PDA

View Full Version : Querying question



Georgia Lee
10-27-2011, 09:06 PM
Is it frowned upon to query for a MS when only part one (of two parts) is finished?

Part I of my MS has a very definitive ending - where it could stand alone, but can't because of word count.

It is YA, Part/Book I is around 50,000 words. I am in the process of writing Part II (just started). Due to circumstances it would be beneficial for me to start querying now, but I also don't want to be laughed at/ignored becuase I'm not following conventional protocol.

Ideas and/or thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you :)

Drachen Jager
10-27-2011, 09:34 PM
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2010/06/manuscript-length.html

YA can be as short as 45k, so you're not doing too badly. Make sure it's well edited and betaed, then go ahead and query away. It's not too short to be a novel.

hillaryjacques
10-27-2011, 09:37 PM
Is it frowned upon to query for a MS when only part one (of two parts) is finished?

Part I of my MS has a very definitive ending - where it could stand alone, but can't because of word count.

It is YA, Part/Book I is around 50,000 words. I am in the process of writing Part II (just started). Due to circumstances it would be beneficial for me to start querying now, but I also don't want to be laughed at/ignored becuase I'm not following conventional protocol.

Ideas and/or thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you :)

If these are two separate books, and book one is complete and polished, then query it.

If these are two sections of one book, and that book is incomplete, then do not query until it is complete and polished.

leahzero
10-27-2011, 09:57 PM
If the two parts are meant to be together in one book, then do not query until the entire MS is finished.

Imagine if you query and get agent interest right away. If they request the full and you say, "It's only half-finished," you will likely be instantly rejected.

Don't query fiction before the MS is finished.

Georgia Lee
10-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Part I can stand completely alone as the first book in a series. I guess my worry is I wouldn't be successful querying it at the current length. Most YA fantasy tends to be much longer.

Would the better idea be to complete the second part and query both parts as a whole? It would probably be around 80-100k words at that point.

Drachen Jager
10-27-2011, 10:42 PM
I'm no expert, but afaik, from a first time author they'd rather see a 50k novel than a 100k novel. There are too many newbies out there with massive tomes to sell who and publishers prefer to keep things on the shorter side (better profit margin).

I think you're fine with 50k. I've heard one author with a 35k novel who queried it and has received an R&R from a good agent asking her to make certain changes and bring it up to 50-55k.

Susan Littlefield
10-27-2011, 11:17 PM
If it's meant to be two books, then query the book that is completed.

It's it's meant to be one book, do not query until completed.

quicklime
10-27-2011, 11:52 PM
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2010/06/manuscript-length.html

YA can be as short as 45k, so you're not doing too badly. Make sure it's well edited and betaed, then go ahead and query away. It's not too short to be a novel.

BUT, query as a single book then--do not query the whole thing (1 and 2) unless 2 is finished

Katrinioni
10-28-2011, 12:34 AM
If they are meant to be (and can stand as) two separate books then it should be fine to start querying once any essential edits or changes have been made. Good luck! :)

Georgia Lee
10-28-2011, 03:01 AM
Thanks everyone :)

I think I'll polish up the first book, take another look at my query (oy!) and see what happens.

I appreciate the feedback.

mellymel
10-28-2011, 07:41 AM
Part I can stand completely alone as the first book in a series. I guess my worry is I wouldn't be successful querying it at the current length. Most YA fantasy tends to be much longer.

Would the better idea be to complete the second part and query both parts as a whole? It would probably be around 80-100k words at that point.

80K for Fantasy (from what I know) is quite acceptable.

Phaeal
10-28-2011, 08:28 PM
SFF does tend to be longer than mainstream YA -- lift some of those books off the shelf. But if you have a truly stand-alone novel in Book One, go ahead and query it, WHILE working hard on Two.

You might also consider having a presentable treatment of Book Two ready before you query One. A treatment, in my lexicon, is a narrative outline of the whole story, done as entertainingly as possible. If an agent takes on One, he'll have another arrow in his quiver if he can prove to publishers that you actually have a solid idea about Two.

First thing my agent asked for, with both series I've sent him, was that outline/treatment of Two. Better to have it ready than to have to scramble (cough, says one who knows.) :D

Georgia Lee
10-29-2011, 03:15 AM
Great advice, thank you!