Author Topic: A weird little angsty thing  (Read 1804 times)

Offline Tabris

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A weird little angsty thing
« on: June 10, 2010, 07:08:25 PM »
So... if you were a literary agent and your brand-new client just got a contract from a small press on a novella, and you hadn't sold the novella and your agency contract excludes novellas anyhow, would it be legit for the author to ask you to review it?

Would it be legit for the agent to accept a cash payment for reviewing the contract in lieu of royalties, since the agency agreement would exclude the agent from accepting royalties from a novella-length work anyhow?

Is Tabris overthinking this?

(No, I haven't signed with an agent yet, but it'll most likely happen next week, and I don't know how to approach this because it's a nonstandard situation. I cannot imagine an agent would be happy about a client who signed something a week before she became a client, after an offer was on the table, without consulting the agent. But I'm sure as heck not consulting an agent who isn't yet my agent.)

Offline Magic_Seeker

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 07:14:21 PM »
Hmmmm.  I'd just say it had been in the works for a while, but they finally got the contract to you.  It might well be a month or two, if they move at the same speed as most publishers.

I don't think it would hurt to ask.  Or you can bypass the issue and use the paralegal type someone mentioned earlier (I thought it was you?), and let her review it.

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Offline Tabris

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 07:21:28 PM »
I could definitely send this contract to the woman I consulted before. I'm trying to look at it from the agent's perspective as to whether this would be an annoyance if I asked, or very disturbing to her if I didn't.

But I've realized as I type that, that I'm overfunctioning. I don't need to do the agent's job or feel the agent's feelings for her. :-)  What I need to do is mention it the next time I email her, and let her respond however she wants.

(And the chorus sang, in three-part harmony, "DUH!"   :v:

Offline bodwen

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 07:30:16 PM »
So... if you were a literary agent and your brand-new client just got a contract from a small press on a novella, and you hadn't sold the novella and your agency contract excludes novellas anyhow, would it be legit for the author to ask you to review it?

Good question.  Guys?

Quote
Would it be legit for the agent to accept a cash payment for reviewing the contract in lieu of royalties, since the agency agreement would exclude the agent from accepting royalties from a novella-length work anyhow?

I doubt it.  Agents aren't supposed to take cash under the table from their authors for extracurricular activity.  I believe that might get them into hot water with the AAR and P&E

Quote

Is Tabris overthinking this?

I don't think so.

Offline Tabris

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 07:34:02 PM »
it's not cash under the table, is it?  I wouldn't want to suggest anything illegal or damaging to the agent. :-b  That would stink.

The contract is fairly straightforward and about 5 pages long in 12 point type, so we're not talking anything huge. I reviewed it myself, but I figure an agent or an independent reviewer would know what she's actually doing.

If I were to send belgian chocolates as a thank you, surely AAR would have no issue with that.


Offline bodwen

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 07:44:53 PM »
If I were a agent, I'd be be nervous about anything that might be construed as a fee, since fee-charging agents have to wear the scarlet letters on P&E. 

Gifts are great.  She might take a look out of the goodness of her heart, and you might send her a token of your appreciation.  But it should be impromptu and not quid-pro-quo.   :up:

Offline Tabris

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 07:58:50 PM »
I sent belgian chocolate to my ex-agent when I signed with him. It arrived the same day as the contract, and also coincidentally on his wife's birthday, so he said they enjoyed that. LOL!  I'll probably send the same to whomever I sign with next time.

I guess I didn't see "please review this contract which has nothing to do with you" as a fee-charging event. But you're right. Hmm.

Offline Jessica V.

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Re: A weird little angsty thing
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 08:33:50 PM »
I think you answered yourself perfectly! When you sign with an agent, simply mention it to them and ask if they'd be willing to/want to look at it.
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