Miss Snark clones herself

Greetings, Miss Snarkliness (and the gin pail):

This may be a ridiculous question, but...WHY do you need to give up one agent if you write a book they don't "do" and find another agent? Why can't you just have one agent for each genre that you write in? I mean, does it make paying you more difficult? Is it hard to avoid stepping on people's toes?

If you write nonfiction books about gardening and science fiction novels, the chances of them going across the same editor's desk are practically nil, right? And
even if they do, what's wrong with that?

Lots of questions but they all boil down to one simple-ish idea: why is having more than one agent at a time a Bad Idea?

It's not a bad idea if you are doing such two disparate fields but most agents aren't too keen on it. Me included. Here's why. I like to know what you're up to. I don't want to conjure up a fabu deal only to find out you've just signed on to be the next Martha Stewart at HGTV.

Plus there is the whole "next book" thing.

Plus you'd be hard pressed to generate enough income to make you worth your spot on the sofa if we're only doing some of your books.

Plus, did I mention I don't work and play well with others.

There's no law against this, and I would imagine there are people who do this but it is the exception to the rule, and I'm not exceptional.


magz said...

muwah-ha-ha! Bet when you were still a precocious little Snarkette you probably also Ran With Scissors and Pouted at Naptime...

domynoe said...

So, if I write something outside my agent's usual genres, would s/he then try to take it on for me to avoid having me scattered across agents? Considering the book wouldn't be in the agent's area of expertise, does it hurt that chances for the book to sell?

Or, would the agent take one look and say, "I can't market this! Go find someone else!"?

Sherry Decker said...

I wish I had such problems as needing two or three agents to represent my genius! I have enough trouble remembering to not simul-sub.