Thursday, September 30, 2021

Dear O'Abby: What about older books?

 Dear O'Abby,

I'm so freaking excited!  I have a call with an agent who says she loves, loves, loves my book!  I've been in the query trenches for so long, with several different books, it feels like this might finally be my shot at getting published! I know, I know... I shouldn't be too excited.  It may turn to custard.  But I am prepared for that.

Anyway...  My question is about those other books I've queried in the past.  I still believe really strongly on some of them and hope that by getting an agent with this new book, I might have a shot at getting one of these older books published.  Is this something I should mention on the call?  Or would it be better to wait until I have signed with the agent before I bring these up?

Kind regards,

Cautiously Optimistic.

Dear Cautiously Optimistic,

Firstly, huge congratulations on getting to "The Call".  It's a huge step and you should be excited.  Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

In terms of mentioning your other books, my suggestion would be to wait and see if the agent asks.  In my experience, agents are very interested to know what you are working on and what else you might have available.  Agents are usually looking for authors they can work with across a career, not just on a single book.  So knowing you have written other books, and are planning on writing more, will be music to their ears.

That said, if those other books have been queried widely and never got anywhere, there may be a reason.  If the agent is an editorial agent, she may be willing to work with you to get these books to a point where they are ready to be submitted to publishers, but it may be they will require too much work to get to that point and the agent may encourage you to focus on something new.

Either way, the work you did on those other books is not wasted.  They taught you how to write a book and no doubt made you a better writer.  And even if you don't publish them, there may be scenes or characters or just single lines in them that can be used in future stories.

I hope this is helpful and I have my fingers crossed that your call goes well.  Do let us know!

X O'Abby 

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