View Full Version : Query question

Wayne K
05-27-2010, 03:13 PM
When do I mention that my book was repped by another agent who gave up too quick IMO? There's so little room in a query letter as it is

05-27-2010, 03:51 PM
Okay, so I don't know anything really as I've never done this, but I have seen a couple of agents suggest saying at the bottom of it something along the lines of, "I am seeking representation after amicably parting with my previous agent."

I'm sure someone else will come along and say if that's actually really how it works, though.

05-27-2010, 04:57 PM
I added it to that last paragraph. One line. Along the lines of "I have recently parted ways with my agent and am looking for representation for this and several other projects"

The interested agents specifically asked why we parted ways and I was able to elaborate then.

05-27-2010, 05:12 PM
I agree that I would add it at the end. Make sure to say it was amicable, even if it wasn't. And it should go without saying that you never bitch or moan about your previous agent, however much they might deserve it.

05-27-2010, 05:48 PM
Well. I'm gonna disagree a bit.

Are you querying the book that's already been on sub or a new one?

I put the line in my second to last paragraph-where I gave the book's title, word count, etc. It was a recently, my agent and I amicably parted. I'm now seeking rep for my new book xxxx.

The most common responses I got were who was it, why the parting, and confirm for me this book hasn't been on submission. Esp that last part about subbing. Especially.

So yes. Add a line about parting with your agent. Make sure you have a vague and polite explanation ready. And if you are querying your memoir, where it me, I'd head them off and also add a line saying you have the list of editorial submissions-if that's the case. I don't know if it was widely subbed, but if it wasn't, I might even add that.

But that's just me, given the experience I went through with agents asking. Good luck, Wayne. You deserve it. :)

05-27-2010, 05:51 PM
When do I mention that my book was repped by another agent who gave up too quick IMO?


You know. I believe it. I would never mention it in a query.

05-27-2010, 06:39 PM

If you're querying the same book, it's going to be a tougher slog than if you were querying a new book. Any another agent is going to want a list of the people it was already shopped to, so have that at the ready. But for the query, I agree with what others are saying - just mention it briefly with all the other housekeeping details. Also, what Twizzle said: don't express an opinion about it in your query.

05-27-2010, 06:47 PM
Yes, definitely don't mention the "gave up too soon" thing, though I think that was only put in for our benefit and you weren't planning on putting that in your actual query. :)

Wayne K
05-27-2010, 07:10 PM
Thank you all. To clarify, the part about him giving up too quick is because he only subbed it to 21 editors and only at the biggest houses. I have no animosity at all towards him. I just think there are a lot of places left to sub to.

I also have the list if they're interested.

06-01-2010, 07:52 PM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 21 editors is WIDELY shopped. Yes, there may still be some options left, but that is more than enough to turn off agents. You said yourself that it was "the biggest houses".

Many agents throw in the towel at 12-15.

I would reccomend you query a new project. Your new agent may be willing to send the shopped MS out to a few places, but the reality is that 21 rejections is simply a lot. It takes a long time for an agent to work with a new client and shape the book and create pitch lists.

I hope I am wrong, but I just wanted to let you know what you're in for. Please do be upfront in your query. If an agent gets excited and chats on the phone with you and discovers its already been everywhere she wanted to send it, it can leave a bad taste.