Two years ago I asked this: https://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2017/10/ive-got-offer-whats-agent-doing-while.htmlToday, I'm unfortunately agentless because I ended our relationship last week. Communication has been a serious issue for well over a year (I couldn't get a list of what editors have seen my book after repeated requests) and I finally just decided the situation wasn't going to get better and it was time for me to move on.But move on to what? Without the list of where the book's been, which I still don't have and now will likely never get, I don't think I can query additional agents (can I?). Two others were interested in discussing representing me back those two years ago, but they wouldn't still be (would they?). I don't know what I need to do, what I should do, and what I even can do.It's a historical novel and I do think it'd be better off being traditionally published, but is that even an option for it any more? I can self-publish, I've done it before, but not with historical fiction (my others are contemporary women's fiction). Do I look for a small press that might take me without an agent? Wait a few years and hope an agent'll want it then? Crawl into a hole and cry?What does a writer do after being agented? I'm researching another historical and partway through the second draft of a contemporary, so I am still working, and I could maybe get an agent for one/both of those at some point, but I hate the idea of letting this book rot on my hard drive. Any thoughts you have would be wonderful.
Here, have some bourbon. Medicinal purposes of course. This is #EpicPain.
And it's #EpicAgentFail
The good news though is an ugly truth: when I see agents who flat out refuse to share ed lists with clients, my first very uncharitable thought is the agent didn't sub anything.
So, you might not be in as bad a shape as you think.
Step One is get in touch with the agents who offered rep two years ago. Your query will vary from the standard format in that you lead with "
I was an idiot not to sign with you" "I parted ways with my agent and you were interested in repping this book earlier." Obviously tidy that up a bit.
The big question from the agents will be: has the book been on sub.
Tell them what you've told me: you don't know. You asked for a sub list and couldn't get one.
Sidebar: if the agent you left is part of a larger company, you might ping the owner. Failure to keep clients informed about submissions is a HUGE breach of AAR ethics.
|AAR Canon of Ethics clause 4|
Some agents will see that as an interesting challenge.
Some will see it as more work than they care to take on.
But the best course is to query something new, and keep this on the back burner. Once you've secured rep, and a print deal, all the problems with this ms will disappear.
The larger lesson here is that if an agent does not share info with you in a timely manner, be firm. It's your book, your career, and agents don't get to hide behind "I'm busy" for more than a week.
This is one of my weakest areas, and I have to work on it more often than I care to discuss. I've set some standards for myself about how quickly I have to reply to things, and I'm sorry to say I don't meet them 100% of the time. More emails than I want to think about start out "sorry for being a slackerpuss."
BUT, I may be slow, but I do get the info to them.
Which is why I think this agent didn't do anything and just can't bear to say so.
No response means no is not an acceptable way for your agent to communicate with you.