Big news!! Redbook, which has a circulation of nearly three million and up to about nine million eyeballs (meaning, that's how many people actually read the magazine each month), just selected The Department of Lost and Found as its May Book Club Pick of the Month!!!!!! I am beside myself with excitement. They'll print an excerpt of the book in the magazine and conduct a Q/A with me on their website. This is such a thrill and an honor, and my whole team at Harper is elated. So I had to share! Okay, down to business:
Question of the day: Allison, is it OK to look for an agent while you're already under contract? Or should you fire Agent A first, and then look for Agent B?
Ooh, juicy question. And, depending on whom you ask, one with more than one answer.
Most agents, including Miss Snark, will tell you that you're obligated to let Agent A know that you're movin' on before setting out on a hunt for Agent B. Fair play, and all of that. Not to mention that you do run into the problem that Agent B might know Agent A, and might know that you're repped by Agent A, in which case, you'll be looking for Agent C, D, or E.
That said, it's terrifying to leave a sure thing for an unknown, so I do think that a lot of repped writers very quietly begin their agent hunt before giving notice. Now. I'm not entirely sure how you word this in your query letter, and perhaps some wise readers can suggest how they would go about this. Or if you should go about this at all. In my case, Agent A and I mutually decided to part ways, so I never had an overlap. But if she had dragged out the situation much longer, it's entirely possible that I might have jumped on the agent go-around before being officially released.
The bottom line is that this is a really sticky situation. So readers...help out this person out. What would you do?