Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I'm in the fortunate position of having two agent offers for my novel. I know that you were in a similar position, so how did you decide which one to choose? I have phone calls set up with them later this week, but I'm stressed out about the decision! I didn't think I'd ever find myself in this position, and I have no idea what to do.

First of all, congrats!! You're in a very enviable situation, and your book must be a winner. Whoohoo!

Okay, down to business. You've already taken the right steps - namely, but setting up conversations with both of the agents. If you live nearby, you might even suggest that you meet in person - over lunch or in their offices - to get an even better feel for them. When you're on the phone, don't be afraid to ask them questions that will help you make your decision. For example, one of the agents who offered to rep me felt very strongly that TDLF was a trade paperback book. While my current agent (and obviously the offer I accepted!) felt very strongly that it was a hardcover book. And clearly, she was the one I agreed with. Ask them how they plan to shop it around - spread it to a dozen agents or limit it to a few "perfect" matches to begin with; ask them where they see your book falling in the marketplace; ask them how they like to work with authors - filling you in on news when it happens or checking in with you often. Etc. There are numerous other questions that you can (and should) ask...and my guess is that the agents will have different answers and different approaches. The one that falls more in sync with your line of thinking should be the one you sign with, even if the other is a bigger name or someone who you "thought" you should go with. Per my post yesterday, there's no right agent for you until he or she goes to work for you, and you might find yourself surprised to lean one way when you anticipated leaning the other.

The other factor is something far less tangible, and that's one of chemistry. Most authors who have had to choose between two or more agents will tell you that there was just something intrinsic in the way that they clicked with the agent they chose. I know this was certainly true in my case. My agent and I were practically finishing each other's sentences by the end of our phone call...and I knew she was the right one for me.

Good luck whomever you choose!

So readers, ever had to choose between more than one agent? If so, how did you make your decision?

1 comment:

Sara Hantz said...

I had three to choose from and I spoke to two on the phone and one in a detailed series of emails.

My order of preference turned out to be very clear. The agent I went with was the one who I felt worked in a similar way to me, was very professional and had great vision for my current book and also my future.

Time will tell if I made the right decision.... but I'm sure I have!!!