Author Topic: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?  (Read 471 times)

Offline mindym

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PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« on: January 29, 2021, 08:08:25 AM »
Hello!

Was hoping to get some advice here because I don't know any writers IRL  :(.

I just got an offer of rep from Namrata Anirudh at the Glass Slipper Agency. The actual agent representing me will be Nish Amarnath, who is a new writer-turned-agent based in New York, who I have a call with next week.

Some things I like: they told me they have a contact at one of the Big 4 who is looking for manuscripts just like mine. Subs will be in batches of 10, we reviewed the contract and it sounds pretty standard. They also have a presence all around the globe.

Things I'm not sure about: They wouldn't tell me anything specific about the number of clients or book deals, only that they have a "few" deals they've signed that should be announced soon. They're a newer agency, I guess, so I'm not sure they should or would have many deals. They also told me that I couldn't speak to any of their clients because it's against European law (or getting details about number of clients, I guess), even if they were sent my contact info first and given the option to contact me.

I'm tempted (and have gotten advice) to reject this offer as it sounds a little sketchy and the agency sounds a little too-new (and lacking experience). I also felt they were being a little pushy with the deadline (I have 2 weeks to respond, because they have an editor call in 3 weeks they want to try to pitch my manuscript in). However, this is my first ever offer of rep (been querying ~11 years) and I don't want to squander an opportunity or be too choosy...

Also, should I prompt the other agents who have my full/partial if I don't think I'm going to accept this deal? I don't want them to step aside because they think I have a deal, when in fact I'm considering declining this one...

Any advice is appreciated, please and thank you!!!

Offline MegTravelz

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 08:55:46 AM »
Hi Mindym,

First off, congrats on an offer of rep! That's exciting. While reading this though, I see several red flags, and my overall advice is *run*;

1. The whole 'it's against the law to give contacts' sounds incredibly fishy. Like... it's VERY standard for agents to let prospective clients talk to one or two of the authors they currently rep. It's not against the law for the agent to give your email info to a current client, and ask them to reach out to you if willing.

2. The two week offer deadline is pretty standard. What IS strange is that they'd want to pitch to editors right away. What about revisions? 99% of the time when an agent acquires a manuscript, there are going to be edits the agent and author will work on together before going on submission. That's a given. The edits might last a month, the edits might take a year. But acquiring and then immediately submitting to editors seems REALLY red flag-ish to me. I'm sure your manuscript is great, but no matter how good a manuscript is, an agent should have a vision for how to strengthen it even further.

2.1 Also, did they say who they wanted to pitch it to, or which houses they are envisioning? That should be something they are up front about. There should be no secrets there-- this is YOUR manuscript, and if they are wanting to pitch to houses you don't agree with, you have the right to know that up front. If they are being vague about names, or refusing to name the houses, that's another red flag.

3. As people said on the other thread you posted in, it's concerning that this agent/agency is new. New agencies are usually "safe" if they've been started by an agent who has been an agent for a longggg time, and built up a reputation with a credible house. People with no track record of agenting starting their own agencies means it's going to be hard to get publishing contacts. (besides also, you know, knowing how to be an agent, which is a complex job!)

To answer your last question, if you're thinking about declining this offer, I would not notify the others who have your fulls. I think your gut is right, that it would most likely result in step-asides. (or not, I could be wrong! Also, that's exciting!! You have multiple fulls out-- that's not nothing. You will find someone who clicks with your material eventually).

Best of luck!! Please let us know how it goes.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 09:10:38 AM by MegTravelz »

Offline mindym

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2021, 10:09:25 AM »
That's great advice, thank you! Those are good points about the timeline for pitching/edits and the fact that they actually refused to name the publishing house when I asked. She initially said "a major publisher in Canada" and I asked which one, since I wasn't sure who would count as a "major" local publisher. She then said Big 4, but told me that she couldn't tell me which because that was a breach of contract.

I think I probably will just bite the bullet and decline this, even though it stings to go back into the query trenches. Thanks!

Offline Viddiest

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 05:09:35 PM »
There do seem to be a lot of red flags with this agency. I can't even get to the agency website, and they have a very unprofessional facebook page. However, the author you mentioned, Nish,  seems legit enough. You could always take a call with her and say no after?

I am sad for you that this offer is not turning out great. I hope you land the agent of your dreams soon.

Offline jcwrites

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 06:14:52 PM »
I just paged through their website and came across this excerpt:

GET A FREE QUOTE

We provide affordable and high-quality editorial and career development solutions.

Free quote?... Affordable solutions?...

Run.  Run away fast.


Offline mindym

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2021, 06:22:23 PM »
Thanks, everyone. I think the cinchers for me were the inconsistencies during the conversation, the secrecy re:clients/deals/publishers, the relative pushiness, and -- as I remembered afterwards -- the fact that the person I spoke to had not even read my whole manuscript in its entirety. I just sent an email thanking them for their offer, but declining it.

I'm not alerting the other agents; I want them to give my manuscript a fair chance. Back to the query trenches I go!!!

Offline MegTravelz

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2021, 08:35:36 PM »
They hadn't even read the whole manuscript?! Oh wow, yeah, huge flag.

Declining must be tough, but it really sounds like you're doing your career a favor in the long run. Hoping for the best of future luck for you!

Offline Tabris

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Re: PLEASE HELP, SHORT DEADLINE!!! Should I accept this deal?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 10:31:02 AM »
I had an agent who didn't read the whole manuscript before offering. I didn't find that out until later on, when he was uncertain why he was getting rejected, and i was asking questions about whether certain story elements were to blame. That agent was coming from 99% nonfiction sales and went on the assumption that you don't have to read the full manuscript before offering.

Two weeks is standard, but wth is that deal with, "We have an editor call in three weeks and want to pitch it then"? Like, they ONLY call editors at certain times? I thought the idea was they maintained ongoing relationships with editors and the door was always open.

Good luck on future subs. THe manuscript was good enough to get one offer, and surely other agents will see that too.