1.15.2006

Forwarded agents

Dear Miss Snark,

I have my full manuscript out with Ms. Agent, who was at Agency A when I first queried her and sent her the full at her request. I noticed today while looking up information on Agency B that Ms. Agent has just left Agency A and now works for Agency B.

When inquiring about the status of my manuscript, am I correct in assuming that I contact Ms. Agent at Agency B now--with all of my necessary information to remind her of who I am and what dates we communicated--rather than contacting someone else at Agency A?

This may be
a nitwit question, but I wanted to make sure before I made a faux pas that I do indeed follow the original agent to whom I queried and not the original agency itself. If an agent leaves an agency, do they take along the manuscripts they've requested?

Thank you in advance, fabulous Miss Snark!


Ok, some confusion reigns here cause you may not know if the agent is the employee of an agency or an owner. Take Paige Wheeler for example. Her agency was NOT called "Paige Wheeler Agency" so you might think she "worked there". She didn't. She owned it. Lock stock and fixtures. Recently she teamed up with two other agents to form a new agency, and she is in fact one of the owners. The new agency is also not called Wheeler, Dealer and Fabulous, so you would not know she's an owner unless you know.

You bet she took all her queries and clients with her.

Now, other agents who are employees DO move around and as often as not, DO take their queries with them. There's no way to know this without asking. It's ok to ask. It's not a nitwit question, and no reasonable agent is going to be annoyed with you for following up on this kind of change. And yes, you follow up first with the person who is looking at your work. S/he'll tell you if s/he took her queries/submissions/clients with her to the new agency. It may take her a while to get back to you; transitions are insane times with lots of urgent stuff to deal with so email her and give her two weeks. Then email again.

8 comments:

Existential Man said...

"Lock stock and fixtures." Not to be too snarky but this is a good example of the old eats shoots and leaves thing. It should be: "lock, stock, and barrel."

(although I'll grant you that "fixtures" are more up to date than "barrels," which probably can only be found in grain warehouses or feed stores.)

Miss Snark said...

Actually it was lox stocks, cause yanno, all good agents keep a nosh handy.

Lock, stock, and barrel refers to pieces of a gun.

so Shoot me as I eat my lox and leave.

Anonymous said...

This situation can really be confusing from the writer's end--especially if you don't happen to know that the agent has left, but has NOT taken your query or partial or manuscript.

In such a case, you may get a rejection from someone at the original agency. If the rejection is unsigned, you may think that the agent in question rejected you. If signed by someone other than the agent you queried, you may assume that she passed on your submission, but handed it on to someone else.

Or, in some cases, you may hear nothing at all. I once (after four months) sent a gentle 'did you ever get my partial you requested?' e-mail to an agent, only to have it bounced by the agency with a "Ms. X no longer works here."

When I tracked down Ms. X, who had hung out her own shingle, she was very glad to hear from me, as she was busy trying to build her new author list. So your situation can be good news.

Existential Man said...

So, i guess this pretty much answers the question all good snarklings have been pondering: "When Miss Snark brazenly stalks Clooney, why isn't she ever afraid she'll end up in jail?"

Answer: Because she eats lox!

Sal said...

Take Paige Wheeler for example. Her agency was NOT called "Paige Wheeler Agency" so you might think she "worked there". She didn't. She owned it. Lock stock and fixtures. Recently she teamed up with two other agents to form a new agency, and she is in fact one of the owners. The new agency is also not called Wheeler, Dealer and Fabulous, so you would not know she's an owner unless you know.

Scott Hoffman (PMA Literary & Film Management, Inc.), Jeff Kleinman (Graybill & English) and Paige Wheeler (Creative Media Agency) have teamed up at Folio Literary Management, LLC.

They've got a Web site up, but no specifics as to clients or submission guidelines.

... and wouldn't you know it? Dave Kuzminski's already updated all the particulars for the principals at Preditors & Editors. I'm sure he'll have a link to the agency site before the sun goes down.

(I'd read about it a zillion places. Boy, does word travel fast.)

Miss Snark said...

Ex Man, Miss Snark is a vegetarian. Mostly.

S.N. said...

Thank you, Miss Snark!

Anonymous said...

I had something similar happen to me. I queried a particular agent at a particular agency. She wasn't the president, she was one of the assistant agents. I targeted her in particular because of what she represented AND because she was going to be at an upcoming conference I was attending.

Shortly thereafter, I got a request for a partial from the president of the agency, not the agent I queried. Thinking the first agent passed my query on, I sent my partial to the second agent. It was later rejected.

Later I discovered that the agent I'd initially queried left said agency and opened her own. Since my rejection came from a different agent, I took a chance and emailed her explaining the situation and telling her she was the one I really wanted to query, not the other agent.

It turns she didn't pass my query on, she never got it at all. She has since asked for and read my partial and now has asked for the full. I never would have had this opportunity if I hadn't emailed her after her move.

I met her at the conference and we had a great time chatting together.