But I really like to read the comments because often it's how I suss out what hasn't been clear here on the blog. So, when I post your comment here with "clarification and correction" please understand you are taking one for the team, and I'm darn grateful. Maybe there should be a prize for it!!
Here's a comment from earlier this week about writing something your agent doesn't represent.
I'd always heard that your agent has first right-of-refusal for anything you write. So, if you're still writing thrillers, but come out with a romance and they don't represent that... they might decide it's time to branch out. Or they'll branch out for you.
Or, they'll give you their blessing to query other agents (maybe even a Referral!). Often, while still working with you on all those thrillers you're writing.
You can have multiple agents.
Of course bowing to Her Sharkiness, but that seems in line with what she said. :)First right of refusal means you must show your work to the party who has that right before showing it to anyone else.
My agency agreement says you've already agreed that I represent everything you give me to sell. I can't refuse something and send you on your merry way.
You and I have an agreement that covers your entire wardrobe. We may have connected cause I like the cut of your cravat, but if you bring me sox, that's still part of our agreement.
Now, how those sox are handled varies agent to agent, and agency to agency.
But the one thing I can tell you is you will NOT be querying other agents while you are my client for anything. If I can't sell sox, I'll find someone who can, OR you and I will agree that you're going to sever our representation and seek out a sox seller. Darn it.
Writers who approach me with "my agent said I could find someone to do this one book" get a terse letter back: I cannot and will not talk to you as long as you have current representation.
There are agents who will. Draw your own conclusions about their ethics.
I've actually run into very serious problems by being a big fan of authors I don't represent. I've had to cut back my enthusiasm so as not to seem like I'm trying to poach them from their current agent. I regret that a lot.
And while you can have multiple agents, it's VERY VERY rare.
I've had one client who had two agents but the other agent was sitting five feet away from my elbow and I knew every single thing he was doing.
The problem with multiple agents and one writer is that the contracts negotiated by Agent A will have an impact on what Agent B can do. Next work, option clause etc.
And don't get me started on the advent of these new morality clauses. An author who makes ribald jokes will do just fine among the crime community; not so well in picture books perhaps.
In other words, it's a whole lot more efficient to have ONE agent.
Plus I make money from the sweat of your brow. I want to be the only one mopping up.