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How do you query a trilogy?


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#1 Amy

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:27 AM

Hello Ms. Kole! You are so generous to give us your time and expertise! I am writing a trilogy and the first book is done. I have heard it is best to query one book at a time, however my first book ends quite abrubtly to lead into the second book. I queried an agent who requested a lengthy synopsis and found the end confusing because it left her hanging. Should I inform agents that it is the first book in a trilogy or is that a big no no? I am stuck! :sad:

Thanks again so much for your help!! Amy Freeman

#2 LiteraryChic5

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:04 PM

Hello Ms. Kole! You are so generous to give us your time and expertise! I am writing a trilogy and the first book is done. I have heard it is best to query one book at a time, however my first book ends quite abrubtly to lead into the second book. I queried an agent who requested a lengthy synopsis and found the end confusing because it left her hanging. Should I inform agents that it is the first book in a trilogy or is that a big no no? I am stuck! :sad:

Thanks again so much for your help!! Amy Freeman


Dear Amy,

From what I've learned from industry insiders, it's good to mention in a query that the book is part of a triology; agents want to know that, especially from a new writer, you're not going to be a one book author; they want to sign someone who will make a career out of writing. It is in essence just querying one book at a time- it just simply says "there's more where that came from". That is my unofficial experience at least. :)

#3 Mary Kole

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:20 AM

The person who answered is right...in part. You really should mention that this book "has series potential" or is "part of a planned trilogy" in your query. That's true. And we do want to know that you have more books in you. However, today's publishing climate is not all that conducive to giving a debut author a trilogy right off the bat. Sure, big multi-book deals still sell for debut authors, but that's not a matter of course. Just because you're planning a trilogy, you need to make the first book stand alone because, more often than not, your publisher will buy the one book, launch it, and base their desire to sign up more books in that series (or more books from you as an author) based on how well your first one does in the marketplace. So it has to tell its own story, with a satisfying end, that could be continued should the publisher want to invest more heavily in you. In today's economic climate, that scenario is happening more and more. So do mention that you have a trilogy, but know that it is rare to sell a trilogy right off the bat. There's nothing sadder, to me anyway, than a trilogy that sells and a first book that flops...that publisher is not going to be excited about you as an author, and that's a big blow to a career that's trying to get off the ground. You want them excited to buy more...and that may include the second and third books of that arc that's in your head. But that's not guaranteed.




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