Handling Your Offer of Representation

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Apr 01 2016

Ugh!! Just today I received an email from an author whose material I had requested and was really excited about. The author was letting me know he received another offer of representation and was accepting it. I was crushed. I was really excited about this project (received just last week), but hadn’t had time to get to it yet.

At first I was a little irritated that the author never let me know he had the offer and then I went back to the email where the material had been sent and see he had. He just hadn’t let me know in the subject. [bang head on desk now]. It was sort of a throwaway line in the email. “Attached is my material and by the way, I just received an offer on this and hope to respond in the week.” I missed it.

The problem is that when I receive requested material (or even queries) I don’t necessarily have the chance to get to them daily, or even once a week. I rely on the subject line to alert me to something that might have changed or might be a priority. It’s why I always suggest authors put “offer of representation” or something similar in the subject when letting agents know.

This was totally my bad and I’ll be kicking myself all day over this. Of course I wish the author nothing but the best, but I’m truly bummed.

Sadly, this isn’t even an April Fool’s joke. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was.

3 responses to “Handling Your Offer of Representation”

  1. Avatar K.J. Harrowick says:

    ^This is great advice. 🙂

    Putting ‘query’ in the subject is a no-brainer, but I hadn’t considered doing the same with an offer. I’ll have to remember that for the future.

  2. Avatar Tara Leigh Thompson says:

    Personally, I think this is all about research. Writing itself is a creative endeavor, but publishing is a business, period. As an author who submitted to BookEnds recently and was fortunate to receive (and accept) an offer from Jessica Alvarez, IMHO you should definitely stop kicking yourself! It only takes a quick google search- “I received an offer from a literary agent, now what?” to know what to do next: email your top five agents and any that requested fulls or partials with OFFER OF REPRESENTATION in the subject line. My first offer was from a different agent but JA responded right away with a congratulation on my offer and an acknowledgment that she would read my submission within 48hours. She conducted herself extremely professionally, and I like to think that I responded in kind. Life is too short, and this business is too fickle to deal with people that don’t do their homework and consistently put their best foot forward. No more kicking- summer is almost here and bruises r not cute!! 😉 xoxoTLT

  3. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    Try chocolate. It fixes everything.

    I have read that before, but it’s good to have the reminder because there are so many things to remember when subbing that I’m sure in the excitement of an offer it would be easy to forget something.