Turn That Deal Around

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 08 2010

After reading my post about author-agent agreements one reader had a question . . .

I’m confused by this line:

“possibly turning that small press deal into a big press, bigger deal”

Are you saying an agent would submit to bigger presses and make the small press wait? Or even turn the small press down all together for the chance of a big press? Or if you publish with the small press, an agent can still submit and make a deal with a big press regardless of first publishing rights?

I’m saying that’s a possibility. As with anything there are a lot of “it depends.” Yes, you could turn down the small press offer and take it to larger presses. You could also take it to larger presses with the small press in hand (you could do the same if it’s a big press offer that comes in first). You could also have an agent simply negotiate the small press deal to your best advantage.

All of this will depend on the project, the press, and the agent’s opinions and knowledge of what that press is bringing. No matter what, an agent brings experience to the table that can truly help you get the best deal.


3 responses to “Turn That Deal Around”

  1. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    For what it's worth, my Wolf Tales series (12 novels and 9 novellas) began as an online serial with Changeling Press. The first six chapters became the first book of the series published by Kensington Publishing and launching their new erotic romance line. As Jessica says, anything is possible–when I wrote those first chapters, I had no intention of them ever making it to a NY pub, but somehow my timing and story came together at the right time–and Jessica's very good at what she does!

  2. I personally believe agent representation is the way to go, and am working on a submission for an agent now.

    However, I see writers going it alone with the new e-bookstore landscape. They hear of the few that have made it big this way. They ask me what I think and I say "go for what you believe in." Then we talk trade offs.

    What key piece of advice would you give them when making their decision or even when moving forward? (I always say "read the fine print" in any deal 🙂

  3. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Thanks for answering my question!