Co-Agents and why they rock

Co-Agent: a literary agent who assists in handling a subright on your behalf.


We work with 22 co-agents who cover about 35 territories. Co-agents are essential to selling foreign rights because they know exactly what the current state of the publishing industry is in their territory, and they have close relationships with publishers and editors.

Just like there are many, many literary agents here in the US, there are many, many co-agents overseas. I was really lucky that when I started with my current agency, I got to research and build partnerships with co-agents based on my past experiences and based on research I'd done. All of our co-agents are absolutely fantastic, and I love working with them on an almost daily basis.

I keep co-agents up to date on our projects, and pitching new projects is one of my favorite parts -- especially when they write back to say, "This is incredible! I read it, and I love it!"

A couple of examples of how co-agents and I work together just from this past week:

- Tuesday I received an e-mail from our Polish co-agent. Part II in a series of e-mails regarding the status of publishing and some mergers in Poland. Super helpful. Very detailed. And I can use that info  to see if any of our clients are affected and whether or not they will be affected if we get offers in the future.

- Wednesday I got notice of a possible pre-empt offer. So I called up JP (awesome Brazilian co-agent) and he was like, "Yea...I'm on the phone with them now. BRB." So I waited and then we spent the day going back and forth with an offer/counter offer/improved offer/counter offer until we were both happy. (the author was super happy when I emailed the offer for their approval!)

- Wednesday I also got a phone call from Donatella (awesome French co-agent) who wanted to chat not only about an incoming offer this week but also about how some terms needed to be updated for an offer we finalized a while back. She sent over the contract, and I'll be looking it over shortly.

- Today I went back and forth with a couple of co-agents about some tax updates (more on taxes and foreign later!)

In the meantime, there were many emails with updates on marketing plans, covers, pub dates, a couple of offers to be negotiated, and more happy info. I also received and distributed about four different contracts from Turkey, Hungary, France and Italy.

I've decided I want this clock.
But  with worldwide time zones.
So. Awesome.
How do I work with them when there's a 5-6 hour time difference from NYC to Europe, let along 8-9 hrs from Seattle, WA to Europe? Easy. I wake up between 5-6 a.m. And if I'm working with Asia, it's easy. It's 6:32 p.m. here and 10:32 a.m. in China. So if I get any emails, I can get info back ASAP before bed. Europe? 5 a.m. Seattle time is 2 p.m. in France. Plenty of time to finish up anything that comes in.

Also, many of our European co-agents actually try to keep East coast time. Which then makes it even easier to keep in touch. The other day I had a phone call with a French publisher and a client, and it was about 9:30 p.m. his time -- but it was the best time for him so it worked out.

Co-agents are fantastic, like I said. And they're a joy to work with. Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!

Did you know who co-agents were before this post? Curious! :)

~KO

4 Responses so far.

  1. Cat York says:

    Yes! Because I follow you guys! Smarties. :)

  2. I love being a co-agent!

  3. yes, I knew what co-agents were, but you bring a whole new zest and flair to the world of subrights!

    I wonder, do your co-agents know to yodel "ortwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze" when you call them?

  4. No, I didn't. Super informative post. Thanks

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