Hurray!!! An agent asked you for The Call. It went well and they want to represent you! You are on the verge of leveling up! This is big! This is huge. Pop the champagne! You’ve made it.
You send your emails letting all the other agents know, yes? See here. And now you wait out your week or two.
But then… another agent gets back to you. They set up a call. And lo and behold: they offer rep! *I too have a gift for the child, Maleficent gif*
Then another agent. And so on and so forth.
It may feel great—it should! It’s amazing. In your time in the trenches you probably hoped for one yes, any yes. But multiple offers are also nerve-wracking, anxiety provoking, and semi-nauseating. *Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems gif*
And complaining to your agent-less friends is like whining about your tiara messing up your hair. That’s a no-go. But agented friends might not have received multiple-offers. So, now what?
Come pull up a seat. I got you.
Last year, I received four offers. It doesn’t matter who. And that’s important—whether you have one offer or seventeen, you wind up in the same spot. Your worst case scenario is you will have an agent. So let go of that breath you didn’t know you were holding and here are some things to consider as you make your choice.
Assuming you did your research pre-query (see How to Find a Good Agent TM if not), they’re all agents you’d accept. Here’s what I found mattered to me and friends who wound up in this spot. *Choose wisely gif*
Vision—Super important. Do they match your ideas for not just this book, but your career? How do they treat clients who don’t sell their first manuscript? (This happens A LOT). Do your communication and editorial preferences blend? If you don’t know the answer to these, ask for a second call. That’s always fine.
Reputation—also important. What kind of relationships does their agency have with editors? Are they respected in the industry? Do their clients idle on sub or go to the top of the pile? Ask around privately. This is a business relationship. You’re not auditioning a CP. Selling is what matters at the end of the day.
References—I cannot tell you how much this matters. Maybe you think: eh, they all say good things. NO, THEY DO NOT. First, a client may be quietly disgruntled. *Run away, gif* Second, there is a huge difference between *Drake shrug emoji gif* and *I would die for Riley, gif*. You want the latter. ALWAYS see if you can get the references on the phone. Most people can put together a decent email, but they’re more honest on a call. Ask for a client reference who has NOT sold yet. If they’re reluctant to give on: major red flag. ***When on a call with a reference make sure to ask: What don’t you like about working with them? What would you change if you could?***
Gut feeling—the last intangible. Super important but usually you can narrow it down to two who have met all of the above criteria. Toss a coin and see who you’re hoping for on the way down. You’ll usually know before it hits the floor.
Don’t forget: tell the agents your response BEFORE your post about it on social media. No one wants to find out they’re rejected on Twitter.
Don’t know what to say? Here’s a template:
Thank you so much for reading my work and for your offer of representation. I appreciate both your time and vision for the project. I’m so honored that you want to work with me. I did, however, decide to go in a different direction [you can add that it was the original offering agent if you want]. I wish you all the best in the future.
Good luck and congratulations!!!