Just received email from an agent who passed on MS because she's been suffering health problems since last fall and felt she'd held onto it too long -- i.e., she can't take on any new clients until she catches up. But she said, "I absolutely adore this work and feel it would be a shame to let it fall into oblivion."
So yeah, huge ego boost, plus disappointment. She said to check back in July or later if I still don't have representation. (I'm guessing health, and efforts needed for current clients, are open issues.)
I've got partials and a full out with other agents at this time. Had I received an offer, it would be proper to inform them so they could weigh in if interested. But it doesn't feel right to inform them of a non-offer that might, maybe, someday, turn into an offer. I'd be pushing them.
Then I think that if an offer came in, and other agents were informed, they generally are only given a week to respond, and that's a tight timetable for such busy people. So informing them of this "non-offer" could give them three months to consider further, which would be more courteous.
Argh. So am I correct that it would NOT be proper to tell anyone of this email? Or would it be right to tell other agents with partials/fulls so they could schedule it in?
How exactly are you planning on wording this helpful email? "Hey Snooks, I might have an offer in July, so start reading now" That's not going to get the response you think it is. I'm going to write you off as a crackpot. This is Not What You Want.
An offer is just that: an offer. It includes the words "I want to represent you." Recently for a new client of mine it also included "you're crazy to sign with me but I love your novel beyond reason."
Anything else is Not An Offer. Thus, you do not email the agents reading your book to tell them about it.
You're deluding yourself that we're so busy a week's turnaround time on a novel is a burden. We read stuff fast ALL THE TIME. The reason we're not reading your novel the day we get it is cause we prioritize.
IF you have an offer, your priority level changes.
IF you email me with something other than an offer, your priority level also changes. Just not in the same direction.
I understand this is absolute agony for you, and that agent has put you in a dreadful position. You're Schrodinger's client right now, and you have my sympathy.
But, hold on to the idea as tightly as you can that if one agent liked this, the chances are another one will too. And maybe this one will actually be in a position to take you on.
Get to work on your next novel. You'll need it for that two book deal.