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Jenny
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Jenny

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Location : Sheffield, England

What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 4:32 am

I received a letter from an agent today - " Might have requested a complete manuscript if you were in the US. I would request you mail me 10 copies if I'd accepted- this would prove expensive."

Hang the expense! If you want 10 copies, I can mail them.

Would you write back and say you were prepared to do this?
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Brian L Porter
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Brian L Porter

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Age : 66
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:00 am

Jenny,

Why on earth would they want ten copies of your full ms at this point? If the agent wants to consider your work they should ask for one complete copy initially which gives them the chance to evaluate your work before proceeding. If, after reading it they decdied they would like to represent you, it is still hard to see why they would want you to mail them ten copies. An agent would normally have a copy on file and a copy on computer and woudl then approach publishers on the basis that they have a client with a saleable book and offer the publisher the opportunity to view it, perhaps sending them two or three chapters, or the whole ms printed out at their expense from the computer copy.That, after all is part of an agent's job. this one sounds as if they would want you to do all the work, in order to minimise their costs and financial risk. My agent has placed three of my manuscripts without me ever having to send a hard copy of my novels to her, and she in the USA and i'm in the UK.

This doesn't quite add up for me I'm afraid.

Hope this helps.

Best regards

Brian What would you do in my shoes 545232
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Jenny
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Jenny

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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:03 am

Brian,

The only thing I can think of is this agent isn't technologically minded! She is recommended by the Romance Writers of America, of which I am a member.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry....actually crying seems the best option. Anyone got a shoulder to spare? Crying or Very sad
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George Maciver
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:14 am

Hang on Jenny, this could be a damn good thing!

The agent will have a list of potential publishers and they will work through them systematically. The first complete manuscript will go to the first publisher where it will be read by perhaps 6 or 7 people. If it is rejected, it will come back dog eared and crumpled and ready for the bin. So a fresh manuscript will be required for the next publisher.

Why would the agent want 10 copies on hand? A few copies could already be in the bin, rejected and dog eared, a couple could be out, when all of a sudden an editor at another publishing house phones up asking for your manuscript and wants it by the morning. How would the agent look if they apologised and said it would take a few days?

This sounds like something you should investigate further and perhaps consider pursuing.
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Jenny
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Jenny

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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:19 am

Hi George,

That's my feeling. Why lose the chance to be published for the sake of sending 10 copies? Ok, it's expensive, in fact it would be cheaper to put the manuscript on a dongle, fly to the USA, go to Staples, have them print the 10 copies and deliver them by hand.

It's too good an opportunity to miss, so I've emailed the agent and told her I would be willing to send the 10 copies. I hope I've done the right thing.
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George Maciver
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:26 am

My last agent had me send out all my manuscripts directly, which is how I know a bit about how they work. Having a fresh manuscript always to hand is essential in their business. Sometimes it really was a case of a phone call and being told to get a manscript out before last post that day.
I would think that 10 copies sent to an agent will work out much cheaper than sending 10 separate manuscripts yourself to publishers and should stand a far greater chance of being accepted.

Just some of my thoughts. Do keep us informed.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:29 am

Hi Jenny,

I think it's always a good idea to investigate anything you are unsure about. So, with that in mind, I googled! Check this out before you make a decision:

http://www.sff.net/odyssey/afaq.html

_________________
What would you do in my shoes 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
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Jenny
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Jenny

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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 5:39 am

Hi Shelagh,

Thanks. That link was really useful. I've also been told that if you email Staples or Kinkos in the US they will print any document and mail it out for you. I'm checking into that as it could well be an option.
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madhatter
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 6:22 am

I have to wonder about the ten copies thing, too. My agent only wanted one. I did send her a CD with the manuscript file. She didn't request this, but I mailed it in case she found small errors (they are always there--no matter how much proofing I do), and needed to print out a new page here and there before sending the manuscript to editors. She did use the CD.

Why ten? Curious...
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Pam
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 6:50 am

My understanding of the ten copies thing is the same as you've heard - maintaining nice crisp copies. I also know Canadian speakers who will use Kinkos or Staples arrangements to pick up their printing in the US so that they do not have to lug it all by plane. To make sure that the package gets where it should (I am not familiar with them actually delivering your printing for you), do you think that some of our American friends on this forum could help to facilitate delivery? An international money order from the UK to the USA is an easy matter to arrange, and much less expensive than shipping your box of manuscripts I would think.

And holy cow! How exciting that you have an agent wanting to market you and perhaps just concerned about your costs !!! What would you do in my shoes 986286
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Jenny
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 7:00 am

Pam,

I've emailed both Staples and Kinkos to see if it is possible to upload the file here in the UK and have it printed and delivered in the US. If it is, then that would solve all my problems. However, as the pound/dollar is in my favour, it could well be worth my while sticking the file on a dongle, flying to NY and delivering it myself!

One thing is sure, until the agent says "no" I'm going to explore every option open to me.
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George Maciver
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 7:13 am

Jenny, you've got me fired up too. I've started looking for an agent or publisher again . . .
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Jenny
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Jenny

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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 7:45 am

Now I really am confused.... I emailed Ms Seymour and this was her response!



if that's the case may resubmit with this new information....(email details removed by me)

Dear Ms Seymour
Thank you for your letter which arrived this morning

I am more than willing to send you 10 copies of my manuscript, if that is what you require.

I should have perhaps pointed out that I am a frequent visitor to the USA. The pound/dollar rate is so good at present, I am more than happy to travel to New York and personally deliver them, if required.
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George Maciver
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 7:50 am

Intriguing . . .
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:10 am

I'm not sure about this Jenny but I think she means that she had discounted your submission but since you are willing to send the ten copies she is willing to reconsider. I would give this some more thought before you do anything.

An agent sends out the same submission package as an author -- covering letter, synopsis, opening chapters. If a publisher requests a full manuscript, this is sent at a later date. It would be rare for ten publishers to request a full manuscript.

A reputable agent should be able to float the cost of photocopying until a manuscript is sold and then add on the cost to their commission. Tread warily.

_________________
What would you do in my shoes 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
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George Maciver
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:15 am

That article you posted a link to Shelagh maintains that Agents asking for reimbursement for manuscript costs is normal and acceptable.

Very Happy

Certain fees are considered acceptable these days. For example, if you want your agent to send your manuscript out to ten publishers at once, and you have sent him only one copy, the agent would be justified in asking you to either send nine more copies or to reimburse him for the cost of photocopying. Also, if you wanted your manuscripts to be messengered or overnighted to publishers rather than being sent first class, the agent could rightfully ask you to pay the additional postage cost. Basically, these are costs that go above and beyond what the agent normally covers, and are incurred at your request. You should never feel pressured or compelled to incur costs, and any costs should be documented through receipts.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:24 am

Maybe there's better advice around that I missed earlier George. I found this:

Quote :
Offering writers a choice of providing a large number of manuscript copies at their own expense, or paying an upfront "marketing" fee. The idea here is to dodge the appearance of fee-charging by giving writers an option. The agent knows, however, that copying is so expensive that the fee will look like a bargain.

You can read the rest here:

http://www.sfwa.org/beware/agents.html

_________________
What would you do in my shoes 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ What would you do in my shoes 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ What would you do in my shoes 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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zadaconnaway
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:26 am

Wow, something to think about, for sure. I think Rhett's idea of sending the CD is a good one. And Kinko's is sounding like a good option as well.

So many differing aspects to the question.

I hope this works out for you, Jenny, whatever route you take.
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George Maciver
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:41 am

Yes, lots to consider. And sending out manuscripts isn't cheap.
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Jenny
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What would you do in my shoes Empty
PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:47 am

This agent is recognised by the Romance Writers of America - she has a good reputation, but I have to think she is a little "flaky" to use an American expression. Her email is less than clear. Does she mean I can resubmit my synopsis and first fifty pages adding the information about being a frequent visitor to the US to my letter, or does she mean send the 10 copies?

I've looked on both Staples and Kinkos website, and unfortuantely there isn't a store within 50 miles of her address, which by the way is Canton, New York. When I Googled this, it turns out to be upstate NY, near the Canadian border, which makes me think this agent operates from her home, and that is why she wanted me to provide the 10 copies of my manuscript. However, at 293 pages, it's not going to be inexpensive to either ship it from here in the UK, or have it printed and delivered in the US.

Fedex here in the UK would chage in the region of £100-£171 to ship the parcel, that's without the copying costs!

The more I look into this, the more I think I should pass on the opportunity. pale
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George Maciver
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 8:53 am

Well, she certainly has the attitude of an agent.
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 3:09 pm

Jenny my curiosity got the best of me so I did some serious looking around. Canton is a very small town, in an agricultural area. From what I can determine, I think she does work from home on her acreage, and she appears to split her time between the literary side and screenwriting stuff. She is about 11 miles from Potsdam which does have a copy shop and business centre (phone 315.265.1700). She does seem to be a very active individual, but reviews of her work are at best, mixed. She has had lots of people I found on-line submit to her, a few rejections and a few broken hearts she never replied to. I know that there are lots of testimonials on her sites, but none that I actually qualified.

A Canadian writer and journalist that I really admire (Todd Babiak) told me once that this is a heartwrenching business, and I heartily agree.

I wish that I had better news, and this isn't to say she couldn't be the right agent, but you must follow your heart. Let us know what happens! scratch


Last edited by Pam on Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptyFri Feb 29, 2008 6:08 pm

The ten copies thing concerns me, too. I would think it likely that the agent is going to want to read the work from start to finish and then make suggestions for editing before sending anything out. At this point, those extra copies seem like a great waste of paper and postage.

Malcolm
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George Maciver
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptySat Mar 01, 2008 12:10 am

Who is to say the next agent will be any better?
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: What would you do in my shoes   What would you do in my shoes EmptySat Mar 01, 2008 6:36 am

Nothing at all George - I think that's part of the heartwrenching aspect. I would offer cookies, but at the rate we're going through them we're all going to get huge. Wonder if there would be a reasonable way for us to agent for one another...like reverse networking only better. Shelagh has started it with putting your book on her site, I think. Hmm... What would you do in my shoes 83899
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