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Old Work with Your Agent

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#1 S.H. Marr

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:07 PM

So here's a question I've never seen an answer to: what do you do with writing when you've got an agent? As in, okay, obviously you got the agent with one book. What happens if you want to revise a previous book (especially if it was queried and rejected for the writing not being quite "there." Obviously your writing got there....)? What would your agent say?


And what the heck do you do when you have a new book to send them? Pitch it again?

#2 LucidDreamer


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Posted 23 January 2015 - 03:42 PM

Usually, during "The Call" the agent will ask if you have other work. (Or, if they don't, you can mention it).


My agent knew I had two books completed in my adult scifi trilogy when she signed me, based on CROWN OF ICE. She wasn't that interested in the adult scifi at first -- I actually wrote another YA (a scifi) and she sold that (and its sequel) before I mentioned the adult scifi again. Of course, in the meantime I'd gone back to the adult scifi and revised it (a couple of times). 


She is now going to start submitting the adult scifi in Feb. So yes, you can go back to older work and the agent may be interested. (May be). It doesn't hurt to mention it when you talk to an agent, but just don't make it a deal-breaker ("Take all this on or I'll say no" -- LOL).


You do pitch new projects, but it's a little different -- it's more about pitching different ideas and seeing what the agent thinks is best to work on at the moment (at least in my case). You aren't "querying" all over again.

#3 RC Lewis

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 05:06 PM

In my case, the ms I queried heavily before Stitching Snow did pretty well (got all the way to a R&R with an agent) though its query was form-rejected by my now-agent. As I got the second book of my contract squared away and was thinking about what to pitch my publisher as my option book, I said to my agent, "Hey, I've got this YA sci-fi I think would be a good follow-up." Gave her basically a one-line pitch.

She said "cool, send it to me," read it, loved it.

Now hopefully publisher-people will love it as much. :)

So yes, old work can be revived. How you approach it (and new work) with your agent varies. My agent is very flexible. If I want to bounce ideas off her before writing, she's happy to share her opinion. Some of her clients, however, are more "I'll write what I want to write," and then my agent decides if she can figure where to pitch it.

_-Snow-Small.jpg           Spin-Small.jpg
   Stitching Snow        Spinning Starlight
     October 2014                October 6, 2015
       Hyperion                        Hyperion

#4 Litgal


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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 24 January 2015 - 10:19 AM

There's generally a lot of talk during "the call" as Lucid mentioned not only about existing work but ideas for future books.  The big difference--and in my opinion it is a good difference as I want my agent's expertise--in writing agented vs. unagented is your agent is going to want to vote on which projects you pursue and in what order. My agent killed a book I'd started as too depressing and completely unmarketable. Was that hard for me? Sure. But rather trunk it with only a few chapters (well, and about of year of research, not going to lie) invested than once I had 120k that wasn't commercial viable. 

Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

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