So, Lori often asks me to write various posts about agenting, since she doesn't always have the time. I've got one that I owe her (and you guys because it coincides with a question asked) about the publishing timeline, but I figured I'd do this one first.
My client, Jeff Strand, is an amazingly prolific horror writer. Before I even took him on, he had published extensively in the small press horror community. A month or two ago, he got an e-mail from a respectable Austrian publisher, who wanted to release a trilogy of his in German. Neither Jeff nor I speak German, so negotiating a contract would be rather difficult. So I contacted the German co-agent that the L. Perkins Agency works with, and asked him what he could do for us. The very good thing about using a co-agent, especially when dealing with foreign rights, is that they not only know the foreign market better than you do, but they speak the language fluently.
Our German agent said, "Sure, I can help you with this deal. In fact, we've got a meeting set up already with that same publisher, during the Frankfurt Book Fair!". Wonderful, we all agreed.
And then, Jeff and I waited. Because publishing takes time and our German co-agent has other things to do, etc. Finally, this week, I got back an e-mail from our German co-agent. This man (and his agency) are truly awesome. They had taken the original offer for the trilogy, and managed to negotiate the deal so that Jeff ends up getting five times the original amount. Needless to say, even though it's not a big deal by any means, Jeff and I are still thrilled.
Which is why it is always good to use an agent, since if Jeff had tried to negotiate this one on his own, he would have gotten far less money in the end.
I'll announce the exact details of the deal, as soon as I hear back from our German co-agent, just to make sure everything's kosher. Coming soon to a Publisher's Marketplace near you! =)