I have a dilemma. I’m completing a multiple book deal that my agent, who was the only one willing to take a chance on me, obtained. Although I enjoy working with my agent and believe the publisher will be amenable to more books in the series, I not only want to continue the series, but would like to expand my writing into areas my agent doesn’t specialize in. I also understand not all editors care for submissions from my agent. Do I sever ties and query agents again, praying someone takes me, or do I enter into a new contract for additional books in this series or ????
Sign me – Wondering if A Bird in Hand is Better than Two in the Bush
First, if you want to expand the categories you write in, the first thing to do is talk to your current agent to see how she handles these kinds of situations. I doubt you're the first of her clients with this goal.
As for the second question, I STRONGLY urge you not to listen to petty gossip. You either heard this from an actual working editor who has NO business bad mouthing your agent to you, or you heard it from someone else, and that's second hand at best.
Yes I have had inquiries from writers who were told they need a new agent by their editor. It is very rare, and prompted not by submissions but by things like the agent negotiating in bad faith, being impossible to work with, inculcating the author with unrealistic expectations about marketing and publicity etc.
Absent actual bad-agent-behaviour, leaving for greener pastures is shortsighted. An author with an established series is not an enticing prospect for a new agent; it will take a while to actually see any money from new deals.
And if someone comes to me having had an agent, I ask pretty detailed questions about why that parting happened.
Sometimes they escaped a bad agent and have the contracts to prove it.
Other times they were frustrated and impatient and just made a change.
You can guess which situation is more appealing.
When you're feeling frustrated and unhappy it's very tempting to just change something, anything you can. Unlike cutting your hair, which grows back, cutting ties with your agent is almost always a no-do-over kind of thing. Think long and hard about this.