Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Between Offer and Acceptance: a checklist

A recent blog post about a writer who found herself in a wretched predicament when an offer did not lead to acceptance prompted a lot of commenters to ask about what writers should do between offer and acceptance.

First, you'll note that offer is NOT acceptance. You're not obligated to accept any offer given you. An agent who says otherwise is one I'd steer clear of.

Second, you should be able to ask questions of any agent making the offer. You can say "hey look, I don't know much about this, and I want to be careful" and have that respected. An agent who makes you feel foolish for being nervous, or not knowing things is one I'd steer clear of.

Now, here's the checklist:

1.  Offer from Agent Good Taste received.
 Do NOT say "yes!" even if you want to. You say "I need some time to notify the other agents considering this."  A week is the generally accepted amount of time.

2. Notify all other agents that you've received an offer you are considering.
Be prepared to tell Other Agents who the offer is from.
Because we are seeing an uptick in authors claiming offers that don't exist, I always ask who the offer is from.  I ask also because if it's from Dewey, over at Dewey Cheatham and Howe, I might direct you to third party websites for some research.

3. Ask Agent Good Taste for a copy of the author/agency agreement.
An agent who won't show you the agreement is one I'd steer clear of.  If you're uncertain about whether the terms are fair or industry standard (or worse, neither!) do some googling.  A lot of agents are blogging these days and most of us have covered the items in an author/agency agreement at one time or another.

4. Get out your list of questions to ask prospective agents and send them to her.
You should have this prepared ahead of time. If you have more than 20 questions, that's too many. If you only have one, that's not enough.

The most important question you'll ask is whether the agent wants you to revise before sending the manuscript on submission.

Some agents will not give you an editorial letter unless you've signed as a client.  They've learned the very very hard way that some writers take editorial suggestions, revise the manuscript then shop it around again.  As you might guess, this leaves agents feeling a little burned.  This happens most often with new agents; the ones who have the time to do revision/editorial letters and are most vulnerable to "better" offers from more experienced agents.

5. Contact Agent Good Taste's clients (or some of them).
Ask what s/he's like to work with. An agent who will not let you do this, or won't give you names of clients or suggests in any way that this is not acceptable is one I'd steer clear of.  I tell every prospective client they are welcome to email any of my present clients directly. I don't give them contact info (it should be on all my client's websites!) and I don't ask what the clients say.

Assume the clients like and respect their agent. I will never forget one poor prospect who had the misguided notion she should dig till she found what a client didn't like. She ended up with an email from the client saying "you don't deserve Good Taste as an agent." And the client had bcc'd the agent on every email. The agent and I are still laughing about that. And of course the agent withdrew the offer of representation, cause someone that determined to find fault is probably not someone you want to work with.

6. Schedule phone calls if you want to talk with the agent

7. Repeat this process with any other agent who offers.

8. Decide which agent, if any, you're going to work with.
Notify the others.

Clearly, things happen at a pretty brisk clip once that first offer rolls in. You'll want to be as prepared as possible. Here are some things you can do in advance:

1. Prepare the list of questions to ask a prospective agent. This list should be around 10 questions. There are lots of places to find lists of questions. 

2. Know who the agent's clients are, and how to reach them. Most of my clients have their email address on their website, but do you know who my clients are? Sure some of them get mentioned here, but there are some you've never heard of I bet.

3. Know what's a dealbreaker for you. The LAST thing you want to be doing is researching what a three year agency commitment means when you've got an offer on the table.

Questions? Of course you have questions.
Fire away.


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I've just come to the conclusion that you're not only a great, number one, award winning agent, who has a shelf of awards covered in paint spatters and cat hair, you are a wonderful Writer's Advocate.
God bless the WA.

nightsmusic said...

Okay, I'll up the ante for a trip to Carkoon...when you offer, do you send the paperwork at the same time to give the client an opportunity to look things over? Or do you send it on day two - four? And is it a terrible thing to ask for that up front during the offer? The reason I'm asking is because it seems to me, when I got in trouble for what I was thinking on the last post regarding this, that OP there had not either had the paperwork up front or didn't ask all the questions (of which you have a great list here!) prior to informing the other agents she'd had a bite from. I had a huge red flag that went off when I read that initial post as well, but I'll shut my mouth now...

Kae Ridwyn said...

I'm with 2N's. No questions, sorry. But a mountain-range-sized respect.
You're the best, QOTKU. You truly are.
Thank you for being you!

Unknown said...

You initially had us giving the agent a week to decide, but you don't notify her of your decision until day ten??

Lisa Bodenheim said...

This is wonderful. Thank you. Perhaps another column for Colin to put into the Treasure Chest?

The one question I had, I think you answered in the next sentence. Under #4 you mentioned an editorial letter. Your description sounds the same as some of the commenters here who have referred to an R&R, a revise and resubmit. But just to make sure creeping charlie and quackgrass haven't overcrowded my brainspace...is an editorial letter and an R&R the same thing?

Lucie Witt said...

Lisa, I think the difference here is with an R&R the agent wants to see if you can get the manuscript revised enough for the agent to offer representation. They may or may not offer an edit letter. In Janet's example the agent might writer an edit letter for a client to get the book ready to sub to editors. I imagine this depends a lot on if the agent is an editorial one or not.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

So I'm guessing that if an agent emails for me to sign with them, then I should not send chocolate, whiskey, offer my first born and lick their boots.

Colin Smith said...

Lisa: In my dreams (the same ones where Lee Child speaks to me at Bouchercon then rides off into the sunset on a dragon) Janet wrote this article to help me make a lovely PDF for the Treasure Chest. :) You can be assured, as long as the Mighty One doesn't object, I'll be adding this.

Thank you, Janet, especially for the warnings about what kind of behavior is and isn't acceptable--for both agents and writers. Do you have more clients than those listed on the right side column?

Oh, and speaking of the Treasure Chest, don't forget you can find in there a list of questions to ask prospective agents, AND what you should expect to find in the typical Agency agreement. Both of these have been culled largely from this site, so you know it's good information.

I'm trying to see if I can find a map of Carkoon to add, since a some have recently expressed an interest in visiting. If it wasn't for the hooligan element on that planet, which is about 2/3 of the population, maps would be more commonplace. As it is, structures keep getting burned to the ground and rebuilt elsewhere, so it's hard to keep track of what's where. It took me three days to find a copy of Argon Balluchique's classic, SOME KALE GROWS IN SARKOO--a collection of Carkoonian poetry that is supposed to melt the heart of even the toughest tree (I was having arboreal issues at the time. What? You didn't think I actually wanted to read Carkoonian poetry for pleasure, did you??). I didn't know the library had been burned down and rebuilt on the other side of town six months before.

Anyway, thanks again Janet! :)

DLM said...

2Ns: hee!

So much good info I'm less and less of the expectation I'll ever need. Sigh.

I've missed everyone here. Hi!

AJ Blythe said...

Oh, for the day when I will need this list! Flying on the wings of wishful thinking I am printing this out and adding to my QOTKU Rule Book.

Of course, my biggest problem is going to be stopping my mouth from screaming YES before my brain can click into gear. Hmm, here's a question for you, my Queen; as I live in a rather inconvenient time zone will I still get a phone call? I can just imagine how that will go...

Phone rings in the middle of the night.
I scrape myself off the ceiling and answer.
Except the phone is still ringing and I'm talking into my kindle.
Answer phone with one hand while trying to peel open eyelids with other.
JR: AJ, it's your Queen here. Loved your story. Couldn't put it down. Loaner Cat upended my pen collection and I didn't even notice.
AJ: gizler radalph
JR: What's that?
AJ: erkle mizzen etrof basl
JR: (obviously thinking she's speaking to sharkforbrains) Erm, anyway... just thought you'd like to know.
*clunk* --dial tone--
AJ: (finally waking up) YES!

Colin Smith said...

Diane! Lovely to see you again. I was reading some history the other day, and Clovis, King of the Franks, was mentioned. I immediately thought of you. :) I do hope your novel finds a home someday soon. Don't lose hope! :)

AJ: If I understand correctly, an interested agent would email you first to arrange a convenient time to call. Aside from time zone issues, she doesn't want to be calling while you're eating supper, or out at the bar, or with your family, or with your family at the bar, or in the middle of Jeff Somers' latest (BTW, I recently read and finished TRICKSTER--awesome stuff. I need to write a review). :)

Sam Hawke said...

AJ - I did agent phone calls at both 9-10pmish for UK agents and 5am-ish for US ones. The time difference isn't a complete killer, but it's a good place to lay totally understandable blame if your excitement makes you babble. ;) (Not that I would have babbled. Nosiree not me. Haha).

LynnRodz said...

Janet, I don't care what the Duchess of Yowl thinks of you, in my book you are truly an amazing advocate for us woodland creatures. I don't think there's another blog on the net that has devoted as much time and wisdom to help writers on the road to publication than yours, so thank you.

But! I think you did mention before we could have two weeks before accepting an offer. Or was that wishful thinking? I need that extra time. Day One would be spent jumping up and down. Day Two would be hubby picking me up off the floor because of Day One and then Day Three would be convincing myself I wasn't dreaming on Day One. So is two weeks too long to ask an agent to wait, especially if there are other agents that also have the full ms?

Lucie Witt said...

Colin, I always find the treasure chest through links in the comments - is there another place to find it?

DLM - hey! Glad to see you :)

I remain overwhelmed at how much info this blog contains. It's incredible.

kittykat said...

So uh, newbie question here (please don't exile me to Carkoon!) , but do you email only the agents who have fulls to tell them about your offer, or all the agents, including the ones who only have queries?

nightsmusic said...

*post Cheers since you're not Norm*



Steve Stubbs said...

You wrote: “Prepare the list of questions to ask a prospective agent. This list should be around 10 questions. There are lots of places to find lists of questions.” Then you invited readers to send in questions.

The question is, where and/or what are the questions?

That is The Question.

I have been in the business world long enough to know what kind of people are out there, and I got burned by an agent who wanted a “reading fee” for a critique. That seemed like a reasonable request – people deserve to be paid for their time – but what I did not know is, you never pay in advance for a service. Paying in advance for a manufactured product sent by mail is fine. Since then, several friends have been ripped off by lawyers and accountants who wanted a “retainer” up front for services not rendered. Naturally as soon as the check cleared the bank the recipients thereof cut off all communication. The lesson us very simple: pay people for their time, but don’t “retain” anybody.

Other than that I assumed you just check the Preditors and Editors site (assuming it has not been sued out of existence by now) and deal with people who have a positive rep. If someone has a good rep, it seems there is no need to be persnickety. The only question I would ask is, “Do you want to do some business?”

E.M. Goldsmith said...

A treasure chest entry to be sure. On which day, during a multiple offer scenario, do we freak out, huddle up in a corner for fear of choosing wrong agent when they all seem wonderful? How ever do you decide? Trial by combat?

Well, that far off cart that one day my horse will find. Trying to balance day job with sneaking off to Reef for air so sorry if I am babbling incoherently.

Donnaeve said...

I have nothing of value to add.

Morning ya'll.

DLM said...

Steve S., I do believe it's in the Treasure Chest, but my remote server is conking out today so I can't confirm.

Morning, Donna. *Pulls up a cafe' chair with the lady*

*Waves at everyone gleefully/tips over only slightly*

Colin, it's less a question of confidence (though I haven't written a jot since the vertigo hit, TWELVE DAYS AGO - augh) than the question of all those questions I'm having about the route to publication. Also, yeah, that not writing in long ages thing. A WIP isn't supposed to be IP forever.

Colin Smith said...

Steve: Check out the Treasure Chest for a list of questions to ask prospective agents.

Lucie: You can always bookmark it. Whether or not it gets pride of place among the permanent links on the top right is entirely Janet's call. Of course. She's QOTKU! :)

Donna (stbnytba): Your mere presence adds value. Thanks for showing up! :D

Colin Smith said...

HA! I posted a DUD LINK!!! Look folks--even I can screw it up!!! :D

Let's try again: Treasure Chest

Laura said...

No questions, Janet, just a comment that you are Shark-tastic. This is so helpful. Thank you.

Lucie Witt said...

Kittykat - I was always under the impression you notify all agents, even if they only have your query. The purpose is to give them a chance to weigh in, even if they haven't made it to you in the slush yet.

Colin, thank you, I thought I was crazy for not being able to find it. Bookmarked now!

Good morning Donnaeve! I agree with Colin.

Julie Weathers said...


Thank you for this. Life is so much easier when you have clear instructions.

Janet has brought some of these up before, but perhaps I can add my own little list for authors.

1. Be professional. Walt Woodard, a multiple world champion roper talks about an event that changed his life. He was a champion, winning everything, thought he was pretty hot stuff. Then one day he missed a steer and threw a fit. He gathered his rope and chunked it into the stands, hitting a lady. Of course, he had to go get the rope and apologize.

She told him, "You're pretty good at throwing your rope. Now maybe you should practice throwing it at the steer."

He said that made him realize there was no excuse to ever act unprofessional. From then on he strove to be more like another champion named Cooper who was the same day in and day out whether he was winning or losing. He just did his best and presented a cheerful face.

It's not enough to be a good writer, you have to "be" a professional. No divas allowed.

2. Life is hard. It's harder for writers. Whoever told you this was going to be easy was lying to you. Suck it up, Buttercup. Dust yourself off when crap happens and move on.

3. Never stop improving and learning. It's great if you finally "arrive", but if you just sit there, you're going to get run over.

4. No whining allowed.

5. Keep a sense of humor. You're going to need it.

S.P. Bowers said...

Okay, I'll bite, whats a three year agency commitment? I'm assuming that it's a contract for three years, rather than the life of the author or until either party wants to separate. And at the end of three years they would once again be discussing whether the agent is the right one for representation. I'm off to google and see if I'm right.

I'll add a hear, hear! to 2Ns' first comment.

Julie Weathers said...


I've tried offering my first born to agents. I've even penciled it into the contract. Unfortunately, they cross it out with extreme prejudice. It seems no one wants a cowboy.

Craig F said...

Should point three also be where you ask for contacts among the agent's clients? You should have the list a few days before you start calling. It would also be nice to see what kind of list you get versus what the actual list of clients might be.

I would personally like to call the client you didn't hear about from the agent.

In many ways it is like hiring a contractor. You can find out a whole lot more by talking to the subs he/she/it uses. Don't want a contractor who doesn't pay the subs who do the actual work.

Colin Smith said...

I don't plan to offer my FirstBorn to agents, but I will offer her tasty cakes and pastries. That shouldn't be construed as a bribe, BTW. ;)

FuzzyPrint does offer the standard three-year agency agreement, which on Carkoon is the life expectancy of the author after signing...

BJ Muntain said...

Great info, Janet!

Hi Diane! *waves*

Steve Stubbs: Preditors and Editors is still there. So is Writer Beware, who is also often sued.

Colin: Gee. The previous link worked for me. Perhaps you are perfect.

Colin Smith said...

BJ: I'm far from perfect. However, my FirstBorn's tasty cakes and pastries are almost perfect. Again, that shouldn't be construed as a bribe by any agents who might be reading... :D

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Well, I don't have Colin's gifted 1st born but I do have the Dark Side and it comes with cookies and coffee and sometimes puppies. Oh, and dragons. Not a bribe. Just think of it as an agent incentive, yes?

I need another Julie story. It's working out to be that kind of day.

Janice Grinyer said...

Fretting. I did not see fretting listed. At what point does a woodland creature pencil that in?

Donnaeve said...

Yep, BJ, Colin IS perfect. The first link worked for me too!

And you all are too kind...

Julie W - aside from the valid points. THE WHINING link. OMW! (oh my word) Too funny!

And...I'd take a cowboy if I wasn't already married, and about 20 years younger.

I would like to add to your , if I might.

6. Expect the unexpected, and when the unexpected happens, act accordingly.

Donnaeve said...

add to your...? Add to your recipe? Add to your bank account? Add to your LIST.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Um, a cowboy and a cake making first born, sounds like a match made in yeehaw, yum, yum heaven. Find a plot and we have a whole new story. I was going to call it Roy Rogers meets Rachel Rae but they're both too old and besides that, one of them is dead.

Colin Smith said...

I just realized--A SINGER FROM MEMPHIS by Gary Corby comes out NEXT TUESDAY!!! 8-O *happy dance-ish* (Okay, so I don't really dance. Dancing for me looks like a cross between Scooby-Doo dancing, and Charlie Brown dancing. Hence, I don't dance.) But I am quite excited. I pre-ordered it back in December. :D

Colin Smith said...

Oh, and yes that was OT, and yes, I'm way over my comment limit... but Gary Corby. End of argument. :)

Dena Pawling said...

I notice your "week" between offer and acceptance goes on for ten days. This explains your time travel to 2017 a few days ago =)

I don't see anywhere in that timeline set aside for heavy drinking. Or is that a daily assumption?

I won't offer my first born because he's in the military and way stronger than I am. He does know how to cook and do the laundry, and clean to within an inch of his life, so he'll be a catch for some lucky lady lol

Hi Diane!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

OT, wayyyy OT.

Today I am married thirty-six years.

This was way back when if you didn’t marry by the time you were thirty you were an old maid. I was an old maid. Yeh, I’m that old.
We married because I was desperate and he was horny. We’ve stayed together because he gets to go to bed early and I get to write. Perfect match.

I wanted to share here because...well just because. Cake for everyone.

nightsmusic said...

2nns! Thirty-five here yesterday! And yes, I was an 'old maid' too. ;) Forgot to say, Congratulations!!

Colin Smith said...

Woohoo!! Congratulations, 2Ns (and Mr. 2Ns)! :D

My wife and I will be celebrating 25 years in December. We were hoping to mark the occasion with a trip to England (we were married in the UK), but I think we'll be doing well if we can afford a trip to Taco Bell. I hope you and the hubby get to do something wonderful today! :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Congrats nightsmusic, from one old broad to another :)

Now, don't the rest of you feel really, really young?

Cindy C said...

Congratulations, 2Ns! That's quite an achievement no matter the motivation.

I love this checklist--hoping to need it someday.

Lennon Faris said...

OK so all the posts are helpful but I think this one just hit the top of my list. Thank you, Janet!

Couple questions - on Day 1 - So you actually *say* to your agent that you are taking a little time to notify other agents? I thought that was something you just skirted around ("I need time to... consider"), and it was assumed by the agent, but would be rude to actually say out loud.

Also, when you contact the other agents, you politely give them say 4-5 days to get back to you, I'm assuming?

2Ns- congratulations!!!

Diane - glad to have you back!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I reread this post with my brain turned back on (more or less). On step 6- schedule a phone call- I had the impression that an offer usually came with a phone call and that was how this whole week to 10 days started. Is that not so? Can offers come with just an email?

Don't agents want to actually talk to perspective clients just to be sure he/she is not a robot or a million monkeys slapping a keyboard randomly creating literature?

What if writer sends out 10 queries which results in only 1 full request which results in 1 offer and the other 9 agents behave as Normans. Or perhaps agent 1 asked for full 10 minutes after receiving query because she rocks like our sharky Queen? Do you still follow up with the other silent or slow 9? Or do you simply withdraw your queries or do you do nothing?

I am so hopeful that some day some form of this scenario will apply to me.

Unknown said...

Really helpful conference season post! Major appreciations!
Beyond the call, it helps we, the clueless, at conference moments when agent/editor/author turns and asks, “any questions about the business?”
Using conference deadline as excuse for not entering latest FF- though intimidatingly excellent entries excuse enough! Alliteration anxiety returns when the White Rabbit manages my writing deadlines.
Still feel like I’m sneaking into the big kids’ party.

Kate Larkindale said...

E.M. For me, the offer came in a phone call (well, Skype call) which had been set up in an email (after a lot of negotiating because New Zealand is not only in a different time zone, we're a day ahead of the US). So when I got on the call, I didn't know I was going to be offered rep (from the things said in the email, I thought I was going to be asked for an R & R) so when that happened, I turned into a blithering idiot.

Luckily I became more lucid after the call and emailed with all the questions I'd failed to ask while trying to look composed for the Skype camera….

Anonymous said...

Janet, Colin, Everyone:

I am compiling this into a Caveat Emptor PDF. Please advise if I should refrain.

Once Completed you can put it in the Chest.

Craig F said...

Elise, calm down. I take point 2. to mean any agents who have bothered to notice that you are awesome. Those who have contacted you for partials or fulls.

If you sent ten queries, got one request for a full and an offer from that I will admit that you are awesome.

Colin Smith said...

Jason: Feel free to! Just email to me (see my Blogger profile) and I'll add it to the Chest. Unless Janet has any objections, cautions, words of wisdom..?

Panda in Chief said...

Ooo! 2Ns...did you say cake? I was going to say something on topic but then cake was mentioned and I got all distracted.

I was curious, as were others, about do you only contact those who have fulls or partials, or do you contact ALL those with outstanding queries too?

I have an overwhelming urge to create a map of Carkoon. Yes, before you say anything Janet, I know I am supposed to be getting actual work done so that my fabulous agent can start sending it out on submission this fall, but I have been drawing maps for my WIP, so I am in the map zone. Plus, I could offer it for sale, not to mention, it will come in handy when I get sent to Carkoon for making this sugesstion. Besides, I find any kind of creative excersizes are extremely useful in shaking loose random bits of dreck in my head.

I have no first born to offer in any contract negotiations. Only a very old and cranky cat. Mehitabel turned 20 last month. Huzzah!

Colin Smith said...

Panda: Janet may curse and hiss at such a seeming diversion from all that important writing/drawing stuff you're supposed to be doing for your upcoming bestseller... but if you happen to create such a map, I can't promise that I won't squee with delight and put it in the Treasure Chest... ;)

Julie Weathers said...

Carolynn, congratulations! That's a remarkable feat.

Dena, all my boys are well-trained in the domestic arts. I taught them to do laundry, iron, sew, clean, and cook early on. Most boys go from Mama taking care of them to wifey taking care of them and I wanted them to realize no one needed to take care of them.

Since they grew up with me taking in ironing, they figured out at an early age how to properly do so. If they complained about the way I ironed their shirts, they got to do it.

When Brandon, the oldest, turned 18, he asked for a good cookbook for Christmas. Even today I'll get calls from one of them, "Mom, I'm going to make peach cobbler, can you give me your recipe?'

The downside is, many girls don't cook these days and if you handed them an iron they wouldn't have a clue what to do with it. Luckily, he is a cowboy. You know, "Cowboy logic: Ride bulls, meet nurses." So, he meets lots of nice young women.

Nancy Adams said...

Wonderful information. Thank you, Janet!

I was surprised to see that you’re not supposed to discuss the particulars of revising the ms., because for me what I most want to know is whether the agent’s vision of the novel matches mine. (For example: A writer at a conference once told me that her agent had actually asked her to change the MC’s gender and she complied! For me, that would be a deal breaker.) I never realized that asking for that would be a problem, and though I can now appreciate this from the agent’s point of view, is there some way of at least getting an idea of what she might want to change without being too presumptuous?
Thank you!

BJ Muntain said...

Colin: You didn't respond, so I don't know if you saw, but Ms. Janet has sold another Gary Corby novel, coming out next year. It's on her redesigned website.

Congrats to 2Ns, nightsmusic, and Panda's cat Mehitabel!

Where There's A Quill said...

You know one of the things I find most valuable about posts like this? They remind me that landing an agent, getting published etc isn't some amorphous dream you just have to be lucky enough to float into. Landing an agent, getting published - these are Real Things. Things that actually happen. With contracts and stuff. And while luck is part of it, floating certainly isn't. It takes effort and savvy, even at the offer stage. It's motivating to remember I do have some say in whether or not my dream is realized.

My old school motto was Fortior Quo Paratior: The better prepared the stronger. Quite fond of it these days. Teenage Me feels betrayed.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Where's There's A Quill,
I just gotta say, I love your name.

Julie Weathers said...


When a friend made a choice between two agents who had offered, the suggested changes to the ms did come up. Super agent one loved the manuscript so far, but wanted some significant changes that would have meant writing three different books instead of one. Second super agent had some different ideas how how to deal with big ass novel.

Their different views did weigh her decision.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

...more than 20 questions, that's too many.

Oh dear. Time to whittle down the list.

No, maybe not whittle, but organise into categories. Oh look--eight categories with a leading question, accoutred with follow-up questions (for clarity).

Some days after reading this blog I feel so prepared to be a good client. If only I could convince an agent this is so.

Just realised we all approach agents with our first question (granted, in a subtle way): Do you love this book?

Colin Smith said...

BJ: Respond? I was asked? Well, anyway, I just checked Janet's FAQ and YES! Look!! DEATH ON DELOS (2017). Thanks for the tip!

Janet: In future, when you sell a new Gary Corby novel, could you just make that the article for the day? That's all the news I need. ;)

CynthiaMc said...

Happy anniversary!

BJ Muntain said...

Colin: I had asked if you'd seen it. But there were much more interesting conversations going on, so I can forgive being skipped over. :)

CynthiaMc said...

Donna - welcome back! You were missed.

Happy all the anniversaries!

Colin, I feel your pain about England. Hubby's Scottish Clan reunion was last July during the Highland Games and coincided with our anniversary. We wanted to go and take the whole family. Darned rent, power bills and car repair.

We will be celebrating our 30-something anniversary in July. But I am not old. I was a mere babe (well, in college anyway). Hubby and I were notorious for not dating anyone longer than five seconds and all our exes thought it was poetic justice that we got together. They had a pool going as to how quickly we'd break up. Who knew we were the only ones who could keep each other entertained?

So I need to write at least one bestseller to fund the Scotland trip and maybe another one for Australia (another place that's on our go to list).

If I finish the trilogy that might take care of Scotland, Australia, and a spare (not Carkoon).

Colin Smith said...

BJ: Odd. I thought I had read all the comments. I even scrolled back through to check. I'm well over my comment quota, but I don't want you to think I was skipping your comments, BJ. Sorry!

Timothy Lowe said...

Quote of the day goes to NN:

"We married because I was desperate and he was horny."


BJ Muntain said...

Colin: Already forgiven. It's just great that a nice guy like Gary Corby is doing so well. He deserves fans like you. :)

Anonymous said...

OK, so when you say: "The most important question you'll ask is whether the agent wants you to revise before sending the manuscript on submission."

And then go on to say there are agents who won't give a prospective client an editorial letter, does that mean you should expect an agent will at least discuss it with you in general terms but specific enough that you can tell if the vision you each have for the work is similar or wildly different? I hope that's what you mean. That's sort of a big deal.

I had to laugh at myself when I realized I'd mis-read 5. as "Contact Agent's Good Taste clients"-- I immediately wanted to instead contact the ones with Bad Taste.

It's great to see this broken down in steps with a timeframe. Thank you.

Congrats to all with milestone anniversaries! Don't bemoan that fact that you've survived to whatever age you are. The alternative is that you didn't, and I'd miss you. Christina, that goes for you as well. SO glad that whole awful situation wasn't worse.

BJ, re last post, thanks for googling that info. I'll keep it in mind in the event of any impending grandchildren.

Unknown said...

No. 3 made me reject my offer of rep. Or better said, the agent kept postponing sending me the contract, so I had to make a tough decision. But better to have no agent than one who might derail my entire (future) career.

I'm a bit confused about No. 4, though. Maybe y'all can help me out. I always thought you asked the agent questions during the call. I didn't know it was kosher to send an entire list of Qs to a probably very busy agent. Maybe I misunderstood. Or maybe my entire paradigm has shifted.

Anyway, great stuff in this post.

Aightball said...

There's a reason I direct people to your website: you are knowledgeable!! You are always very informative and I like think posts like this will help reduce my anxiety if the time ever comes to think about offers =). Thank you for such a great post!

Nadre said...

This might be a dumb question, but I've read different things. If you receive the coveted offer of rep, do you notify all agents you've queried, or only those agents who have partials/fulls out?