Words of Wisdom: How Agents Judge Offers

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Q. Do agents usually hold out for a good deal on a book or do they take the first acceptable offer that comes along?

A. Well, an offer in your pocket is always better than none. Certainly, if an agent feels she can demand more for a book, she should hold out; however, usually the editor who makes the first offer is the most enthusiastic and thoroughly understands the book, and may turn out to be the best editor and in-house advocate for the book. The most money is not necessarily the best deal for the author. That enthusiasm, commitment and support from all divisions within a publishing house often means more than those dollars in your bank account.
- Laura Langlie, founder of her own agency in Brooklyn; printed from the 2008 edition of GLA.

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