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View Full Version : When is it time to dust off a manuscript and try again?



aruna
08-11-2010, 09:23 AM
Back in 2007, my ms White Night found a Writers House agent and went the publisher rounds. One Random House editor loved it but it was rejected by the sales team. My WH agent left for a new career a few months later. Since it had done the rounds already nobody else at Writers House wanted to take it on, so I was orphaned, even though there were a few publishers left.

It's a ms that is mostly suited to the US market, so though I did make a half-hearted attempt to sell it in the UK I gave up after a while and wrote something else.

I've since revised it once and right now I'm going through it again. It's in pretty good shape; the WH agent went through it a million times with me to get it perfect, and one UK agent sent me a personal rejection to say how much she loved it but it wasn't right for her list. So I know it still has life.

I realise that no agent would touch a ms that has done the publishing rounds; but the publishing landscape chages and sooner or later, I assume, I can try again.

When? (I'm thinking USA here.)

Jamesaritchie
08-11-2010, 11:22 PM
I don't believe a novel should ever be off the market, even for a day. Most agents know only a handful of editors at a few publishers, and it's often teh same group for most agents. If you can't find an agent who will keep it on the market, put it there yourself.

Ryan_Sullivan
08-12-2010, 01:18 AM
It really depends on your goals and how much it's been shopped. If you're looking to get published by a major house, but your novel has already been passed (either by one where one pass = all pass, or a couple times from each house) then you're probably not in the best position to restart. If you're looking for publication other than that, I'm sure there are plenty of places you can look for. Perhaps, though, you may want to consider working on a new project and getting that ready. It's probably easier to secure an agent with a new piece, work with that, and then have this one for a future project.

aruna
08-12-2010, 10:16 AM
It really depends on your goals and how much it's been shopped. If you're looking to get published by a major house, but your novel has already been passed (either by one where one pass = all pass, or a couple times from each house) then you're probably not in the best position to restart. If you're looking for publication other than that, I'm sure there are plenty of places you can look for. Perhaps, though, you may want to consider working on a new project and getting that ready. It's probably easier to secure an agent with a new piece, work with that, and then have this one for a future project.

Thanks! And that's exactly what I did -- in fact., I've written two new books since then. My plan at the moment is to put all four of my unpublished mss "out there" and circulating. Two of them fit best to the USA, two of them fit best to the UK.
At the moment I am shopping WN in the UK, but I don't think it's the best market.

Donna Pudick
08-12-2010, 03:49 PM
Oh, do try again! We shelved a number of manuscripts in 08, just as the turmoil in NYC began and editors were dropped by the dozens. In 2010, after the shakeup, we resurrected some of the manuscripts the authors had kept intact, re-signed those authors, did a little editorial tweaking, and sold the works.

We also discovered that some of the dropped and retired editors have started their own agencies and/or independant small publishing companies. They are just as cautious and selective as they were when working for the big houses, but they have created new markets for writers. Best thing is, they publish what they like and aren't encumbered by lists or upper-managment.

Do some serious research on your own. My Big Book has swelled to 5 inches thick with legit publishers who don't require agents. Took me 5 years to compile it, but was worth the effort. Follow the guidelines completely and you'll do fine.