Ask Daphne! About International Clients

October 21st, 2009 • Kate

european-shoeRenee writes with a question that’s been on my mind lately. As follows:

I know that when querying, writers can’t limit themselves by city or state/province. However, I was wondering if your company would consider queries sent by someone from out of country (for instance, Canada). I was also wondering if you happened to know the opinions of other agents? I don’t need names, just general thoughts on the subject.

I talked a little bit about this in the past, but the short answer is, sure, I’d be happy to consider queries from out of the country. However, like shopping for shoes in foreign countries, things can get a little tricky. You need to know how your size (or your style) works in a different market — that an 8 1/2 is a European 41, or that a lot of US YA is published for adults in other countries.

But besides knowing different styles (which can be overcome with research), for a US agent having international clients can get a little complicated around tax time. There’s a whole lot more paperwork to do, tax treaties to bone up on, and in some cases, additional payments to the IRS to be made.

Is that going to stop me from signing a brilliant client with a fantastic manuscript? Heck no. But it’s something to be aware of.

I can’t speak for other agents, but I think if you take a look at some other agency client lists, you’ll find international authors. Most agents aren’t going to turn away good writing just because making those payments is going to be complicated!

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3 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About International Clients”

  1. Elisabeth Says:

    I was just wondering this same thing, so was pleased to find the question has been asked and answered.

    As a follow-up question, in the case of a US Citizen, living abroad, but retaining a US bank account, does that take all of the complicated stuff (tax treaties, additional IRS payments etc.) out of the picture?

  2. Kate Says:

    Elisabeth — As far as I know, (and I'm learning some of this myself) so long as that US citizen has a social security number or international tax ID number, AND they're filing US tax returns, it's just as if they were living in the US. in other words, easy as pie!

  3. Elisabeth Says:

    Cool! Thanks so much for your (very quick!) answer. Now, back to work, hoping this question wont remain theoretical for me :-D.