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Author Topic: Should I contact editor after splitting with agent?  (Read 5283 times)
Spat
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« on: May 06, 2017, 11:05:06 PM »

All right. Buckle in for my convoluted situation. Last summer, an editor who often has Twitter exchanges with me, tweeted about wanting a certain book. I tweeted back that I have such a book. They asked me to ask my agent to send it (as this editor is with an agent-only submission imprint). Agent said they did this in August. At the same time, my friend's agent also submitted her book to this editor. Editor gave her an R&R by Sept.

I decided that I wanted to part ways with agent for many reasons in Dec. When I made the call, after a preliminary let's have the talk email to prepare agent, agent only at that time told me this editor took my ms to second reads. Crap. Fine. I couldn't part ways just yet then. But part of me was suspicious that agent brought this up when I wanted to split. As per agent's poor communication, I never had an idea of what went out, to whom, etc. No list, no forwarded emails or responses, etc.

Now, nine months after submission and over five months after the second reads mention and post-split, I still do not know if that ms actually went to second reads as supposedly neither an offer nor a pass came by. I don't think, have never heard of, second reads taking nearly six months. Have you?

My question is this: Since editor and I still communicate on Twitter, is it okay if I DM editor and ask if my ms is actually STILL at second reads and explain that I'd parted with agent and never heard a yes or no from the editor. I know this is not professional or usually advised, but it would be a private DM and on an ms that editor specifically, personally asked me to submit.

Advise? And yes, I've asked former agent several times for a sub list, what's going on with this ms, even after the split, but my emails (surprise) went unanswered, just like my phone calls.
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Tabris
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 08:22:41 AM »

Contact the editor. Say, "As {agent} and I no longer have a contract between us, please direct all correspondence about {Manuscript} to me. {Agent} said you were in contact with her about the manuscript being in second reads in December and February."

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Spat
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 01:29:34 PM »

Thanks for your advice. Well, I can't actually tell editor to direct correspondence only to me, since this Big Five requires an agent AND agent would make the deal, get paid for it because their name is on the submission.

BUT...yikes!  sad I took the plunge and DMd the editor. It's truly frustrating, but I just need to know. In the case that agent hadn't fibbed, then I will definitely feel like a giant a$$ and probably editor will be wary of me. But I did it.  Cry Cry Cry  no no
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Tabris
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 02:50:04 PM »

A lot of Big 5 say they won't deal directly with the author, but if they want that book, they WILL deal directly with you.
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Tabris
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 06:26:12 AM »

BTW, it occurred to me last night that if your agent really is a total flake or is pissed off at you, if the editor were to contact her about your book, the agent might scuttle it or not pass it along to you. Even if the agent has to be included on its commissions, you don't want that agent in between you and the editor. If you're offered a contract, pay an IP attorney and have the attorney do the negotiations. And make sure the publisher cuts separate checks for you and the agent so the agent can't hold your money for even a minute.
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 02:39:16 PM »

Everything Tabris said.

Super good luck and let us know how it goes! I'm crossing my fingers for you
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Spat
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 10:48:24 AM »

Thanks everyone. Editor replied and was very nice, saying that they will look at their notes and see if there was anything helpful to pass along to me. THIS to me sounds like the project had been rejected at some point and former agent either never knew or never said (99% more likely).
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 09:19:53 AM »

Well, it sounds like your communication was pretty much nothing by the end of things, so yeah it was probably a pass and your agent didn't specifically pass that information on to you.

At least now you know!
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Spat
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 11:20:45 AM »

Yeah. I assumed this to be the case, but it's a relief to know for sure. What's messed up, I specifically asked former agent EVERY time we managed to have a phone conversation where this ms was at, how long could second reads possibly take, etc., etc. But, I'm glad the editor is still very nice and my highly complimentary perception of editor is still in tact. Would still love to work that imprint one day.
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Tabris
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 07:03:56 PM »

And that agent's bridges with that editor are probably burnt to a crisp right now because the editor knows the agent wasn't being truthful/transparent with you. So if that agent happened to want to work with that imprint in the future, too bad, so sad.
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Spat
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 02:06:30 PM »

I just wanted to mention here that sidelining your agent and going straight to the editor for answers is unprofessional. However, as you know in my case, agent is ex-agent and we left things burning, AND I'd already had plenty of contact with editor and made the initial contact that resulted in their interest in my book. Well, this editor confirmed it was a pass a long time ago, which ex-agent has to this freaking day not mentioned it to me. UGH.

Good news: editor has moved on to another BIG 5 pub and although their imprint is agent-only, editor has so kindly asked me if I want to be considered at the new place.

My reaction?:  Dancing Banana cool dance happy

I don't expect anything to come of this, but wouldn't it be nice? The fact that the editor has asked me this question alone has restored my faith in publishing.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 02:08:27 PM by Spat » Logged
skribbler
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 06:02:52 PM »

That's pretty amazing, Spat! It means that while the pass may have been the publisher's, the editor involved probably liked it. It just didn't clear all the hurdles at the house. There may be a likelier explanation, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

Imagine if you hadn't inquired directly!
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Sarah Ahiers (Falen)
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 10:42:02 AM »

That's awesome!

I'll cross my fingers for you!
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mgmystery
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 07:32:46 AM »

Fantastic news, Spat! Good luck  Smiley
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