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Agent Noah Lukeman Discusses Submission Process

Noah Lukeman, head of Lukeman Literary Agency, has an excellent blog where he discusses all sorts of important topics relating to writing and getting published.

Here he answers a question about the agent's responsibility to keep the author informed of his submissions. After addressing a laundry list of reasons why many agents keep their clients in the dark (most having to do with the client being a pain in the ass), Lukeman gets to the crux of the answer:

While a book is actively on submission, authors have the right to at least know when the agent is initiating the submission, how many publishers he will be submitting to, whether he plans additional rounds of submissions if the first round fails, approximately when that will take place, what is the ultimate number of publishers he will approach, and how long he estimates the entire submission will take. Authors also have a right to know whether their agent is approaching large or small publishers, and how many of each. Agents can provide all of this without releasing the names of the particular editors upfront , and there is no reason they should not.

Better yet, you can have a contractual right to receive all correspondence from any editor or publisher that communicates with the agent regarding your submission. In fact, it is included in the boilerplate of my contract:

The Agent and the Author shall promptly send each other copies of (a) any legal notice under any Represented Contract, (b) any important communication from any publisher under any Represented Contract, and © any material correspondence.

Keep an eye on Lukeman's blog and you'll learn something every time!


Donna Cooper
Jan 24 2011 04:38 PM
Great information. Thanks!
Nov 02 2011 02:39 PM
Nice to know.