Friday, April 3, 2009

Agent Win!

I’ve never been on twitter, but things like #queryfail make me want to. I’ve read blogs where agents posted amusing queries, and it’s amusing and inspiring to read them. You know you’re not that dumb at least, right?

Then there was a big deal about #agentfail this week.

Well, in the spirit of some great agent experiences I’ve personally had the last two weeks, I think it’s time to celebrate those awesome agents that are out there. So go Operation #AgentWin!

For example:

The agent (my agent? tee hee) who requested the full novel from me within two hours of my querying him last Tuesday. But it was a snail mail full. I wasn’t expecting to hear back any time soon. After all, I had been waiting 3-6 months on my other full requests. So imagine my surprise Saturday morning when I received a phone call from him requesting representation. When you consider that it had to go through the mail before he could even open it, that’s a pretty great turn around time. He also responded to my next e-mail to him in nine minutes, which I hear is basically an instant in the publishing world.

Another agent I had contact with this week had my full novel and asked for time to finish reading it when I informed her of my offer. She spent part of her vacation reading it. She decided not to offer me representation without revisions, however, even though she knew I’d be likely going with someone else, she took an hour out of her day yesterday to talk to me on the phone (her e-mail was acting up) about the novel. She had many suggestions for revisions--most of which I felt would indeed make the novel stronger--as well as sharing with me the strengths she found in my writing. In the end, she told me she understood why I would go with the agent who had actually offered representation when she hadn’t done so, but she also told me that if I felt anything she said would make the book stronger, go ahead and use it. I thought this was really gracious of her to spend her time on this author and novel she saw promise in, even though she knew I probably wouldn’t say no to the other agent in the end.

So what about you guys? Share your stories about the agents who have gone above and beyond the call of duty! Celebrate an agent today!


hannah said...

My agent (J Adams at Bliss Literary, woooooo) is so undeniably fabulous.

I queried J a few months before her assistant emailed me asking for a partial request. I actually received an offer of representation the morning of this email. I asked the assistant if she still wanted to look at the partial even though I'd already gotten an offer.

She, to my surprise, said yes--she'd read it quickly. Quickly turned out to mean a few hours; J herself emailed me back telling me they were "loving it" over there, and could I please send the full? I did, and she sent me updates as she read--50 pages to go and I'm still loving it, 30 pages to go and I'm still loving it. We decided to talk on the phone on Friday, and she called me on Thursday on a conference call with her assistant.

Her assistant said, "I wanted to print out the manuscript and cuddle it," and that was when I knew this was the agency for me.

I had three other offers, but I've never looked back. My manuscript (actually a different one from the one J originally fell in love with, but one we both agreed was a more commercial first novel) went out on submission two weeks later and sold in a matter of months. It's coming out in five months.

J is the agent for me, and I couldn't be happier. Thank you so much for everything, J. <3

Colby! said...

I think this is a great idea!

I don't have an agent yet, but I hope that I have one soon and then I can talk about how awesomesuace they are...

amy said...

back when I was querying, there were a number of agents who went above and beyond to give me suggestions and comments that kept me going.

Cat Hellisen said...

Back in the query days, I had agents go above and beyond what they needed to, by passing on my manuscript to other agents who they felt would be a better fit.

My agent went to a great deal of trouble with the revisions of my novel, and her input certainly made for a stronger story.

sharpierae said...

Most of the responses (read:rejxns) I got from agents when I was querying were prompt and courteous. The few exchanges I had with agents who requested were encouraging and respectful, and wished me the best even after I notified them of accepting representation elsewhere.

I really am in awe of agents who take the time to blog. I learned so much about the whole process by reading what they had to share.

And, of course, the ultimate #agentwin was when my agent took time from her vacation to negotiate a great two-book deal for me. Thank you, M! There was no way that would have happened without her.

Sage said...

I seriously am under the impression that agents don't really take vacations. Both time I dealt with J (at the querying stage and telling her I had an offer), she was out of the office. I think the first time she was at a convention (as was I, but a different one) but she still got back to me that day to request the full. When I e-mailed her about the offer, I got another message saying she'd be out until Wednesday, but she got back to me the Sunday before anyway. Then of course there was the agent I mentioned above who read my full on her vacation.

Anonymous said...

I had an agent give me some amazing compliments on my partial ms even though she decided to pass on it. She invited me to resubmit and then sent back the partial...with a cookie recipe. w00t. :D

Sage, that's a great story about the agent who suggested revisions even though she didn't offer representation. So thoughtful!