  Understand that this all occurred after more than 100 queries and a couple of heart-breaking this-is-really-good-but-the-market-sucks-rught-now-so-sorry-but-fuck-off responses to fulls.

The other thing is, she really is nice.  And she gets, and what's more, loves my book.  Used those very words: "I love your novel."  While NAL herself is a junior agent--and part of the delay comes from her having to deal with administrative stuff plus all the queries coming in from all you fuckhead dingbats--the firm she works for is well established with at least one agent with lots of deals under her belt in the ol' mystery-suspense-thriller world.  So, I would love to be represented by her.  Plus, I did tell her to take her time the last time we communicated, when she apologized for how long it was taking.

I guess I'm really just frazzled by how long it's taking and how it seems I have no money and no time and no way to easily get enough of either.

8 comments:

  1. I don't care if she's Mother Teresa, four months is too long to give anyone an exclusive. If she wants it she'll take it warts and all and work on it with you as a client. Not to be negative, but remember you're agreeing not to query, go do her revisions which take time, all without any commitment from her. You could go on for a year without any queries sent out. Hopefully she'll take you on, but she's a junior agent and may have to go up the food chain and see if her higher ups want to commit the agency to your book.
    I hope that it all works out, but I also believe you can't let yourself put everything into this one agent and stop querying others.

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  2. I kind of agree with Ariel. I know how promising it can be that she still hasn't said no. On the other hand, after all this time she still hasn't said yes. There has to be a deadline here.

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  3. I agree with Ariel's first sentence, and don't see anything wrong with politely asking if you're both still in agreement with things. A little push to find out what's going on can't hurt anything. Good luck=)

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  4. Ariel - Don't mince words. Say what you really mean!

    All of you - Thanks for the advice. I think I'm just going to slide to September and take it from there. If I don't die of exhaustion first.

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  5. I wouldn't sweat it. She says she loves it. Give her time.

    And I hate to tell you this, but you're not going to magically get more money or more time if she agrees to represent you. Not even if you get a three book deal.

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  6. Sierra - Heavens, I know that. I'm assuming if I ever do get published that I'll be lucky to get a few grand out of it.

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  7. The further along you get, the longer stuff takes. Best to do what you're doing. Find someone you like to work with and do what feels right. Take. Your. Time.

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  8. When you truly, truly run out of patience and can't take it anymore, start querying again. Will it feel somewhat like cheating? Maybe. But it might just take another offer from another agent to push her to act. You have to ask yourself, would an agent let him/herself get as hung up waiting as I am letting myself get hung up? No way. Be honest and straightforward, but be clear that you take your career seriously and that means moving ahead when you feel you're languishing. You have been more than patient.

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