Monday, January 3, 2011

How to Leave Your Agent

I have decided to move on to another agency. Long story short: I have lots of agents who were chomping at the bit to work with my book proposal. I went with one, it didn't work out, a year later I have decided to move on and go with another agent. One agent told me she would need a list of the submissions and responses. I'd like to have that list too, just for my own records.
My current agent told me she'd work on getting that list and it's been 2 months now and still no list. I am sending her one last email requesting it, but I don't know what else I can do! Is this normal? It doesn't seem very professional.

I hope that the first thing you did was to have a conversation with your agent about what is bothering you, to give her a chance to address the problem.

Assuming you did, and things have not gotten better, then it is time to politely tell her that you think there should be a parting of ways. Look at your agency agreement to see if this needs to be done in writing, and in what sort of time frame. Agency agreements can vary quite a bit, so be sure you're following the terms in yours.

Next, stop flirting with other agents until after your current agent knows she's history.  You may not be able to see it, but it's still very possible that she is working on your behalf even as you are making plans to break up with her.  That's not cool.  As soon as you were sure you wanted out, you should have informed your agent.

Regarding the submission info, perhaps there's been some miscommunication?  Ask again, insistently but nicely. If she steadfastly refuses to give you any information about submissions, then... I'm sorry. You can't make her give it to you.  Perhaps she never sent it out at all.  But perhaps if she understood that you want that info because you are leaving her, she would understand why you need it, now.

If not, that is a shame.  Sometimes as hard as you try to be friendly and professional and to act with grace and courtesy, others will not.  Your next agent will just have to be willing to pick up the pieces.

3 comments:

Kimberly Lynn said...

That totally stinks, but I get it. I guess authors need to have this provision in future contracts.

So happy to see you back, Editorial Anonymous. The internet has been void without you!

kinda proposals here said...

Yeah, that one could have been a little lighter I suppose!

http://www.paperwritings.com/ said...

I think there are some simple ways to leave agent.