Pub Rants

Sooner Rather Than Later Please

 55 Comments |  Share This:    

STATUS: Yesterday got away from me. Sorry for the blog silence.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? JUST SAY YES by Snow Patrol

I do think writers have a valid beef regarding how long it takes for literary agents to respond to a full manuscript. I’ve heard horror stories of writers receiving rejection letters a year later—even two years later. Some writers have never received a response. I sympathize as that’s rather ridiculous. Here at NLA, we really do try and turn around full manuscripts in 4 weeks if humanly possible. In our full manuscript request letter, we say we can take up to 2 months to respond just to hedge our bets.

When we send out our full request, we also ask writers to keep us in the loop regarding any other agent interest and that includes offers of representation. Why? Because we don’t ask for an exclusive time to read and if we are going to invest the time, we want a shot at it potentially. Who wants to waste time over the weekend reading a novel that’s no longer available because another agent has snatched it up?

I mean, good for the writer for getting an offer so quickly but yesterday, I was a little annoyed because that’s exactly what happened. We spent time this weekend reading a novel that was of interest to us only to receive an email first thing Monday morning saying the work was no longer available as the author had accepted an offer elsewhere.

Now I guess that the offer could have come in over the weekend and the writer did notify us as soon as possible but it’s rare for agents to offer over a weekend. Not impossible but it’s not the usual mode. Also, if the writer thinks other agents will potentially be interested, why not find that out before committing to an offer? At least give those with a full a chance to respond (and I get that this is completely self-interest on my part but it is my rant after all…). In this case, we only had the submission for 3 weeks.

So, that was a lot of hours taken away from client material and other projects that I’m not getting back and will need to make up this week by working late every night until I’m caught back up.

Makes me grumpy. Okay. I’ll get off it now and move on.

55 Responses

  1. Remilda Graystone said:

    I’m sorry that happened. If this happened to me, I’d be ranting too. Time definitely is something you can’t ever get back. I hope in the future this doesn’t happen again. 🙂

  2. Alleged Author said:

    I think your request as to when other agents show interest is valid. Surely the author could have told your agency at least that much information. I thought it was standard business procedure to inform all interested agencies as to mutual interest. Maybe I’m wrong though.

  3. Anonymous said:

    “In this case, we only had the submission for 3 weeks.”

    And yet you want the author to respond immediately when the MS goes off the market?

    Maybe the author was busy, you know, with all those things that are obviously not as important as whatever you’re doing?!

    How inconsiderate of them.

  4. Mary McDonald said:

    I wonder if the author thought everything through? Maybe they were pressured by the other agent? Like, “I need an answer asap.” Still doesn’t excuse it, but perhaps explains what happened. Most of us are not old hands at the publishing business and it might not have occurred to the author to offer you a chance to offer representation. They might have thought, “I have to take this now, because the other agency that has it hasn’t responded yet, and for all I know, they’re going to turn it down anyway.”

    I’m just speculating here. I don’t know any of the parties involved, just trying to take my mind off my own frustrating querying exerience.

  5. Anonymous said:

    Anon 7:24,

    Even if you don’t have sympathy for the agents, have some for your fellow writers (if you are a writer). An agent reading an off-the-market ms. just took 6 hours reading time from writers who are still looking. There may have been several other agents besides Kristin reading unnecessarily.

    It’s great that the writer has found an agent, but don’t clog the pipeline. How much time does it take to send an e-mail saying — I have an offer of representation. Are you interested? The agent will either pass and congratulate you, or ask for a specific amount of time to read your ms. If they don’t meet the deadline, move on.

  6. Shelley Watters said:

    Hopefully I will someday be in a position to have multiple offers from agents, but first I must finish my WIP!

    I do have a question regarding notifying agents that you’ve submitted to. I understand that it’s common courtesy to notify other agents who have the full that you’ve received an offer. Does that also go for agents that you have queried but have received no response, even if they have not requested a full or partial?

    Thanks for all the hard work that you put into this blog!

  7. Lydia Sharp said:

    I’ve never had that happen to me but I’ve heard of writers receiving rejections after a year or two, and yeah, that makes you wonder why the agent is still accepting queries for possible new clients and asking for full manuscripts if they’re THAT busy. :-/

  8. Lt. Cccyxx said:

    Yes, I too wish I could completely eliminate unnecessary/futile work and wasted time in my job.

    Don’t all of you?

    Now, how many of you have jobs where this is the case? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Ah, that’s what I thought.

  9. Sandy Williams said:

    @Shelley I don’t think Kristin usually responds to comments, so I thought I’d jump in and answer your question.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s customary to only notify the agents who have fulls or partials. Outstanding queries don’t really matter because they’re not a big time-suck to read.

  10. Krista V. said:

    Kristin, trust me, if you ever had my full and I received another offer, you’d be the first to know:)

    Shelley, in the situation you describe (notifying agents who have just your query), I’d probably contact the ones I was really interested in working with, and the ones who’d only had the query for a short time.

  11. Michelle said:

    One of the hardest lessons of my life is that not everyone is as considerate as I was brought up to be. As a writer, I try to keep agents and editors in the loop as far as multiple submissions.

    Coincidentally, yesterday I received a rejection from a publisher (not an agent) for work I sent out over two years ago. That was a requested manuscript following a query, not an unsolicited manuscript. That kind of treatment makes it hard for us as writers to not view editors as impersonal corporate entities.

  12. K. E. Carson said:

    You have every right to be grumpy. To do that to anyone is rude, especially in a business situation. They should have at least held off on accepting the offer until notifying you.

    Rude people make me angry. Rant away, Kristin, you have every right.

  13. Joseph L. Selby said:

    Not disagreeing with your point at all. To give the benefit of the doubt for the author, perhaps it was simply a matter of time zone. If an agent from New York they wanted to work with offered representation Monday morning and they are on the east coast and received it Monday morning, your office wouldn’t be open for two hours still. It’s quite possible you received as early a notice as could be had.

    …now, whether that was likely or not. 🙂

    As for me, the longest I’ve waited for a query that got answered was four months. I had begun querying on a new manuscript when this letter showed up in the mail. I had forgotten all about it. I had assumed it was just a no reply.

    Those happen way too frequently in my opinion. I debated this with Anna Genoese, formerly of Tor. We did the math and with what has become an average query rate (say 1000) multiplied for the year and then divided by time required for a form reply, an agent spends a full week’s worth of time sending out form rejections. Not reading the query, just sending out the rejections. She was of the opinion that the agency was better not sending anything. I strongly disagree. I think it’s professional courtesy to notify the thousands of people that want to work with you that you received and reviewed their queries and are going to pass.

    Of the queries I still have out with agents right now, I expect at least half of them (25% of my total query list so far) will never reply to my query.

  14. Slush said:

    I can understand the disappointment of not getting an opportunity at an offer, and the aggravation at lost time.

    It appears that writers are not the only ones to experience manuscript frustrations.

    Good luck with the rest of your week. Hope you get a little relaxation, even with the extended work hours.

  15. Kristi Helvig said:

    I think it comes down to professionalism. Also, it doesn’t pay to burn bridges as I’ve seen cases where a writer’s agent leaves the business and the writer has to start the process all over again. Hope the rest of your week goes more smoothly. 🙂

  16. Anonymous said:

    I do understand feeling like you’ve wasted those hours.

    But what if the author got her first offer from her number one choice? It’s a kindness not to make the other agents do a song and dance when her mind is made up.

    In this case the author did email the other agents to inform them that she’d accepted representation. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that she withheld information. As the other poster said, there is a time difference from EST. She did email. It just happened to be the weekend that you read the ms.

  17. Barbara said:

    It is common practice in most job areas to pitch against other agencies or companies. Yes, it is annoying to lose a pitch. But please put the blame where it belongs! YOU lost the pitch, not the author. Clearly, it took you too long to reply. Yes, I know, only three weeks. But the other agent managed to get the deal, right? They turned the project around a lot faster. How annoying that you missed by maybe just a day. But did you? Would you have actually signed the author on? How long would the process have taken?

    I think it is very decent of the author to let you know s/he signed elsewhere. S/he was trying to save you some work. I tend to go with business contacts who move fast. If I like the person on top of that, we have a deal. I do not wait around for other people to profess interest, neither do I follow up on business deals that seem to have gone nowhere. So, as I said, to send such a speedy e-mail is very decent and not strictly necessary.

    Maybe you should turn the process around: Rather than expecting the author to tell you some other agency is interested (which would have been a good move from the author, actually, because that would certainly would have sped up your response time!), let them know you are reading their manuscript. An e-mail goes a long way here, I think.

    Besides: Before signing ANY contract, surely people are entitled to think about it? I tend to make a decision and then think about it some more over the weekend and then move quickly. Which might very well be what the author has been doing.

    Sorry, I like your blog, but this post comes across at whining and putting the blame where it clearly does not belong. It is a bit as if you are trying to make that poor author feel bad about the deal which is not very nice at all because I bet s/he is delighted to have closed a deal so quickly.

    I decided not to go anonymous like the other people who did not agree with you.

    All the best,

  18. Creepy Query Girl said:

    God, If i were ever in a position where I had an offer but it was still out on submission with other agents, I think I’d give everyone a chance to show interest before just saying ‘yes’ to the first one to offer representation. Just seems like the polite and logical thing to do. Then again, if an agent did offer rep., I’d probably be so out of my mind with excitement that I would lose track of what ‘polite’ and ‘logical’ even mean….hmn.

  19. Kelly Freestone said:

    Girl, I know that’s frustrating!
    I’m so sorry for that.
    I can see the author, however, biting a dangling worm instead of patiently waiting…
    BUT I don’t understand not moving till you’ve seen ALL the potential offers…that was maybe a mistake on their part…you might have done pretty darn well for them.

    I can certainly understand the frustration of using your time for them. You can’t redeem time like you can redeem money…it’s gone now.
    That could have been precious time spend with friends or family.
    sorry again that happened.

    Also, I think it’s great that you guys give two months. At least you give a deadline. Those other guys who didn’t even respond?…OUCH!

  20. Anonymous said:

    I know the established mode is to ask agent “A” (the one making the offer) for some time to reflect and then to give agents B, C and D a chance to finish reading and extend offers of their own. But really, if agent A is “the” one, your dream agent and you are 100% certain you are going to accept, aren’t you just making agents B-D do a lot of reading over a short period of time to no purpose? That seems even more rude than politely withdrawing the MS.

  21. Anonymous said:

    Exactly what I was going to say, Anonymous! I’m assuming the writer emailed other agents as soon as she knew she was certainly going to accept the offer. So why waste more of the other agents’ time?

  22. Nicole Chardenet said:

    One thing you agents could do that might help matters is when you respond to a query letter with a request for a full, *say* that if you accept an offer for the ms from elsewhere, to let you know as soon as possible.

    Yes, I know to do this but not everyone does, and the requests for fulls that I’ve gotten so far are my own query letter sent back to me with a scrawl across the top…”Yes, please send the full! Jane.” Maybe add a few more words on the expectations for the author?

  23. Anonymous said:

    I agree with anonymous at 7:24.

    Agents are people, but so are we. No one likes to waste their time– but that includes us. Before I got an agent, I wasted hours querying agents who never even bothered to respond. (Kristin did respond.)

    One agent asked for a one month exclusive and free copies of my previously published books, and then the month stretched to two months before he finally rejected me. (Sorry, I’m supposed to say he “redirected” me.)

    I agree that if the person received an offer on Friday, s/he should have contacted you on Friday… but I can see how it happened. She probably thought you were ignoring her as so many other agents had done.

  24. Hank said:

    Sorry, I get weary of the “agents are so busy” complaints. Writers are busy too. Most of us have day jobs (at which we too can find ourselves busy) and families and dedicate what little time we have left to writing, querying, etc. Just like some agents can’t seem to take the time to even form-reject a query, or offer non-form comments on a full or partial rejection (not you Kristin, but many many others), maybe some writers don’t have the time to notify every pending agent of offers.

  25. another anon said:

    I have to agree with Anon 7:24 and Barbara.

    Writers are subjected to this all the time. It’s so commonplace I feel silly for even mentioning it. But as a writer you get requests for fulls and agents NEVER respond back (happened twice with the last ms I subbed). You get requests for revisions, which you hop off excitedly to do, and then the agent doesn’t read them for FOUR months (yes, this just happened to me, an A-list agent, too). You research and query and personalize and get a form reject with your name misspelled.

    I’d assume that, as a writer, if you are finally in the position of having a great offer, you might just take it, rather than risk the upheaval of signing with another agent who (possibly) only wants the ms because another agent did.

    (I’m anon because I don’t blog to promote and therefore don’t have a blogger account, not because I’m ashamed of my POV).

  26. Anonymous said:

    None of us know exactly what we would do until it happens to us. So I’ll tell you how it happened to me. I had full MSs out with several agents. One offered. I let the others know I had an offer. A couple said they couldn’t get to it and good luck; the rest said they’d read it over the weekend, and in the end, I had four offers. And I learned more in the ensuing email and phone conversations with those four agents than I had from months and years of research.

    It is NEVER bad for an author to respond to an offer of representation with “thank you; I need a couple days to think about it.” Some agents will respond with time limits (“respond by noon or the offer is withdrawn”) and some will respond generously (“of course, call or email me with any questions”) and that, too, is information that will help you make an informed decision.

    It’s not just politeness. It’s the smartest move for your career. If you’re ever lucky enough to be in this position, make the most of it. It’s not a chance to metaphorically flip the bird to all agents who’ve ever ignored you; it is the most important decision you can make as a writer, so grab it with both hands.

  27. Anonymous said:

    When I was in a similar position last year, seems all the agents suddenly became interested and sped up their reading. (Though it didn’t work out)

    Why does a ms. suddenly become “hot” only if other agents are interested? By now, don’t established agents trust their own tastes and savvy enough to take on a newcomer?

  28. Amy Allgeyer Cook said:

    Signing with an agent is a huge decision. I expect the author took the weekend to decide if s/he wanted to take the offer, then let you know first thing monday morning that s/he did.

  29. Krista V. said:

    Ditto Anonymous 8:15. Politeness aside, it’s just good business to inform other agents of an offer. Because even though you *think* you know who your number one is, all of that might change once you actually talk to him/her (and some of his/her clients).

  30. Wendy Tyler Ryan said:

    Dear Kristin:

    In my search for an agent I have noticed that some state right in their submission guidelines that if they are not interested in your work you will NOT hear back from them. I was wondering what your thoughts on this method are. A standard, yet polite, “no thank you” email is just a click away. I can’t really imagine it messing with their timelines just to say no. From a writer’s standpoint, ths is the worst kind of torture. Because of the length of time it can take to hear back – I don’t want to be wondering what’s going on forever. There is something to be said for “closure” if you will.
    It’s not unlike going to the doctor for an exray, but then never finding out what is wrong with you, if anything at all.

    Just wondering your thoughts on this method.

  31. Marie said:

    Anon 8:50,

    It’s pretty much the same reason a manuscript becomes “hot” if it’s on submission to editors and if one editor offers, other editors will suddenly become interested too. I don’t think it’s really because the professionals don’t trust their own taste. It’s because if one of their colleagues approves of it, chances are good that the manuscript has merit and the other agents become curious. It’s exactly like situations in life where if you see a long line or big crowd somewhere, you feel the urge to see what the commotion is about. 🙂

  32. Ed Bast said:

    It comes down to this.

    Author’s goal: get an agent.
    Agent’s goal: find a good client to represent.

    In this scenario, the author achieved their goal. The agent did not.

    Tell my why the author is in the wrong/should feel bad about this?

  33. Anonymous said:

    I was in that position. I had received interest directly from an editor and queried several agents to find representtion. I let them all know that other agents had the MS. When one made an offer of representation, I gave the others a couple of days to respond. Of those who responded I selected one, and let the others know I’d made my selections immediately. I think it’s just good business.

    With that said, I selected the agent who was most enthusiastic about my project. He read my MS in a VERY timely manner, took the time to call me with feedback, and even patiently waited as I waited for all other responses.

    So, I think that consideration goes both ways. Understanding that agents have other clients and tons of queries, when we let you know that there’s other interest, if you’re really interested in that project, at that point it’s time to step up the game a little bit.

  34. Anonymous said:

    Marie, you’re so right! Notice on “Shark Tank” how the other sharks perk up when their competitors show interest in a biz? Suddenly they all want a piece of the pie. Maybe writers should tell agents others are interested just to get a response! J/K Very frustrating.

    Re: response times: I’ve had requests for partials and fulls WEEKS after sending a query, so how do you know your idea is rejected when agents won’t give a time frame? Worse, they refuse to respond after months of waiting and regular status queries. How do we know if an agent is “BUSY” or not interested? We’re not mind readers!

  35. Loree H said:

    It’s all in a days work for the writer and the agent.

    Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

    The key is to do what Kristin said, “I’ll get off it now and move on.”

    Nuff said.

  36. Anonymous said:

    1. Agents do not get paid until they make a sale. Current clients are the priority. Reading is fit in. Time is their commodity. They can’t always predict exactly how long something will take.
    2. Writers may think they’ve found their dream agent, and find out otherwise as a relationship unfolds. You might be sending out those queries again. Why piss off other agents you might want to work with in the future? How do you know what the agent is like unless you’ve had a chance to work with/know/speak to clients?
    3. Publishing is a small world. If you’re a jerk, in any part of the process, you will become known as a jerk.
    4. The same holds true for agents. If you’re a jerk – if you only become interested when others have shown interest, it gets around.

  37. Anonymous said:

    You know what? That’s the risk you take.

    How many times have you read a full, offered representation, been asked to wait, and then been told the author was going with someone else? Is that wasted time?

    How many times have you read a full and declined representation? Is that wasted time?

    If you think that any situation that doesn’t end with you offering representation and the author accepting is wasted time, then I think there’s a bigger issue than this one author. If you don’t think that’s wasted time, then I would advise you to just accept that you lost this one and move on with your life.

    I feel like you only think you wasted your weekend because you didn’t get a chance to ask the author to pick you. But I’m betting not all authors pick you anyway. I’m betting, in the end, at least a few authors say that they are going to pick someone else, and they tell you this after you read the full and express interest. And this was no different. You read the full, and the author picked someone else. Just because you weren’t part of a competetion or the author’s first choice doesn’t mean that the author did anything wrong.

    Besides, it’s your job to read the manuscripts you request. The author is not obligated to give you weeks or months to get back to him or her. I understand wanting a heads up so you don’t read a manuscript that is no longer available. But maybe it wasn’t unavailable until that morning because the author was still thinking about it, or hadn’t heard back until that morning. And if the other agent was his or her first choice, then there really wasn’t any need to wait for other agents to respond. In this case, you just have to accept that you weren’t number one for this author and that the author went with whomever they felt was the best fit, even if you don’t like it.

    The author waited three weeks for a response from you. I don’t think that’s excessively long to wait for a request for a full. It certainly wasn’t anywhere near months. However, an author’s time is just as valuable as an agent’s. And if this author liked the agent who offered, felt they were a good match, and wanted to work with this agent, why should the author waste his or her time telling everyone who has the manuscript to read fast, and then waste more time waiting to accept an offer he or she already knows they are going to accept?

    Also, ranting about it in this way is just mean-spirited. If the author queried you, he or she probably reads your blog. And if he or she sees this post… Well, it seems to me that it’s meant to criticise them for making a choice that, simply put, you just don’t agree with or like. And it’s in a forum where he or she can’t tell you that you seem a little petty without coming across negatively himself or herself.

  38. Anonymous said:

    Anon 12:32,

    I don’t think it was jerky of this author to make a decision without consulting all the other agents who had the full. If the agent who offered was the one he or she wanted, then I think the author was in the right.

    Also, while it’s true that sometimes a dream agent turns out to be a nightmare agent, sometimes the dream agent turns out to be perfect. I’ve read more than one story where the author accept the first offer, who also happened to be the author’s number one choice, and it worked out wonderfully.

    Ultimately, we really have no idea what the specific circumstances were for this author, who he or she chose, or why he or she chose them. We can say it was a bad decision, but we don’t really KNOW that. For all we know, it is a perfect match.

  39. John said:

    I don’t blame Kristen for ranting about this, but I don’t blame the writer either.

    It boils down to this: Either the writer made a stupid decision by accepting the first offer simply because it was there, or their dream agent offered and they snatched it up.

    In either case, it’s one of the issues that comes with being a lit agent. Sure it’s frustrating, but it’s going to continue to happen.

    I’d say whenever you request a full, specifically ask the writer to inform you if there are others reading the full and/or other offers pending so you’ll know what priority you should give the MS.

  40. Ed Bast said:

    Yeah this post really really bothers me. Agents seem to think they belong on some sort of pedestal: I get flooded with queries all day, I don’t have time to respond to all of them, I can’t afford to read MS’s that I don’t have a shot at, I need 3 months to read a MS, etc. You know what? You ask for queries. Lots of people in lots of industries get lots of emails every day, but we respond to them personally. You don’t ask for exclusives on fulls, you don’t GET an exclusive on a full.

    Agents that are looking for new clients need to accept the rules that frankly they themselves have set forth. Sometimes you spend time on things that don’t come to fruition. So does everybody else at any other job. Agents are not special.

    Bemoaning something like this is like a salesman saying “Oh, but I spend so much time going over my product with this guy, and he didn’t buy anything!” Or a contractor saying, “But I put a lot of time into that bid, and I didn’t get the job!”

    Given the amount of time wannabe writers put into getting published, it’s insulting that we should feel bad for an agent for having to do her job.

    Sorry, rant over.

  41. Anonymous said:

    I’m a buyer’s agent who gets requests to quote/bid for jobs all day, every day.

    About 10% of clients respond after I quote.

    If I don’t hear from them after a day, I follow up. If they tell me they already accepted another quote, that’s fine. That’s how business works.

    If I have a possible $20,000 commission you can sure as hell bet I will be making a follow-up call ASAP.

    I certainly don’t expect the client/prospective client to waste their time contacting me. If I did I’d be without clients and destitute.

  42. Natalie Aguirre said:

    Thanks for the tip. Even without it, if I was ever so lucky to have your agency read my manuscript, I’d let you know if I got an offer. I love so many of the fantasy authors you represent.

  43. Kelly Wittmann said:

    A writer should ALWAYS give ALL the agents who have requested fulls the chance to finish reading and make their cases before choosing which one he is going to go with. To not do so is just rude, in my opinion.

  44. Anonymous said:

    I agree. This post bothers me, too. The agent sounds very petty and seems to think that her time is more valuable than the writers. She is mean-spirited IF her intent in positng this rant was to make the writer feel bad in any way. I believe in the need for agents, and I know Kristen is good agent, but this particular “rant” makes her seem very catty. I wish I hadn’t read it.

  45. Chazley Dotson said:

    That does seem weird. I’d be ticked off, too.

    As for the long waiting time, I think it’s unavoidable. I’m keeping track of number of queries and partial requests and responses on my blog: . And every step seems to take forever, but then again, it’s difficult to be patient with something like this.

    On a side note, do literary agents ever have time to read for fun?

  46. Anonymous said:

    Wow . . . how do ya like them onions?

    I think the case is 50/50. Kristin is entitled to be put out about the time wasted, but we can’t know the writer’s circumstances or situation either.

    But the buyers’ agent above puts it nicely: you can’t afford to be piqued by clients who have negotiated elsewhere and didn’t let you know. That’s show biz!

    Either way, this is a very good post and shows us this agent is not afraid to be honest with us. Always a good thing.

  47. ryan field said:

    “At least give those with a full a chance to respond (and I get that this is completely self-interest on my part but it is my rant after all…). In this case, we only had the submission for 3 weeks.”

    I agree.

  48. Anonymous said:

    The author sent you a message telling you she had another offer. She did the polite thing. The fact that others are saying this author was inconsiderate is ridiculous. If Kristin offered representation and the author said, “Oh, sorry. I accepted an offer already,” that would be incosiderate.

    As someone upthread said, agents rarely notify writers when they’re reading a project. They don’t send messages that say, “By the way, I’m halfway through and loving it. Just thought you’d like to know.” Instead, they send form rejections after six months.

    The author did nothing wrong.

  49. Tori said:

    I’ve heard from other agent blogs that if an offer comes in and the writer accepts it then it is polite to let the other agents know. Isn’t this what the author did? What if the author got a representation from her dream agent? What if she was just really excited? We don’t know why the author accepted, but she did.

    Sorry you didn’t get to finish reading…but wouldn’t you rather the author let you know before you finish reading?

    And I don’t think its rude for an author to accept the first offer they get and let the other agents know. If I was in that position I would probably do the same. Because you never know if the other agents are really interested.

    This post was very interesting Kristen and really got me thinking. When I start submitting my manuscript I’ll keep it in mind. Especially if more than one agent has the full.

  50. Tori said:

    I hope my comment didn’t sound rude. It just seems weird that people are saying an author was being rude when they sent a response. I would think that makes them very considerate. Or am I missing something?

  51. Anonymous said:

    No, Tori, I agree. I don’t see how the author was being rude. The author notified the other agent with the full to let them know she had accepted an offer.

    I see no reason for her to delay accepting the offer so that agents who hadn’t finished reading the manuscript can finish IF she felt the offering agent was 100% in love with her project and felt they could work really well together.

    By emailing/contacting the other agent with the full, she did the right thing, whether or not she was giving the second agent a chance to offer representation.

    The key here is that agents do what is best for their business/client list, and an author must do the same for her projects/books as well. I can’t see how anyone would think that this author has burned a bridge because AGAIN she did notify the agent reading the full that she’d made her decision.

    If she hadn’t notified the other agent and that agent later offered to represent the book, then that’s inappropriate.

    Finally, there’s no stats on this, but I’m sure this is not an unique case.

    As far as wasting of one’s time. Author and agent alike waste time as other blog comments have explained. But I think it’s sad to look at the process as a waste of time because of the hard work that goes into it on both the agent’s and the writer’s side. I respect the work that agents do to get books into the hands of publishers, but agents need to also respect the work that authors do to write/polish books and get them into the hands of agents as well.

  52. Mary McDonald said:

    I know this post is a few days old now, but I just thought of something that hasn’t been mentioned. Maybe because it had been only three weeks, the author figured you hadn’t read her manuscript yet, and was hoping to save you the bother of reading her mss, so she notified you that she had an offer?

    Think about it, we hear so many stories of agents having mss for months, I’d assume that after just three weeks, an agent hadn’t gotten to it yet.