Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Question Emporium has rare Saturday hours today

A few months ago, I won a contest in which my partial would be critiqued by an indie press. I thought, what the hay, the more feedback the better, right? And it was through a blog I've been subscribed to for a while and liked. 

Except, it turned into more than just a partial critique. The press requested the full and now will be contacting me Friday about recommendations, adding how much they've loved the book. By the end of the week, I may or may not be receiving a publication offer. 

I've lived in the mindset where publishing happens like this: Write a Book > Get an Agent > Save the World. So this potential offer, while exhilarating, is at the same time terrifying.
My question is this: What should I do about the query letters now sitting in a dozen-or-so agent inboxes in the event the press wants to publish me? 

Should I send the agents an email like I would if another agent had requested representation? Would an agent care if an indie press wants to publish it? It's not like it's Simon and Schuster knocking on my door or anything.

 I fear sounding like I'm rubbing my offer in their faces and my email coming off like, "You better hop on this train cause I'm taking it to Money Town." Which is just not the case. I didn't seek an indie press. I totally expected to go the agent route, but my expectations and reality are rarely in sync**.

I realize it's not your job to be my life counsel, but any advice you could offer would be very much appreciated.

You email the agents who have your query with the subject line: publication offer from (publisher)

Then you tell them what you've just told me here. Leave out the funny parts. Time for that later.

Do NOT be surprised or hurt if this does not result in agents beating down your door. Many of us now have to be careful about taking on small contracts cause they end up costing us money instead of making us money.

If you do NOT secure representation with this offer, let me know and I'll give you the names of some contract review specialists who can keep you out of harms way even without an agent.

**you're a writer. That's how all writers are or they'd be something else.


Cate Morgan said...

"Write A Book>Get An Agent>Save The World" needs to go on a t-shirt, like, NOW. With a shark on it.

Until then, it's going on my bulletin board.

On to the first step.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I am formally placing an order for two T-shirts, one in a women's medium and one in a double XL. I figure if I don't get an agent soon every cupcake between here and there will make me gain back the 92 lbs I lost 2 years ago.

NotaWarriorPrincess said...

Wait, Janet ISN'T a life counselor? But she's SO GOOD at hiding bodies, sending "remember your pants" reminders and providing alibis--or at least bail money. How could she not be?

Unknown said...

I'd add just one more bit of advice for the querier...

If the publisher makes an offer, don't accept immediately. Explain that you've got queries out with agents and would like a week to update them. The publisher should be pretty understanding about this.

And sometimes it's amazing what the phrase "Offer in Hand" can do.

Best of luck!

Eileen said...

You also need to decide if an offer is made if you want to go with that offer- or risk that bird in the hand and pursue and agent and larger publishing house. No right answer- just something to consider.

Kelly Washington said...

You can always hire an IP lawyer to review the contract the Indie Press offers you. Depending on the contract itself, it is possible you may not need an agent for this novel. Either way, it's good to have options.

Good luck!