I don’t understand authors. I really don’t understand first time, unagented authors who turn down contracts. Blooming Tree had a manuscript it was interested in acquiring. This wasn’t one of the ones I had read, or for that matter had much interest in reading. So, I don’t consider this a real great loss. However, my boss did like it and wanted it. She called and offered for it. She explained the general terms of the contract and the revisions we would want. The author was all excited and said okay. Then, she called and said that an agent was interested in it. She wanted to wait for the contract to see if the agent would take her. My boss was not pleased but said that if the agent took her, in the future she would need to talk to the agent. Then, the author called asking to see the contract to “just browse.” My boss lost her patience and told the author that she would not send the contract unless the author agreed in good faith to attempt to sign it. The author said no. The agent was willing to consider her manuscript again after she rewrote it with the general suggestions she had received from us. This author turned down a guaranteed contract for an agent who might or might not take her. I’m much too risk adverse to turn down a sure thing for a maybe. Personally, I would have taken the contract and sent my next manuscript to the agent with a new publishing credit on my cover letter.
So what do you think? What would you have done? Use the comments link below to start a dialogue with me and other users on this issue.