3 Replies to “So you’ve pitched successfully — now what? Part VII: just what am I getting myself into when I agree to an exclusive?”

  1. Serendipity, huh?

    I said yes to the full for the time limit. And mentioned that the partials went out last week and another was waiting on an exclusive partial.

    Brave or stupid.

  2. And the reply was send it if you aren’t picked up by the others.

    So, not so difficult to be brave, I suppose.

    1. Actually, the agent was being unusually nice to you here. The usual response when an exclusive-requesting agent is told that someone else is already reading the manuscript is simply to say, “Well, that’s not how my agency works. Best of luck elsewhere!” rather than saying, as this one was kind enough to do, that you could defer granting the exclusive until you were in a position to grant an exclusive.

      So bravery isn’t really a possible explanatory factor here, from a professional point of view. If you had partials already out, by definition, you could not grant an exclusive. I’m glad to hear that you’re dealing with an agent that realizes that what granting an exclusive means is not self-evident from the writer’s side of the equation.

      And it might not be self-evident to a backlogged agent that bravery can sometimes be necessary for a writer in dealing with an exclusive. So your timing is perfect: you might find today’s post interesting, or rather, the one I am about to post. It’s about what could have happened had the request for an exclusive come first.

      I’ve been mulling your other question, by the way, and going back through my readers’ question archives to see how often it has cropped up. I was surprised to realize that people ask about it roughly once per year. So you may well be right that this is a widespread problem.

      If I did write a post on it, do you have a suggestion about how I should refer to it on the archive list, to make the answer easier to find? I honestly do try to render the archive list as stress-proof as possible; I’m aware that writers often turn to it when they’re not sure how to handle a situation that’s just burst upon them. The shorter the category title, the more better, generally speaking. I can go up to about 40 characters, though, if the title does not contain a comma.

      Thanks for your feedback!

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