Friday, June 13, 2014

Query Question: non-US agents

Dear Snookums:
what do you see as the disadvantages of a non-US agent (UK/Ireland)? Some agencies seem to have sold their titles into the US market as well as Commonwealth countries and Ireland. My book may be to the taste of some of these markets. I have manuscript requests from several US agents, which I'm (very) happy about, but I also have an interest in a non-US agency. Too soon to tell if the feeling is mutual - but that's another question. Would such an arrangement be entirely too complicated? Thanks.

I have no idea, since I'm a US-based agent as are most of my colleagues. I do know several agencies that have agents in the UK and the US. (The Bent Agency for one) I think that would be a darn good arrangement for an author.

I know a lot of books get sold here that were first pubbed in the UK, but they are the novels that do well in the UK first.

And of course, Lee Child's agent is based in the UK and that hasn't seemed to slow him down any.

But truthfully, I don't know so you should keep your eye peeled for someone who does and ask him/her.



Anonymous said...

The freelance editor I use has many contacts in the UK. She moved back there herself about three years ago. She sent both of my mss to a UK agency to read - even though she knew I had a US agent. The first one was already on submission...but the idea was for the UK agency (Bonomi and Associates) to partner with the US agency on transatlantic sale for the second one. The UK agency was thrilled with the ms. I was soooooo excited. But then...

(This is where the sound of a needle dragging across a record comes in)

I decided, after talking with my agent, to not put the 2nd ms out on submission. (The ms would have needed a US publisher before the UK pub's would consider it anyway.) So that was that. But I still have hope that something like that might happen with the current WIP.

This is a bit different scenario than what the writer is asking, but I do believe this partnering between agencies happens. And if for some reason, I needed another agent at some point, I would consider this UK agency as one I'd query. They would obviously have an eye for knowing what would do well there... and I'd always hold out hope if an ms did well there, it would do well in the US too.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

One drawback that comes to mind is lunch. My first agent seemed to do all his business over lunch. Everytime I got an email from him it started with "I had lunch with So and So from Thus & Such Publishers and they liked the ..." I came to the conclusion that if all industry suddenly went ona diet, n books ever would get published again.
And obviously, if your agent's office is in London, it'll make it harder to got to NY for lunch.

Sunday Reflections or Stumbling Towards Happiness by Bill Holland said...

I am in the process of trying to find an agent now, and your advice is always very helpful. Thank you.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Maybe Lee Child just decided to play on Hard Mode™, since clearly nothing is going to slow him down?