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Top-Notch Advice About Literary Agents


In a recent online discussion about dealing with literary agents, Codexian Erin Cashier offered a link to an excellent article on AgentQuery called “When Agents Offer Representation,” which thoroughly answers some key questions about dealing with literary agents. This is highly recommended reading for any writer interested in being represented by an agent, even if, as in my case, you already know a lot about the subject and/or have been represented before. The article covers subjects like:

  • When an agent wants to offer representation to me and my book, how will I know?
  • What happens if I receive an offer of representation from an agent, but I am still waiting to hear from other agents who also have my full manuscript? What do I do?
  • Once an agent has made me an offer of representation, how long can I keep them waiting for my decision?
  • Okay, so I understand that I have to alert the other agents who are reviewing my manuscript that I have an offer? What’s the best way to contact them?
  • An agent has called and left me a message to call him back. Does that mean he is going to offer me representation?
  • THE CALL: when an agent calls to offer representation, what do I say? What questions do I ask? How can I make the best impression possible?
  • I have received an offer of representation from an agent, but he doesn’t use a written agent-client contract. Is that a bad sign?
  • I have received an offer of representation from an agent, but he wants me to sign an agent-client agreement. Is that a bad sign?
  • An agent calls and tells me she enjoyed my book, but she thinks it still needs some work …
  • What should I expect from the agent-client relationship?
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