The right agent wants you too

When agents leave/quit, is there a protocol for how they handle people in whom they've expressed interest? I had an agent say she really liked a project of mine, and to let her know before I signed with anyone else. She also asked about a second project, and when I sent her the synospsis she never wrote back. I thought a) if she'd been really interested in either project she would have offered representation instead of waiting to see who else jumped b) either way it was rude for her to not respond at all to the query she requested. I later found out that right around that time she switched agencies, to an agency that had previously rejected me. She didn't notify me of the change. Is this complete lack of interest, or could I have been lost in the shuffle? I ask because I'm at the point where I have a few other offers, and am wondering whether its worth it to drop her a line at the new agency.

Yes, Miss Snark has misplaced a query or two in her day.
Yes, there was great consternation to find out John Grisham could have been warming his toes at the Snark fire if only his query hadn't disappeared under the credenza.

That said, if you've got interest from other agents, I'd follow up with them first.

The one that got away is the stuff of romantic ballads, not flinty eyed professionals like us, right?


Alphabeter said...

You could have had John Grisham? Aside from the money, is it that great a loss? ;)

Seriously, would you want someone who writes a lot of best-selling tripe (not a swipe at Grisham) and therefore gets you a lot for your 10 or 15% or someone who writes occasionally and only sells a few hundred, but is critically-acclaimed and award-winning (and possibly higher profile making you more noticeable)?

A Snarkling in the Boonies

Dave Kuzminski said...

Last I heard, Alphabeter, good gin and stilettos are expensive. You figure it out. ;)

Rick said...

Bestsellers tend to be high-profile! I suspect, though, that what agents dream of is having both - a bestselling author or two to serve as an ATM, so they can afford to take a few risks with other authors.

Anyway, especially since the cultural split between "popular" and "serious" writing developed in the last century, I'm not entirely sure that today's critical acclaim and awards are a good guide to the writing that will last.

Audiate said...

Miss Snark, I'd love to hear your take on one particular part of this person's question:
"I had an agent say she really liked a project of mine, and to let her know before I signed with anyone else."

Is this a normal thing for agents to say? It strikes me as almost... snotty. "I'm interested in you only if other people are." Reminds me of dating, in highschool!