Second Shot At the Marketplace

Dear Ms. Snark:
A well known agent sent out my novel to 6 "A-list" editors in late 2002, then did nothing more for a year. At that point I severed the relationship. Now, 3.5 years later, I'm starting the agent hunt again. The manuscript has been tweaked but remains substantially the same. Would you take on a manuscript with that history? Would you dump a client that lied about the submission past if the truth came out?
Your take/advice? Thank you.

I might take it on if I loved it so much I just had to have it. That doesn't happen often. However, six turn downs is nuttin' in this biz, and I'll bet you dog biscuits to bones that half those editors are gone or doing different things.

If you failed to tell me about this, and I found out when an editor said "oh yea we rejected this three years ago" I'd be very very angry. Like everyone else, I don't like being sandbagged, and this would qualify as that. And yes, I would fire you as a client because this kind of chicanary says you are willing to let me look like an idiot and try to get away with stuff if you can. I don't need to hear the Clue Gong to know that is bad bad bad.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you find out who those editors were (if you don't know already) and just be honest and upfront with the agents you approach?

Anonymous said...

What if the manuscript was only shown to small presses by the author and then, over a four-year period, was SUBSTANTIALLY revised (twice its former size, countless thematic changes)?

Should I tell my agent that the book used to be smaller, inferior, and was read by a few interns?

Eileen said...

I'm doing an article on finding an agent and as a part of this I am asking agents why they would or wouldn't take on a new client outside of the writing. Based on who I've heard back from so far- liars are not so popular. This is one relationship where honesty pays.