Congratulations! You’ve received an offer of representation!!!
But there are more agents considering. Possibly agents you submitted to at midnight on a Friday after a glass of wine or two and noticed your rejection pile was growing and your submission list thinning and good GOD you need to GET IT OUT THERE MORE AND INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF AN OFFER JUST TO KEEP UP THE HOPE….!
I.E: definitely not dream agent material, but worthy of settling for.
Yeah, yeah; maybe I should have rose-colored glasses on here and say that EVERY agent an author submits to is TOTALLY his/her dream agent but…I know better. And it’s ok; this business is so subjective, just as not every author is right for every agent, not every agent is right for every author. Doesn’t make either party less awesome – just not the best professional fit.
So what do you do when you receive an offer and (as you should) want to be fair and notify any other considering agents to give them a chance…but don’t necessarily WANT to give some of them that chance, or KNOW that even if one of those agents you were being fair to offered, you wouldn’t go with them?
Maybe this is just a problem in MY eyes; I certainly can’t fault an author for wanting ANYONE to read his/her manuscript and fawn all over it, even if s/he doesn’t really intend to go with that agent. But truly, it’s a waste of time; and it really sucks to let an agent possibly fall in love with your manuscript if s/he doesn’t stand a chance.
So what’s the best approach?
Well, honesty. I’m a big girl; I can take it. And no, I won’t hold it against you.
I had to resist saying “WE’re big boys and girls” here just because I can’t speak for every agent, but in my experience honesty is the best policy in this situation. My only caution would be against jumping on the first offer received, due to excitement, or jumping on the best-known agent without weighing the pros and cons of each you submitted to. But you did all that research before you queried, right? RIGHT?
I’m certainly not suggesting that you have to make this decision the second you get an offer. If you’re not sure, you’re not sure. But, if there are one or two agents still considering who you ARE sure wouldn’t win out over the offering agent, it’s definitely ok to pull your material.
It can be as simple as:
I wanted to write and let you know that I received an offer of representation. I’m feeling very good about this offer (and do feel this agent would be the best fit for me), and so I would like to withdraw my submission at this time. I greatly appreciate your time and consideration.
Or more flowery like:
Thank you so much for your consideration of my work; your interest was inspiring to me. I did receive an offer of representation yesterday from an agent (or name the agent) I’m feeling really excited to work with. Given that I know this agent would really be a great fit for me, I’d like to go ahead and withdraw my partial at this time. Again, I greatly appreciate the time you spent with my work and wish you all the best of luck and success.
You can name the agent or not; personally, I’d like to know.
And of course…I definitely hope I’m not going to be seeing an avalanche of copy-pastes in my email of this post or, as an editor recently put it:
I mean, congratulations and I wish you all the best. ;)