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I need advice..again! (about agents)

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

I need advice..again! (about agents)

Postby Divia » Sun October 25th, 2009, 3:40 pm

I went to the HFC this year and I had an agent who was interested in my work. But I was still working on it. No big deal cause I was told I had up to 6months to send in my work. Spiffy. But um the 6 months is rapidly coming to an end(in Nov) and I dont know what to do with myself.

I want to put my best stuff forward and not give them something that is messy and half ass, ya know? But I don't want to miss this chance.

Suggestions on what I should do? Can you tell the agent that you are interested, but you are still working on the novel and that its not ready for submission yet and I'm on my 3rd rewrite. Or should I just forget about it? Or should I just query reminding them that we met and that I have not forgotten about them.
OMG I have no idea what to do.

I dont want to blow it. I dont want to make a fool outta myself. Suggestions?
Last edited by Divia on Sun October 25th, 2009, 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cw gortner
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Postby cw gortner » Sun October 25th, 2009, 6:41 pm

Short answer: Don't submit until you're 100% confident in it. Agents don't really have deadlines for material they haven't sold yet. They'd much rather the material they requested 6 months ago comes in a year later ready to be submitted than to get it on time but not in shape.

You could check in, briefly, via e-mail; remind her where you met and what she told you, mention in two lines or less the gist of the project, as while we'd all love to believe they remember us when they first meet us and say, "Sure, send in your work!" the truth is, they usually don't; and then ask her: a) is she still interested?; and b) give an approximate deadline for when you think you'll be ready to send.

Then, no matter what, if she says she is still interested, send it within that time-frame.

My two cents, for what it's worth :)
Last edited by cw gortner on Sun October 25th, 2009, 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Anna Elliott
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Postby Anna Elliott » Sun October 25th, 2009, 7:57 pm

Divia, how close do you think you are to being ready to send it? If it's just a matter of a month or two, I wouldn't worry about it at all--just get the manuscript finished to your satisfaction and then e-mail the agent reminding him/her of your project and asking if you can send it. Honestly, agents get SO many queries that I'm sure s/he won't even notice that it's not exactly the time frame you discussed 6 mos. ago.

If you need longer than a couple of months, I would check in with her now as CW says and figure out a time frame that works for both of you.

Good luck! And congratulations on catching an agent's interest--that's huge!
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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Sun October 25th, 2009, 10:28 pm

I was in a similar situation - I told the agent I was not finished revising, and she said send it right away anyway. She declined it. If I had held firm and waited to send it when I felt the manuscript was ready, it's possible she would have liked it enough to take me on as a client. Still - this is not a story with a tragic ending. I submitted the manuscript to a different agent later and was accepted. Although it's still not published, my agent worked really hard for me, and I'm very happy with her. So maybe it's just as well the other agent didn't take me on.
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michellemoran
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Postby michellemoran » Sun October 25th, 2009, 10:33 pm

I agree with everyone here: wait! As Margaret's story illustrates, better for it to be polished than wonder what-if? Thankfully, it turned out well for her, but you want to put your best foot forward. You can send an email to remind her about your manuscript (or not - it probably won't make a difference). But I wouldn't wait much longer than 3 more months if you want to submit it to this particular agent with the added bonus of her remembering you.
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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon October 26th, 2009, 9:44 am

Excellent. Thank you soooo much everyone. :) I feel better now and it makes sense what everyone said. You guys rock.
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parthianbow
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A bit late, but

Postby parthianbow » Mon October 26th, 2009, 3:06 pm

I agree with C.W. particularly. Don't send it until ready, but important to touch base with the agent.
Good luck!
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