Pre-nitwittery questions (ha)

Dr. Miss Snark,

I've got a finished novel, I've queried agents, I've sent out partials and fulls. I've had all the usual ups and downs that go with querying and submitting, and I've got a couple of agents who seem interested in representing my novel. If one of them does take me on, I want to avoid auditioning for the nitwit of the day award, so I thought I'd be a nitwit here instead of in front of someone who I hope to have a long term business relationship with.

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to as a couple of questions.

1). If an agent takes me on, I have a few ideas about publishers which might be good markets for my work. Is it appropriate for me to say to my new agent "You know, I think we should start with Editor A at Publisher X and Editor B at Publisher Y, because they're bought stuff similar to mine in the past," or should I just keep my mouth shut and let my agent get on with it?

2). When agents are submitting work to publishers, are they stuck with the "No simultaneous submissions" rule like us lowly mortals, or can they send work to multiple publishing houses at once?

1. Ask your agent if she wants your ideas. I don't, mostly. Mostly it means I have to explain why a publisher is wrong for your work. I'd rather focus on selling it to the ones who are right.

2. When we send things to one editor it's called a red hot exclusive and they have about 48 hours to read it. We ALWAYS send things to more than one house. It's really hard to build up buzz and get an auction going if you're going one at a time.

1 comment:

Twill said...

Funny -

I would have expected Miss Snark to tell you to turn the statement around into a general question, while you are interviewing the agent:

Which publishers do you think would be most interested in my work?

What do you think about Publisher X? Publisher Y?

Who would you contact over there? Have you sold anything to her (him) yet?

I would expect that you can learn a fair amount about both the market for your work, and about the agent, by asking questions like that.