Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Agent Request for Exclusive

It feels good when an agent expresses interest in your work. Even better when multiple agents start wanting to read your manuscript. But what happens when they start requesting exclusive reads of your book?

I’ve recently been blessed with the “problem” of having multiple agents requesting extensive partial or full versions of my manuscript The Long Defeat. I already have three agents currently reading it on a non-exclusive basis, but yesterday a fourth agent requested the entire manuscript on an exclusive basis for the next six to eight weeks. Obviously, I very much would like to honor this request, but the fact that my book is already circulating in the hands of other agents at the moment complicates things a bit.  

To my fellow authors who have some experience in submitting queries and manuscripts to agents: Have you come across this conundrum before? If so, how did you find the most professional and polite, yet expedient way of negotiating a compromise? I have every intention of honoring my obligations, but I can’t grant an exclusive read until the three other agents have had a chance to finish reading my book. Nonetheless, I’m very enthusiastic about the interest agents are expressing for my novel, and I appreciate all the good karma points and encouragement several of you have been sending my way lately. Thanks!