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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been offered agent representation for my middle grade work.  (still can't believe it.  I sent out one last query on a whim because I think children's is still a tough indie sell, and she loved my book.  Yay!)  I also write romance, which is my primary indie focus right now.  I know, the two go together like nuts and gum.

Anyway, for those of you with agents, how are you handling your indie route?  Do you have any special language in your agent contract allowing you to self-publish?  I've talked with her about it, she's cool with it, willing to add some language to the contract that's she's representing what I present to her, and not the entire body of my work.

Any thoughts, input, advice you have on doing the indie/agent combo?  Thanks!
 

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Personally, I would not sign with an agent at this point for any reason.

If you want to know what to be careful about in signing with this agent, you might want to first read everything Passive Guy has to say about agents and agenting. He's a former lawyer and imho, he has the best blog the business of writing there is.

You can also check out Dean Wesley Smith's blog (he has lots of posts on the subject, as he has been changing his mind over the past year -- he started out just telling people to use agents, but take responsibility, but now is seriously against them. Here's a summary post.) And Kris Rusch has blogged extensively about the changes she sees happening in just the past few months.

You may choose to still go with an agent, but it is good to be very aware before you sign any contracts. Read up.

Camille
 

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When I had an agent (looong ago) I did "dis-include" some of my work specifically.  Nothing wrong with that and it is better to have it stated upfront.  You can always change that later if for some reasons she wants to try to sell specific rights to any given work.  In fact, just have the contract specific to the one particular book you want to work on via an agent--that way there is no misunderstanding about short stories or other works that sell or that get offered movie deals or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input.  I did read those links you mentioned, Camille.  Thanks for mentioning them.  I got some very useful information out of them to use while screening the agent and the contract. 
 

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I'll go the exact opposite route and say I find those blogs to be unnecessarily alarmist.  I know lots more people who are over the moon happy with the agents they've had, and much richer because of them.  When they don't like an agent, they fire them and find a better one.

I have an agent.  I love her.  And she has no problem with my self publishing.  When I signed with her, she made it clear that she was mostly interested in repping my historical romances.  I'm self publishing the contemporary stuff, and she has been very encouraging in that direction.  I can do what makes me happy.  When the contemp market becomes less of a hard sell,  I would consider letting her have a crack at whatever she wants.  But we look at everything on a project by project basis.  We talk.  It's a partnership.

Even if I suddenly decided to self publish everything, I would still want her to manage foreign and media rights.  But for now, she is doing a better job of managing my print career than I am on the self publishing end.  She earns her %15. I would be crazy to insist on having things my way, just for the sake of independence.  And I would not automatically be making more money.

One of the things we talked about, on our last call, was how anti-agent people were at the last conference she went to.  She said (paraphasing), 'It's like getting married.  I'm not saying everyone should get married.  But some people want to.  Some people don't.  There's nothing wrong with that.'

Basically, it depends on what you want from your career, and how you feel about the agent you are talking to.







 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the additional viewpoint, Christine.  The things Dean's warning about in that post are not things this agent is doing.  We talked about self-publishing and she has a client doing that as well as the work she submits to the agent.  I'm glad to hear you've found a situation that works well for you.  I'm hoping it turns out the same for me.  I'm having a lawyer review the contract to be sure it suits the needs I have.  Thanks for chiming in.
 

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My agent is fabulous.

My ebook stuff is seperate from anything I send her. I had an agent before I self-pubbed, so there's no language in the contract (other than my self-pub stuff was from before we were working together and is therefore not included in the contract). All she asked is that I give her a chance to look at any new concepts before self-pubbing.

Rachel
 

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My agent is great.  She's very active on social networking sites, reads Konrath, and is clear-eyed about what's happening in publishing.  She supports my fiction addiction, but tells me I'll need to go the indie publishing route with it.  Nobody's buying fiction, especially humorous fiction, from newcomers these days.  However, I'm working on a non-fiction book, and that's a whole different breed of cat, apparently.  She's going to shop the book around, and will also handle any special negotiations that might become necessary with the fiction titles.  I love having her on my side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input and thanks for the congrats.  She had my full, and I was waiting to hear back.  I always assumed they called to offer representation.  So when I saw her email show up, I figured ah, well.  It was quite a surprise to open the email and read that she loved it and wanted to represent it.  One foot in both worlds is a great solution for me.
 

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Lisa Scott said:
I've been offered agent representation for my middle grade work. (still can't believe it. I sent out one last query on a whim because I think children's is still a tough indie sell, and she loved my book. Yay!) I also write romance, which is my primary indie focus right now. I know, the two go together like nuts and gum.

Anyway, for those of you with agents, how are you handling your indie route? Do you have any special language in your agent contract allowing you to self-publish? I've talked with her about it, she's cool with it, willing to add some language to the contract that's she's representing what I present to her, and not the entire body of my work.

Any thoughts, input, advice you have on doing the indie/agent combo? Thanks!
I do. I have signed with Mollie Glick who is absolutely awesome. I do feel that it would be beneficial for me to maintain my indie status when it suits my goals, so I did add a clause to my contract. Mollie had no issue with it.
 

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I love my agent. She represents my full length stuff, and my self-published stuff is mostly shorter length items. I've discussed my self-published stuff with her and she fully supports it. So far, I'm only self-publishing books that weren't sellable via NY standards and has been moldering on my computer, or projects we simply weren't able to sell otherwise.

As long as you keep a clear definition with your agent what you want her to handle and what you do not, it shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure you are both on the same page at all times. :)
 
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