Dear Miss Snark,
Help! I have to choose between three agents. (lucky you!)
About two weeks ago I received a call from Agent A asking if I had signed with anyone yet. She said she wanted to sign me but wanted a colleague to read the book first before offering and promised this would happen quickly. Agent A is a junior agent with a well-known agency and might need to get approval from a superior to sign. I don’t know.
I emailed my top two other agents with fulls to let them know of this development. Agent B had said some nice things about my partial and offered some helpful preliminary thoughts about same. Agent C is a major player in my category and the agent of a friend of mine.
After my email, Agent B read my novel quickly and responded with something that was neither rejection nor offer. She suggested some well-considered changes and made it clear that this wasn’t just a, “Do this and maybe I’ll look at it again,” but rather, “This is close. If you can make these changes to my satisfaction then I think this can fly.”
Yesterday, I received an email from the assistant to Agent C. She has finished my book and wanted to know if I was available to speak by phone on Monday. I figure that nobody calls with bad news.
Here’s the thing. I’ve already put some attention to the rewrites suggested by Agent B. I also feel that she connected with my work and, more importantly, could help me improve my novel. Emotionally, I want to make the changes and I want to sign with her agency.
But I keep thinking that if I turn down a firm offer from A or C that I may as well take up the Nitwit Scepter and crown myself King of Rabbitania. Damn good chance that by the time I complete my rewrites I will have annoyed Agents A&C, and that Agent B will give me a pass anyway.
I await your wise counsel.
This isn't a decision you make based on emotion. Get all your ducks in a row. Talk to Agent C. Talk to Agent A. Make sure Agent B really means "we're almost there". It's ok to be pretty specific about the fact you have three agents interested. This happens all the time on good projects.
An offer in hand is more valuable than an offer down the road.
On the other hand, (cause you knew this wouldn't be simple, right?) an agent who connects with your work, and works with you is a good thing.
Honestly though, I only see this kind of thing from the agent's side. I've never had to juggle three agents (well, there was that one time in the bar in Falmouth, Mass with Miss X, but she swore she'd never tell..).
Let's see what the comments trail kicks up. Contributions anyone? Have you been inundated with offers? How did you decide?