Hello Ms. Snark.
How is the best way for a writer to handle two or more agents offering representation? Each one knows the material was not an exclusive.
then this one:
After about a 100 rejections and a horrible first agent experience, I find myself in the unenviable possition to have to chose between two great-sounding agents.
One was a recommendation from a writer-friend who's known her for as long as she's been in the business (over 20 years) and thought we'd be a good match. The other is one of my last top picks (she's been in the business about 3 years, is probably around my age or a bit younger, and has a nice sales track record).
I've talked to both on the phone and seen their agency contracts. I like what I hear from both of them. I've even got emails out to a few clients on both sides and a list of recent sales. How can I figure out how to tip the scales one way or another?
I've asked my gut but it's not answering.
The first thing you make sure to do is exactly what Questioner 2 did: ask clients about their experience, talk to each agent on the phone, take a look at the contract.
But all things being equal here's what I think:
1. A list of sales to a wide variety of publishers. Some agents have their "usual suspects" and they sell repeatedly to the same houses. Not a problem at all, but all things being equal I'd want an agent who sells to and respects small houses as well.
2. A list of books that have done well. Not just sales but books that have done well.
3. The agent that gets back to you most quickly.
4. Books that have film deals and solid sub rights records.
5. In NYC rather than not.
And before everyone gets hot under the collar and fires off an angry comment/email/carrier pigeon let's all remember VERY good agents live outside NYC, and take a while to respond, and only sell to five houses in a given year. This list is simply what I would look at "all other things being equal".