Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cool News of the Week and Switching Out Agents

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?

9 comments:

Tricia said...

Congrats on the Redbook score! Awesome news, A!

Really pumped for you. What a worthy book.

Jess Riley said...

I'm afraid I'm not seasoned enough to weigh in on your question, but I think you answered it tactfully and thoroughly.

To the other news: way to go on the Redbook excerpt!! Your book is going to do fantastically. :)

Larramie said...

Oh, Allison, I need to come up with a new way of saying Congratulations! And Redbook putting an excerpt online is sooo cool.

Anonymous said...

Congrats and I think your advice is good. I know with my agent I had a project she didn't want to rep and she said up front if I wanted to find another agent to rep it that was fine with her even if it meant ultimately losing me as a client. Sort of a different situation but....there you go.

Rob Brooks said...

Congratulations on the Redbook book club. That's really great for you.

On the issue of the agents--and this is not something that I have experience with at all--I would say that if Agent A is not currently soliticing a project of yours, you could go ahead and look around. If they're trying to sell a book for you, though, I'd have to say give them fair warning.

Eileen said...

OMG! The Redbook news is fantastic. I smell bestseller list....

kate said...

Allison, this is wonderful news! Congratulations!

Linda said...

Allison, congrats on Redbook! That's fabulous.

So does 9 million eyeballs mean 4.5 million people using two eyeballs apiece, or 9 million people using only one eyeball each? ;->

Allison Winn Scotch said...

LOL, Linda! My husband made the same comment.