View Full Version : querying trilogies

11-15-2010, 10:46 PM
In the query letter I've been sending out, I indicate that my book is intended to be the first work in a projected trilogy, though it also works as a stand-alone novel. I got a request for a full last week in which the agent asked me for more details on the rest of the trilogy, so I sent her a paragraph-long synopsis of the other two books, and told her that I have a rough draft of Book Two and asked if she would like to see a full synopsis of that one (she did). She was the first agent who has asked to see anything about the rest of the series.

So I just got another request for a full today (squee), and I'm wondering if I should offer to send along more details about the rest of the trilogy, or just keep my mouth shut unless she asks for it.

11-16-2010, 12:27 AM
I queried my novel as a stand-alone book that was meant to be part of a trilogy. No agent who requested (there were 16, so a decent sample) initially asked for details on the trilogy--but those who have made offers (um, so far, 2, eeeep!) are definitely interested. I wouldn't offer unless they ask for more information. But that's just based on my personal experience. It's great you have more info at the ready, though, because when they ask, you'll be prepared.

Susan Littlefield
11-16-2010, 12:51 AM
Wonderful, aekap!

11-16-2010, 01:25 AM
Is it good to mention that it's the first book of a trilogy, but also stand alone?

I'm in the same situation (first book polish, rough draft on second, outline for third), but I always left of the "trilogy" part because I heard it would send agents/editors running.

Hope it goes well for you, aekap!

11-16-2010, 01:34 AM
Definitely mention that it's part of a planned trilogy (or series), but that the first book stands alone. There's really no need to mention that you can provide more info on the trilogy if requested, because that's implied. You wouldn't be querying a trilogy if you didn't know what was going to happen in the other two books. On the other hand, I can't see that it would hurt you to mention it, either. So it really comes down to your preference.

11-16-2010, 01:38 AM
I used this exact sentence in my queries: "It can stand alone but is meant to be part of a trilogy."

Agents will request based on your query for the first book. Several agents have indicated that they even look favorably on books that could be series, as long as the first book is worth taking on. It means they could make multi-book deals! Of course, it all hinges on the first book, right? I think the issue of the book being the first in a series is only relevant if they love the idea and execution of that original book. So, the trilogy thing will only come into play if they're actually interested in that book.

11-16-2010, 02:43 AM
It's great you have more info at the ready, though, because when they ask, you'll be prepared.

I actually didn't, until the previous agent asked for it. Fortunately, I can write a synopsis FAST (the original query, otoh, took me over two months.)

I think I'll just slip a sentence into the end of my reply with the full attached, letting her know that I can get synopses of the rest of the series to her, if she's interested.

Oh! Here's another question... the last agent who asked for the full asked me to let her know if there's "other interest." Does that mean she wants to know if another agent asks for pages, or just if someone else makes an offer?

11-17-2010, 01:05 AM
Typically they want to know if anyone else is reading the full or has expressed interested in rep'ing you. If you have other agents reading the full, you can say yes. If others have requested partials (not just asked for partials in the initial submission) you could also say that if you'd like. Your call there.

They ask that so they know if they need to jump on it fast so they don't lose it :) It helps them prioritize.

11-17-2010, 01:30 AM
If you have other agents reading the full, you can say yes.

Thank you! I did mention to her that I have full manuscripts out with other agents. I assume that "keep us abreast of any other interest" doesn't mean she wants an update every time another agent asks for a full. I'm not wrong about this, am I? I've got a bunch of queries still floating around out in the wilderness (and had another full request today--more squeeing).

I feel like I'm eating in a fancy restaurant and I have no idea which fork to use, and I'm absolutely desperate not to make a complete ass of myself.

11-17-2010, 06:06 PM
It's up to you whether or not you want to inform any agents reading the full of future requests. I think I mentioned them when I first sent in the requested manuscript, but I did update the first agent who asked (because I hadn't had anything to report when I sent it to them). If they know others are reading it, you probably don't need to bug them if another asks, but if you get a lot of requests and lot are reading it, it could be a good idea to let them all know there's lots of interest. They could decide to either jump right on it, or pass if they just don't have time to get to it right away. (since they know others are interested)

Opinions on this are split pretty much down the middle, and there is no wrong answer, just what you feel comfortable with.

11-18-2010, 04:22 AM
From my agent's assistant in a recent conversation:

"Especially in the world of fantasy publishing, editors are very aware that readers have their favorites, to whom they are VERY loyal. As such, a one-off from a new writer is a hard sell -- but a single book with more to follow, which will build an author's career and keep readers on their toes? Much easier sell. Not that anything's particularly EASY in this market, but for fantasy, series/trilogies are definitely the way to go."

So it's probably worth mentioning that your book is part of a series, although I wouldn't say much more than that - they're gonna judge the one book, and buy it based on its own strengths.