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nancy sv
07-13-2011, 03:42 AM
Mods - I'm not sure which forum this should be in. Please feel free to move it to a more appropriate forum if there is one.

Many of you know that I recently finished an epic family bike ride from Alaska to Argentina. I have talked with an agent and thought I had it all worked out that he would represent me, but now that doesn't seem to be working out and I'm back to the drawing board to look for a new agent.

The book we had talked about before was a narrative travelogue of our journey - and I still want to write that book.

However, I would also like to write a non-fiction book about educating kids while traveling. Since I've been a classroom teacher for 21 years and have also traveled full time with my kids for 4 years and taught overseas for many years, I think I have the background to pull it off.

When I write to agents, should I mention both books? Or just the travelogue? Or just the education one? How would I go about doing it - they are such different books it seems like different agents would gravitate toward one or the other, but rarely both.

JoyMC
07-13-2011, 04:18 AM
i'm not sure and wiser voices will chime in, but as an unschooling mama who has also traveled extensively in the Americas, i want to read both books! :)

Anaquana
07-13-2011, 04:47 AM
Nancy, first WOW!! That's some family outing!

Second, only approach agents with one of the books, not both. However, if you get to the phone call stage or even more in-depth emailing, you can bring up the second book at that point. Good luck and I would love to read the travelogue when it's done because it sounds like it was a wonderful adventure.

Mr. Anonymous
07-13-2011, 05:54 AM
which book do you want to write most/first? whichever one it is, write up a query/proposal for it and go for it (I'd recommend the travelogue, as that seems more commercial, but then, I know very little about the publishing world and even less about non fic).

Once you have an agent, you can discuss future projects.

Guardian
07-13-2011, 05:59 AM
Hmm. If they are very different, then I vote that you just try to sell one first. Then you can mention your other book to an agent who signs you, or you can try to shop the two books for separate agents.

suki
07-13-2011, 06:01 AM
which book do you want to write most/first? whichever one it is, write up a query/proposal for it and go for it (I'd recommend the travelogue, as that seems more commercial, but then, I know very little about the publishing world and even less about non fic).

Once you have an agent, you can discuss future projects.

Yup, one at a time at the query stage. You can have proposals for both, and be querying different agents with different proposals (never both to the same agency or same agent at the same time, and usually good to add a good few months between proposals to the same agent), but I'd advise as Mr. Anonymous suggests - focus on the more commercial or more interested project, and save the other for the phone call.

~suki

Polenth
07-13-2011, 06:02 AM
I may be wrong, but it feels like the travelogue would be more appealing from a marketing perspective. It'd be read by anyone interested in your journey. The schooling one would only appeal to a very niche group (parents intending to educate while traveling full-time). Also, having the travelogue published would give you a better platform for the teaching book.

thothguard51
07-13-2011, 06:07 AM
I would write the travel log sooner than later while it is all still fresh and exciting to you.

The other book sounds like it can be written at any time...

scope
07-13-2011, 07:30 AM
One at a time to any one particular agent and/or agency.

Staying objective, it seems to me that the travelogue might have a market, but that depends on things which I don't know. You know, why was your experience different from others (beyond geography), why would people want to buy it, etc.?

It seems to me that the audience for your other book is extremely limitied. But then again I don't know much about the subject.

AlishaS
07-13-2011, 09:28 AM
I'd say pick the one you want most first, write it, and query it, then go from there.
And wow! What a journey, congrats on your huge accomplishment and all the best to you and your family :)

CAWriter
07-13-2011, 11:34 AM
I've been revisiting this topic since I'm working with another author on getting their project(s) ready to submit. I agree that when going the traditional submission route, one proposal per agent is the standard, acceptable way to go.

BUT, I have also seen from personal experience as well as observation of other authors, that if you have the opportunity to meet them face to face that you can mention diverse projects and its ok. I'm assuming you're back in the states if your trip is finished. If you have the opportunity to make any connections via a writer's conference or something, you might get the opportunity to mention both projects. The same would be true if you are able to get an introduction to an agent via one of their established authors.

cwfgal
07-13-2011, 03:39 PM
I agree with those who say one at a time. Have you done your homework (;)) and researched what's already out there to see which one would have the best chance of meeting a market need? I also think you could try querying both to different agents/agencies to see which one garners the most interest.

I am inclined to agree with those who say the travelogue probably has the broader marketability but I suspect it also has more competition. Maybe consider tweaking the education on the road book to make it a little broader. Parents love learning about fun new ways they can teach their kids stuff, particularly if it can be done in such a way that the kids don't realize they're being "taught." If your subject was more about teaching kids outside of the school setting, not just while traveling, I think the audience for it could be bigger than the travelogue.

Beth

Phaeal
07-13-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't see why you can't do proposals for both and see which one flies first or highest.

nancy sv
07-14-2011, 12:28 AM
Thank you all so much! I was thinking along the lines of pitching the travelogue first, but thought I'd throw it out there. You've confirmed what I was feeling before.