Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Offers: What to Expect

This month's topic will be everything to do with that elusive offer. The agent offer, the publisher offer.

If you have questions, please leave them in the comments or on Twitter and I will try to address all sometime this month.

Happy writing!


Heather Kelly said...

I would love to know if you've seen changes in publishing offers due to e-rights and e-publishing. (Beyond the obvious point that these things are now in contracts.)

Are there red flags which writers should be looking for in contracts (no-contest clauses, or ebook rights restrictions)?

And, are there publishers which you prefer to work with because they are comfortable with the publishing evolution, or publishers which you stay away from because they are operating from a fear-based place? (I would love to know which publishers are doing this well.)

My criteria for looking for an agent has changed since e-books have erupted onto the scene, and I wonder if agent criteria for looking for publishers for their clients has changed.

Thanks so much for answering our questions!

Heather Kelly said...

I obviously don't expect you to name publishers names, but that doesn't keep me from wanting to know!

Melanie said...

Hi Vickie!

Thanks so much for covering this topic. What I would like to know, when an agent offers representation, what are the most common questions you get asked by your newly acquired clients? What do you feel are important and necessary questions that should be addressed during that initial phone call and what questions are not?

Also, as someone else mentioned, I'd love to know what it feels like for you to make that call? What's the funniest thing that ever happened when you offered someone rep?

SM said...

As I'm just now getting ready to query my novel for the first time, I'm interested in just about anything on agent offers, agent contracts, etc.

In any case, I've heard that some agents still do verbal contracts (for the agent-author agreement) - is that true? I'm a "put it down in writing" type of girl, so that might make me uncomfortable. Not that the person would be dishonest, but not having things written down can lead to people forgetting, etc.

MOV said...

new follower here. will definitely be back to read more of what you have to say!


J.P. Sloan said...

When an agent offers rep, is it basically Standard Procedure to ask for a week's period to decide, during which you inform the other agents who have a) fulls/partials and/or b) queries? Is there a good protocol for requesting this period, or will an agent basically expect to hear it?

Rachel said...

If you offer revisions and the author writes you back with newly revised novel, how often is that you take that writer on as a client?

Thanks for the opportunity! :-)

Unknown said...

I echo Rachel's interest about how often agents who've asked for revisions, like the subsequent version(s) enough to offer.

And is "The Call" really necessary if the author lives abroad? Is e-mail correspondence enough?


Clara said...

I second Lexa's question regarding authors living abroad!

Also: what if an author's future works aren't part of an agent's preferred genre (e.g. author has a steampunk novel in the works besides the previous work s/he queried, but while agent likes the queried MS, s/he doesn't like steampunk)? Will agents still rep them for these works, or would another agent for those works be the better choice?

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

I'd love to know how much time I can ask an agent offering representation for to make my decision. I've heard everything from a week to two weeks is acceptable to decide to accept an offer.

I don't want any other agents still reading my manuscript to feel like I didn't give them enough time to make their own decisions, but I also don't want the offering agent to think I'm a flake! :)


Jen said...

Hi Vickie! If you request a partial, and we give you the eight weeks wait, and then ping you with that reminder you've written about--how long after that until we write again/assume it's a no-go? (I'm not sure why I'm saying we, but of course, you understand. We collective authors may find ourselves in this situation!)

Mary said...

This is more about the lack of offers, but I'd love to hear any advise you might share on what to do when you're not receiving any offers or feedback from your agent submissions.

I know conferences might be one way to go (not possible for me personally what with where I live), but are there any other ways?

My current project might just not be marketable... but if there's some other more fixable problem with the book, I'd really like to know. If nothing else, so I can learn for the next novel. :-)

I've already had the novel workshopped by an eclectic bunch of writers and readers that I trust--both in their judgement and their honesty--and the novel has greatly improved from their feedback. They like it, I like it--and I'd really like to pick an agent's brain to discover what they're seeing that I'm missing! But, since agents don't have time for that sort of thing, is there something else I might do?

Susan Fields said...

Could you give us an example of how we might word an email to an agent who's reading requested material to let them know we've had an offer? I've heard it's customary to give them a week to respond - do you agree with that?

Also, do agents generally ask to see an author's previous unpublished works when taking on a new client?

Thanks so much for tacking this subject - I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Katie said...

Is there one resource you would recommend for authors on the basics of contracts? I'm looking for a place that outlines what is customary in a contract and what to watch out for. Great topic. Thanks!

Michelle 4 Laughs said...

I have a question. I've sent my query letters but got only passes from agents. Now I've had some requests from small presses. If one should make an offer, should I go back to agents with an 'offer on the table' query or would it be a waste of time?

I'd still like to get an agent and submit to the large publishers. Would a small press be enough enticement to get an agent's notice?

SC_Author said...

Hey Vickie! I'm a new follower of your blog, and let me just say, I love it. It's soo helpful, I'm not lying.

I've always always wondered, if you are querying and you get no no requests/offers, does it help to get offers if you attain a publication deal? I mean, if you get a pub deal, but don't accept it, and then query. Do agents not offer representation for these people? Or do they offer rep, and then shop around the MS to other, bigger publishers?

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Is there a time limit to respond to an editor's offer? Will they get offended and walk if they don't hear back right away?