Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Offer Is In, and the Clock Starts Ticking

A few months ago, I subbed a PB manuscript to a half dozen publishers. An assistant editor at one of the publishers contacted me to let me know they may be interested (she's passing it up to the to the head honcho). It's a very small, but reputable, house. With some luck, I'll get an offer from them. I imagine that if I had an agent, at that point he or she would contact the other publishers where the manuscript was subbed to give them a chance to offer or pass. Would it be ok for me, an unagented slush pile warrior, to do it for myself?
Yes. Get in touch with them to let them know you've received an offer from X house, and you'll need a response by X date (within a week of receiving the first offer). That's all you need to say, but if you want to grease the wheels with some flattery ("I'd still love to work with your house, etc"), that's also among the things agents do.


Anonymous said...

I think EA's advice is great, provided the writer has a real, live offer on the table. From what the poster says, there is interest, but no explicit offer at this point.

Khanh Ha said...

And if you receive an offer from a such and such publisher while no agents have yet responded, do read and then sign the contract. Amen!

Then after you sign the contract and an agent responds positively, it might be too late. Once you sign the contract, i.e., accepting the terms, there's nothing more for an agent to do. She/he might be interested in representing you for your future work, if you also like her/him.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 11:56. Especially at a smaller house that likely acquires less, an offer isn't an offer until it's an offer. If it isn't a real offer yet, I would not bug the other publishers. And bending the truth with other publishers about the state of an offer to apply pressure on them would not be a good idea. Children's publishing is a small, small world.

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