Sudden Exclusives

Miss Snark,

Is Killer Yapp available to give an attitude adjustment to agents who tell you late in the game they want an exclusive?

I am following The Gospel of Snark and querying widely while researching my target agents. That means googling them, checking out any websites they have, etc., etc.

Two of my latest batch of queries came back with a, "I'd be pleased to review ..." followed by those evil words, "on an exclusive basis."

Believe me, neither of their websites had so much as a word about exclusives at any point in the game. I purposefully steered away from agents who very kindly put on their website that they would require an exclusive at some point in the review process.

To both of these agents, I've had to send an awkward, "thanks, but --er -- ahem --" I feel like a nitwit, and furthermore, they make me feel a bit like I've wasted their time.

So am I? A nitwit, I mean? And have I wasted their time? Or have they wasted MINE?

Oh and while you're at it, send cash.
This stinks.
Tell them to clean up their act.
You can quote me.

Here's the thing: there are Black Mondays after I've read three novels in a weekend and called the authors to see if they are people I can stand, only to be told "oh yea, I signed with Trixie Belden last week and just didn't get around to telling you yet".

Did I want to scream? Well frankly yes.

Did I rethink exclusives? Well, yes.
Did I actually DO exclusives? well, no, cause they still stink.

It's up to you. If you want to give them two weeks, ok. Absolutely nothing longer than that. If someone wants to tie up your work they HAVE to give it priority. If they don't understand that, well, that tells you something.

In our defense, I gotta say, I haven't looked at my website in months and for all I know it could say "submit your work in Sanskrit" cause some tricky bugger hacked into it and drew a mustache on Killer Yapp's snout while tinkering with the submission requirements. This sudden exclusive thing could be temporary, or only for one agent in the firm, or just a change in how s/he wants to do things for awhile.

No one is a nitwit...yet.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Miss Snark! I couldn't give them the exclusive they asked for, b/c my full was already on two other agents' desks, thus the "er -- ahem" letter to them.

After I'd e-mailed you, the "exclusive" agents replied back to me. One response was best wishes, and the other was "send it in anyway," so who knows? I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have a decision to make in the future.

And if you were a Trixie Belden fan in your mis-spent youth, well ... gleepers, Miss Snark, you're the BEST!

Oh ... and tell Killer Yapp to have a dogbone from the finest NYC restaurant on me!

Dave Kuzminski said...

Priority in exchange for exclusives! Great idea. I'm going to add that to the criteria for gaining a recommendation from Preditors & Editors.

Anonymous said...

Get outside the world of Courier and Times new Roman, and you are asking for trouble from a lot of folks, no matter how generous Miss Snark may be.

And Courier used to be preferred, but now seems to be viewed as a Granny font except by screenwriters.

TNR doesn't look so cramped if you double space after periods. My TNR doesn't save pages. I use margins (and double spaces after periods) so that the words per page approximate Courier. Result: pages fly by, yet it doesn't look as if you typed it up on a Remington portable.