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Anyone have experience with agents?

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message 1: by Marie (new)

Marie D'Abreo (mdabreo) | 8 comments I'm considering self-publishing, even though I sort of have an agent.

I say "sort of" because we never signed a contract and yet at the end of last year we agreed that she would send my graphic novel out to several publishers. Well, 9 months rolled around and I asked for a submission sheet. She emailed back that sure, she'd get me that. Around that time she also gave me good feedback on my new book and showed interest.

But now 2 months has gone by since she promised the submission sheet. I emailed. I called (yesterday in fact). I haven't heard a peep.

Just wondering what the typical agent relationship is like? I know you have to be patient but this all seems rather odd.


message 2: by Jade (new)

Jade Varden (jadevarden) | 2 comments I agree, it does seem odd. You should get something in writing before you give her any more of your stuff. And if you aren't seeing any results from the agent, I say don't wait. You have more than one project, so maybe self-publish one and try going the traditional route with another. You don't want to spend all this time waiting when you could self-publish and potentially make something happen.


message 3: by Lena (new)

Lena | 25 comments You should make sure it is a legit offer. Check around on websites like agentquery.com to make sure. Then maybe let her know you might need to go another way if you don't hear back. If she didn't have you sign anything, you can shop your book to other agents.


message 4: by Marie (new)

Marie D'Abreo (mdabreo) | 8 comments Yes, I'm feeling I can't wait any longer and have been going headlong researching self-publishing. One thing that held me back is quality of product, in terms of printing a graphic novel, and cost for that but I think I'm closer to a solution. In all honesty it's been confidence too. But I'm getting clearer on that! Alternatively, the time it will take to find a new agent rather saps me enthusiasm.


message 5: by Marie (new)

Marie D'Abreo (mdabreo) | 8 comments Lena wrote: "You should make sure it is a legit offer. Check around on websites like agentquery.com to make sure. Then maybe let her know you might need to go another way if you don't hear back. If she didn't h..."

Thanks for that link. Well she's definitely is an agent, but she doesn't appear on that site! I've known her for some time, since she was editor of a press in Berkeley and then she formed a boutique agency... and their site lists all their publications and everything.


message 6: by James (new)

James Bruno (jamesbruno) | 3 comments A contract is de rigeur between established agents and their authors. I've had three agents, all with a contract. If your agent has a good reputation and you have their trust, don't bug them contantly, let them do their job of finding you a publisher.


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Hatch | 13 comments But a good agent would respond more rapidly than that one would think. Marie has not been unreasonable and 2 months is a bit long to wait for a response in any business dealing. I've had other business dealings (not in publishing) but that long a wait generally gets someone fired from my experience. At the least the agent should have communicated "Sorry, running into some troubles" or "Sorry, been swamped" to let their writer know they haven't been brushed under the rug. I would be highly questionable of this agent at this point to say the least.


message 8: by Marie (new)

Marie D'Abreo (mdabreo) | 8 comments Thanks everyone for your input. An update: In September I decided to self-publish and left it off amicably with the agent. This led to 6 months of a great deal of learning about how to get my graphic novel ready for market, and working solidly on recreating the entire book -- for 5 months. It became a much better book. Now I'm actually grateful for all that happened. As it turned out, the publisher reconnected with me -- after seeing my Facebook fan page and asked if I'd like her to send my new version out to publishers. She also explained the reasons why it had been so slow before: partly her own workload/personal situation, and partly my manuscript/dummy needing a lot of editing work. So I'm happy as a clam, continuing my journey with my newly self published graphic novel -- but with the potential of finding a publisher at some point too!


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