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Thread: Exclusives

  1. #1
    * Chris


    Thanks to Gina for bringing up this topic earlier. Typically, what is the exclusivity time length that should be granted to an agent? Currently, my MS has been in the hands of an agent for the last 4 weeks and I was a referral.



  2. #2
    B.S D.

    Re: Exclusives

    As far as I know, there is no set length. If you think it's been a little too long, just drop a friendly e-mail, asking what's up.

    After a month, I'd send that e-mail, especially if I was a referral. But remember, it's highly unlikely you've been forgotten...

  3. #3
    A. R. Pike

    Re: Exclusives

    This is a hindsight thing, (learning from myself here,) but always always set a time limit when you grant the exclusive. If you grant it at all, that is. Say, I will grant you and exclusive for three/four/ and in God's name no longer than six weeks.and when that time has passed, don't say anything, just feel free to send it out to someone else. If they go, say, two weeks over the allotted exclusive time, shoot them a gentle e-mail, then cut your strings. (Cutting your strings is like cutting off your right arm, but sometimes they just never get back to you . . . ever!)
    This si just my personal experience . . . I have no credentials.

  4. #4
    Gina Panettieri

    Re: Exclusives

    Chris, typically the agent will ask for a specific time when they request an exclusive, rather than leave it open-ended. Most ask for somewhere in the range of two-three weeks. If someone were to ask for an exclusive, but the period was too long, say six weeks, the writer can always state they'll only agree to an exclusive if it's for a shorter time, and back that up by saying there have been multiple requests to consider the work.

    However, if you agree to a two-three week period as opposed to six weeks and at the end of that time, you haven't heard, don't just casually extend it. By doing that, you're simply agreeing by default to the original period the agent suggested. Once the exclusive period ends, you're free to begin submitting to other agents. You may send a notice to the first agent, inquiring about the work, reminding him of the deadline, but you're under no obligation to give more time.

  5. #5
    Sara Orne

    Re: Exclusives

    What Gina said.

    Regardless of the time period an agent does or doesn't ask for, I always specify 3 weeks and no more. No one has complained.

  6. #6
    * Chris

    Re: Exclusives

    Many thanks for your advice. I e-mailed this agent yesterday, giving them a gentle reminder how I was still waiting for an answer. If I hear no response by the mid part of next week, then I'll send a final e-mail (have no clue as to what that will say yet).

    Have a great weekend.


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