Pub Rants

When A New Project Might Give You The Best Momentum

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STATUS: Today was about foreign rights and taxes. One fun. The other not. I’m sure you can guess which is which…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by The Fray

Last week we got a query from a writer who had published a fantasy series outside of the US. This person was looking for new representation to shop the series in the United States. There was only one problem. It sounded like the writer’s prior agent had already done so.

Just to make sure, I wrote the author to inquire about that. The return response listed a wonderful submission list with all the editors I would have gone to if I had repped the project.

This author is between a rock and hard place. The submit list was good and if it was rejected by all those places, there’s only smaller publishers to try and to be blunt, potentially not worth the agent’s investment of time.

I responded to the author to say so. What advice would I give in this situation? As hard as it may be, it’s time to write something new. Go out with a fresh project in the US. If that book does well, then the agent can always go back to that initial series and rekindle interest in a possible buy. (Good sales can do that.)

Unfortunately, this author did not have anything new to share but I did respond again to say we’d be happy to look at new future work.

5 Responses

  1. Chantal said:

    I thought your advice was pretty standard form–in almost any industry, not just publishing. If I were that dude, I’d totally be all over writing something new for the American market–I mean, why not? It would be a challenge and an exciting one at that…I kinda feel bad for his previous agent, though. I mean, ouch. If they needed help selling the book across the pond, then they would have called their agenty-friends here, right? That’s what I’d do…

  2. in the deep end of the pool said:

    I’d think if the guy was doing well outside the US and had a pretty good rep that an agent would want to jump onboard on at least the potential of the author, even if it meant getting his book published at a smaller house. That is, it’s a start. If the guy has promise, there will be rewards sooner or later.

  3. Mr James said:

    I’m so glad I have found your blog! I see lots of relevant tips for me, as I am about to submit my work to an agent or two.

    Thank you!