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BrooklynLee
12-02-2011, 02:41 AM
The short version of my saga: Two years ago I wrote a book, queried, and got an agent. That book went on sub but failed to sell, and the agent has not connected with any of my subsequent work, including my latest novel, and so we have parted amicably. (She's even offered to read future work if I don't find an agent for the new book, which is great, and I can't say enough nice things about her)

Anyway, two years ago when I signed with my agent I had another agent request a partial, and then a full, and because I had an offer of rep already, she actually read it right away and called me on the phone to talk, though she did not offer representation. I was overall very impressed with her, though, and she seems like an obvious choice to query again.

I feel like I need to mention our previous interaction in the query letter -- but I'm at a loss. I obviously don't want to go into the whole story of what happened with the other agent. How would you phrase this to jog her memory? Do I mention that we talked on the phone? That she asked for a full? Obviously I should use the name of the previous ms and some details about the story, I know that.

And where should this bit go? At the beginning, before I dive into the meat of the query? Or at the end?

Renee Collins
12-02-2011, 04:19 AM
The short version of my saga: Two years ago I wrote a book, queried, and got an agent. That book went on sub but failed to sell, and the agent has not connected with any of my subsequent work, including my latest novel, and so we have parted amicably. (She's even offered to read future work if I don't find an agent for the new book, which is great, and I can't say enough nice things about her)

Anyway, two years ago when I signed with my agent I had another agent request a partial, and then a full, and because I had an offer of rep already, she actually read it right away and called me on the phone to talk, though she did not offer representation. I was overall very impressed with her, though, and she seems like an obvious choice to query again.

I feel like I need to mention our previous interaction in the query letter -- but I'm at a loss. I obviously don't want to go into the whole story of what happened with the other agent. How would you phrase this to jog her memory? Do I mention that we talked on the phone? That she asked for a full? Obviously I should use the name of the previous ms and some details about the story, I know that.

And where should this bit go? At the beginning, before I dive into the meat of the query? Or at the end?

Definitely remind her of your past interactions. And remind her right at the very beginning of the email. No need to go into too much detail about your former agent. Just say something like:

"In 6/09, you read my novel COOL BOOK, and we had a discussion about it on the phone after I received an offer of representation. I have since parted amicably with my former agent, and I would love for you to consider my new novel, COOLER BOOK"

Or something like that.

Best of luck!