Monday, September 3, 2012

Insights into Editing: A Conversation with Carin Siegfried Part VII

In this seventh part of CarinSiegfried’s series of posts, Carin explains what authors should do when they get an offer of representation.    

Carol: What questions should a writer ask when she gets “The Call” from the agent?

Carin: Find out the agent’s standard agenting terms. (15% is standard for book sales). Specifically,  ask about:

1. The agent’s style (editing strengths, etc). How many revisions do they anticipate before going out, do they have revision ideas

2. Who are they thinking of submitting your book to

3. Who else do they represent? What have they sold recently?
     Keep in mind that a reasonable minimum standard is the AARs’ requirement for new members is at least 10 sales within the past 18 months

     A young or new agent isn’t a bad thing at all – in fact older, more established agents are often not taking on new clients, and similarly their publishing contacts (older, established editors) aren’t either, whereas a hungry, eager agent who knows hungry, eager editors can be perfect. In addition, ask:
     4. How often do they meet with New York city editors if they’re not located in NYC?
     5. Who represents their interests abroad/in Hollywood?

Carol: Is there anything else an author should do?

Carin: When you get an offer, email everyone else you have a query out with and let them know.  Tell the first agent you appreciate it and need a week or two to think things over.  Let the other agents know your time frame and that you need to hear back from them ASAP.

In Carin’s last post, she will discuss when you should look for in an independent editor and how to find one.

Here are the links to the previous posts:
  • Part I: Carin's insights into the different types of editing. 
  • Part II: Common editorial problems
  • Part III: More editorial problems. 
  • Part IV: Show, Don't Tell
  • Part V: Can you over-describe?
  • Part VI: Why do you need an agent?

As informative as these posts have been, it is also fun to consider the humorous side of the writing/publishing/agenting process.  Nathan Bransford's creative blog post provides just that. 


Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Once again, super helpful! And well timed.

Thank you, Carin and Carol.

Linda A. said...

Your writing class and your blog readers are fortunate to have this series from Carin and you.

Thank you both!

Carol Baldwin said...

Joyce and Linda,
Yes, my class was very fortunate to have Carin, and I appreciate that I could share her comments with you!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Very helpful post. Thanks for such good tips. Carol, thanks for inviting her to share these.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Elizabeth!

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