Dear Miss Snark,
I noticed a post recently by a published author who cautioned against accepting just any offer of representation. Given the necessarily subjective nature of agents‚ tastes, though, why wouldn't an unpublished writer accept the first offer of representation from her list of (legitimate, reputable) agents she queried? Assuming an agent expressed sufficient enthusiasm for my manuscript, she would have to make some pretty bizarre statements in that initial conversation for me to decline without any other offers in the wings.
Thank you for considering this question.
Well....there's an amazing amount of stuff you find out after you read the manuscript and talk to the author on the phone. I've gotten all the way to the phone call stage and pulled back. I assume writers are the same. It's entirely possible the agent is not a good fit. Miss Snark, famously distant, cruel and cold to all and sundry, is not a good match for a client who wants to be involved in every part of the process (please don't write to tell me I'm a lousy agent cause I can't stand this...just find an agent who does).
And maybe after reading the book the agent has a vision that you think is ..well...nutso.
I offered a contract to a guy who didn't like what it said and rewrote it for me. Thankfully he realized we were not a good match and pulled the plug before I did, but I would have too.
There are lots of reasons to sign on the dotted line. And more than one or two not to.