Pub Rants

Anatomy of an Agency Agreement—Part Six

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STATUS: I’m back. A little jetlagged and a little overwhelmed by the piles on my desk but that’s the price you pay for going away for more than two weeks.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD by Van Morrison

I’m going to take the easy way out and continue my discussion concerning the agency agreement so I don’t have to cast around for a blog idea on these first days back in the office.

What’s up after expenses? Well, for my agreement, I have a clause that states that I can take on other clients—even if their material might be viewed as competing or conflicting with your stuff. I don’t want a client to say “hey, you took on a vampire paranormal romance author and I write vampire paranormals so you shouldn’t have taken her on” or something similar.

And this also alerts new clients that I may take on other authors who write in the same genre as they do.

This clause also states that I also use subagents etc. to sell subrights.

The next clause deals with modification of material. Basically, it states that I won’t make any material changes without author approval but if I need to add a missing comma or something, I won’t need to check back in with the writer before putting it on submission.

What a nightmare it would be if I had to get author approval for EVERY change made to a proposal or manuscript. It would take months to submit anything. So, it’s to expedite things.

Back to my two hundred emails that need to be handled and my piles.

11 Responses

  1. Lisa Shearin said:

    Welcome back, Kristin! You won’t be getting anything to read from me for about another two weeks. Maybe you can get through your email backlog by then. ; )

    BTW — It’s going great!

  2. Heather said:

    I have a question I’d like to hear your opinion on. How important is it to get another author to recommend your book so that you can put a blurb from them on the back cover? I’m asking because, as a reader, I normally don’t pay any attention to these and they have no power in determining if I will read the book. As an writer I wonder if they are more an industry courtesy and not really sincere.

    I’m asking because I’m in the middle of a chick lit book that I may or may not finish. I thought the plot was kind of iffy but since I’d read some of the author’s other books I’d give it a shot. I now realize that the plot is completely unrealistic and ethically/morally questionable and the characters are weak. I stopped reading and took a closer look at the cover of the book where there were author blurbs from two of the most successful and respected chick lit authors in the industry praising this book. Now I have read every book by these two authors and their books, in my opinion, are superior to the book I’m reading and I had to wonder, did they really read this book and think this highly of it or was it just a “if you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back” scenario?

    What are your thoughts regarding this?

  3. Anonymous said:

    Ah, but that is a tricky thing, that “author approval” for changes. My agent basically bullied me into making changes I didn’t want to make. You would never do that, would you, Kristin?

  4. Anonymous said:

    But with the “author approval” thing do you then tell the author so they can insert the commas, fix the awkward sentence (or whatever) on their master copy?

    Otherwise, the copy THEY are working on from their computer and sending back and forth to the editor/publisher, won’t have those things fixed…

  5. meredith d said:

    Sorry to hear about your piles. I guess that’s the downside of such a long flight. Sounds like the vacation was worth it, though.