Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Now What? - Informing the Other Agents

So you wrote your novel, queried like crazy, talked to agents, received multiple offers of representation, and chose your agent…what do you do now? While some of you may still be in the querying process, and are hoping for even one agent to make an offer, it’s always good to prepare for the best.  Eventually you’ll need to know what to say to an agent when you’ve gone with someone else.

It’s a strange feeling, having the balance of power shift slightly. Only you can decide who is best for you…so take a couple of weeks. It’s a big decision and you don’t want to rush it. After you decide, inform the agent you want first…and make sure they get back to you, before you inform the others. Maybe I’m just super cautious, but I wanted to make sure my agent knew I wanted them before I started turning other people down.

Next, send out a quick email. Yes, email is perfectly acceptable. We’ve all gotten enough rejection letters to be familiar with the content. Mine went something like this:

Dear agent so and so,

Thank you so much for the great talk, but unfortunately I have chosen to go with another agent. Thank you for your time.


Short and sweet. A couple of agents emailed me back, asking who I decided on, so I told them. There’s no reason not to. That email looked something like this:

I've decided on an agent named Katherine Boyle at Veritas Literary. Even though you have a million things going for you, I really connected with Katherine. Her editorial advice was spot on, and I kind of wanted to go with a smaller agency. This was seriously the toughest decision; I think it was easier to decide what college I wanted to go to! I think no matter what agent I chose, I will always be thinking, "what if?" but I had to go with my gut. Thanks again.

Okay, so with this one I prattled on a bit…but you get the idea. Always be polite and tell them why you went with the agent you chose, not why you didn’t go with them. Also thank them…everyone appreciates a thank you.

Next time – Advice on editing…which is what I’m doing now!


  1. Yes, never burn your bridges, you never know when you may need a new agent. Not that I'm there yet. Can't wait to read you're novel.

    Heather Rosdol
    Buried in Books