Monday, April 30, 2018

Working Edits with an Agent

You got an agent. Awesome! Now what? You go on sub right?
Well not exactly. Sometimes your manuscript is in great shape and it's ready to go on sub, but more often than not, your agent will have notes for you and things they want you to work on before you go on submission to editors. This is especially true if you've selected an editorial agent.

How do edits for an agent differ from editing notes you might get from a beta reader or a critique partner?
In a lot of ways the notes might be very similar. But in other ways, your agent may hone in on changes to your manuscript with an eye on what might make it more marketable. This is something your readers may or may not be able to help you with depending on how well they know the market.
What if you don't agree with the notes your agent give you?
Just like with your critique partners just because the give you notes doesn't mean you're required to incorporate them. Do make makes the most sense for your manuscript. But if you choose to not take a piece of advice, it might be good to consider why and have an honest discussion with your agent about your decision and why you made it.
You might even get some notes you've seen before and though your addressed. My agent asked for more worldbuilding, after I did an R&R for her with a primary focus on worldbuilding. My knee jerk reaction was wait, I just added 6,000 words of mostly worldbuilding, how could this manuscript possibly need more. I sat and stewed on it a bit and then asked my agent some clarifying questions. Turns out she was looking for something a little different than what I was originally interpreting the comment as. So it's important to take some time and level set your notes and make sure you and your agent are on the same page.
Overall it's important to remember you and your agent are a team. Work together on your edits and check in to make sure the direction if something that will work for the manuscript and make it stronger. You've got another person in your writing corner make sure you use them effectively.


  1. Good post. I had an agent for a while, and she really gave a lot of good suggestions that I applied and that made my manuscript better. But then she wanted changes I just couldn't make without damaging the characters involved, so we had to part ways, although amicably. The happy ending to that story, though, is that I found the right publisher for it.

    1. Thanks! Glad you stuck to your guns and found the right home for your manuscript!

  2. Great post, Jamie! My agent is very editorial and her suggestions have always proven spot-on. We authors can be very precious about our work and a good agent can make a huge difference!

    1. Thanks! Yes we can definitely be protective of our work, but sometimes it takes a really objective eye that is considering other things to make a manuscript really shine.