When You Get an Offer From an Agent – Your 'Moment of Power'

At our recent WD conference, agent Jennie Dunham discussed something very interesting – a rare “moment of power” for a writer in their hunt for an agent.

She was discussing when you receive a offer of representation from an agent.  A wise thing thing to do would be to not accept it immediately, but instead ask questions of the agent and then say that it’s a big decision and you need a day or two to think it over.  (This is good advice no matter what.)  At that point, you hold some power, so, if you choose, you can write to a few other agents that you had work out to, and inform them that you have an offer. This allows these other agents to quickly read your work if they so choose, and then possibly offer their representation and make a case as to why you should sign with them vs. Agent No 1.

Pretty interesting stuff. A question that I immediately asked Jennie was “How long do you have?” – meaning how long will Agent No. 1 wait for you to get back to them. She said five days.  I don’t know if I would push it and wait that long. Three sounds safe. So if you get an offer of representation, you can choose to let other agents know, so they can read your stuff and make a case if they like.


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6 thoughts on “When You Get an Offer From an Agent – Your 'Moment of Power'

  1. Michael Bourret

    Just a quick note from another agent: you should have a week to get back to an offering agent. This is a hugely important decision, and you don’t want to rush it. It’s much better that you pick the right agent, not just the first one.

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