Notifying Agents of Offers

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Dec 14 2021

I take my query inbox very seriously. I reply to everything I receive and, per BookEnds policy, so does everyone else. It’s why notifying agents of offers of representation is so important. Not only for you and your career but also for everyone else querying and waiting for an answer.

It’s unbelievably common to reach out to an author with interest only to be told they’ve signed with an agent. Frustratingly common. It means I spent hours reading and researching a book and the author. Time I could have spent on another manuscript or proposal. Attention I could have given to someone else.

Why Offer Notifications Matter

Notifying agents of offers of representation gives you the power to choose the right agent for you, not just the one who offered. It helps you find the right agent.

Giving other agents notice is also networking. You have no idea where your career will take you or your agent. Having the opportunity to meet and talk with others now helps build relationships within publishing. Which, honestly, is key to any success.

Letting agents know you have an offer, or even that you’ve accepted another offer and are pulling the book from consideration, shows respect not just for others professionally, but for other authors as well. Now I can focus my time on something else, instead of something I can’t have anyway.

I know people will continue to not notify agents and I will spend the entirety of my career frustrated by this, but if one person gains more power this post has done the job.

2 responses to “Notifying Agents of Offers”

  1. Avatar Kim Beall says:

    I thought it was just plain, old-fashioned professional courtesy to do this, but one agent at a fairly well-known agency (I won’t say which one!) responded to my “Oh, hey, I’ve received an offer and I need to give them my reply in two weeks, just in case you’d like to make an offer, yourself,” with a really terse, “We can’t work on the short schedule you’ve dictated, so bye,” kind of thing. (Looking back on it, I guess I was saved from something there! 😀 )

  2. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    Gosh, I thought everyone notified agents when they had an offer elsewhere. Things you learn here.