re: Dare I Tell an Agent to Hold That Offer?

in Submissions by

Dear Editor…

If you send your manuscript to several agents and one offers you representation, what’s the best response? Is there an appropriate time frame to ask for so you can hear from the others?

Thanks,
Linda

Dear Linda…

Multiple submission is the game these days, and agents know it. Whether the offer comes via email or phone, convey your excitement about the opportunity to work together then say you’ve multiply submitted and would like a week or so to respectfully notify the other agents before you accept any offer. That’s professional, and a fellow professional will respect it. Authors are emotionally invested in their work and can lose sight of representation being a business partnership. It’s O.K. to be thoughtful about inking a deal. In your email subject line to the other agents, write “Submission follow-up: representation offer received.” That may prompt them to review your submission. I just watched this play out for a writer and all agents were responsive and gracious. If you get a preferable offer, tell the first agent that you received another offer and that the decision was hard but you’ve finally made the call to go with the other agent. Everyone has been respected in this exchange, and you’ve honored your career in the process.

Happy writing!
The Editor

4 Comments

  1. Great advice! I wrote all the agents who hadn’t responded yet and told them of the offer. I gave them two weeks, but the first agent was so persistent and enthused, I decided to go with her after 10 days.

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