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bunderful
08-12-2012, 06:33 PM
Hi all -

Looking for some opinions...

My first novel is agented and has been out on submission for about 7 months. I have received many positive rejections. I sent my second novel to my agent to see what she thought...and she hated it. I sent my agent 10K of my new novel...and she hated it.

Now I'm not sure what to do. If I leave my agent will my first novel ever have a chance again? Will another agent ever take on a project that has already been "out around the block" already?

But do I really want to stay with an agent who hated my next two projects?

Feeling pretty dazed and confused.

Does anyone have any advice? Opinions? Something? Anything.

Feeling very lost...

Perks
08-12-2012, 06:54 PM
It really depends on how many editors have seen your first project. My book was with an agent who submitted the manuscript to a few houses and when we had to part ways, my new agent wasn't put off by the avenues no longer available to us. It's worked out great!

Hang in there. You would be surprised to know how many writers have to try on a few agents before the right one comes along. I know I sure was.

Best of luck! And peace to your frayed nerves. Really, many of us know how you feel.

bunderful
08-12-2012, 07:02 PM
Did you just go back to querying again? How did you find your second agent?

thothguard51
08-12-2012, 07:11 PM
Just a few questions to consider...

What is the difference in the 2 submissions the agent hated and the one she is shopping around? She obviously liked the first one...

Is there a time frame with the agent, in the contract? My last agent had a 1 year contract and at the end of the year we parted ways. Still, I learned a lot about publishing in that year.

Lastly, what kind of responses are you getting with the rejections? A lot of editors will say polite things in a rejection but are not specific about what they did not like, or what the issues are.

Perks
08-12-2012, 07:22 PM
Did you just go back to querying again? How did you find your second agent?The second agent had been interested from the first round of querying. I made a choice that turned out to be the wrong fit -- and what's worse is that part of me knew it at the time.

It all worked out in the end and I'm wiser for the stumble.

bunderful
08-12-2012, 07:34 PM
The books are different. I don't want to keep writing the same book or in the same genre - but I thought my second novel was better than my first - I feel like she just doesn't "get" it.

I can sever the contract with 3 months notice at any time - as far as I remember.

All of my responses have been incredibly positive - with many saying no but asking to see my next novel. Every response has been detailed in its feedback - and every rejector had something different that they didn't like - so it's unclear what to revise. (One person hated the dialogue - one person loved it, one person didn't connect with the main character - the next person loved her, one person found the love interest unconvincing - the next person swooned...I mean, seriously - not two editors have said the same thing...)


Just a few questions to consider...

What is the difference in the 2 submissions the agent hated and the one she is shopping around? She obviously liked the first one...

Is there a time frame with the agent, in the contract? My last agent had a 1 year contract and at the end of the year we parted ways. Still, I learned a lot about publishing in that year.

Lastly, what kind of responses are you getting with the rejections? A lot of editors will say polite things in a rejection but are not specific about what they did not like, or what the issues are.

bunderful
08-12-2012, 07:36 PM
The second agent had been interested from the first round of querying. I made a choice that turned out to be the wrong fit -- and what's worse is that part of me knew it at the time.

It all worked out in the end and I'm wiser for the stumble.

The second agent was still interested? Huh. I am so afraid the other 6 who offered me rep will say "tough s***" you turned us down the first time"

leahzero
08-12-2012, 07:42 PM
But do I really want to stay with an agent who hated my next two projects?

That's a very good question. Can you explain how she "hated" your other material? Is it a business thing--she doesn't rep the genre, doesn't think it'll sell, market too saturated, etc.? Or is it the quality of the work itself?

I think it's important that you talk to your agent about the future. If your first novel doesn't sell, and she doesn't like your new material for whatever reason, what kind of future do you have together? Find out where she is on this. You're in a business partnership together. There could be all sorts of reasons she's not enthusiastic about your new work, and it doesn't behoove either of you to avoid the subject.

I really think you should discuss it frankly with her and find out her expectations and hopes for you before you do anything else.

Amadan
08-12-2012, 07:44 PM
The second agent was still interested? Huh. I am so afraid the other 6 who offered me rep will say "tough s***" you turned us down the first time"


Not likely. Why would anyone turn down potential business for such a petty reason?

Perks
08-12-2012, 07:50 PM
The second agent was still interested? Huh. I am so afraid the other 6 who offered me rep will say "tough s***" you turned us down the first time"
Oh, I wouldn't think so. The only trouble you might have is if the editors who have seen the manuscript already are the ones the other agent(s) would have pitched.

bunderful
08-12-2012, 07:54 PM
that's a good point

I just thought that with previous submission history - that nobody would touch it with a ten-foot pole

bunderful
08-12-2012, 07:57 PM
That's a very good question. Can you explain how she "hated" your other material? Is it a business thing--she doesn't rep the genre, doesn't think it'll sell, market too saturated, etc.? Or is it the quality of the work itself?

I think it's important that you talk to your agent about the future. If your first novel doesn't sell, and she doesn't like your new material for whatever reason, what kind of future do you have together? Find out where she is on this. You're in a business partnership together. There could be all sorts of reasons she's not enthusiastic about your new work, and it doesn't behoove either of you to avoid the subject.

I really think you should discuss it frankly with her and find out her expectations and hopes for you before you do anything else.

yeah...I guess I'm just dragging my feet. She said she saw no place in the market for my work - and that neither of the new novels was a good "first novel" to break into the market and start my career.

I think I have to move on. It's just so hard to go from being agented to agent-less.

triceretops
08-12-2012, 07:57 PM
Do you have any idea how many subs your agent made and to whom? You will need that list. Me, I'm pro-active and my agent allows me to hit the smaller indies who have distribution and pay advances, even if the advances are token. I never give up on any of my titles, and so far I've sold ten by myself. Tore up many of those contracts and put a few on hold.

My previous agent did not like my last five books I sent to him. I gave him notice and he went bye bye. My current agent loved all of those titles and she's staggering subbing at the moment.

Agents are very different in their tastes and wants. If I were you, I'd wait until the year mark, and definitely get a list of where that book has gone.

tri

Jamesaritchie
08-12-2012, 10:10 PM
That's a tough question. I don't care what an agent thinks about something I send her. If we have a contract, her job is to send it to editors, and see what they think.

But your first novel isn't necessarily dead. Many publishers haven't seen it, and it may be that top editors haven't seen it, even at publishers the agent tried it out on.

All agents are not created equal, and are not treated equally, at this publisher or that publisher.

triceretops
08-13-2012, 12:48 AM
All agents are not created equal, and are not treated equally, at this publisher or that publisher.

There is a lot truth in just this statement alone. I know for a fact that my agent hob-knobs with the people at Kensington on an intimate basis. Her high sales there reflects this. Publishers/editors definitely have "my precious" sentiments when it comes to agents, and this comes from proven past track records where each taste is aligned almost perfectly.

tri

Gillhoughly
08-13-2012, 01:10 AM
Finding the right agent is like finding the right spouse.

She may have "hated" the next books because they may not be something she normally sells. Charlaine Harris's longtime agent hated the first Sookie Stackhouse book, but sold it regardless, but then Charlaine had a track record in mysteries.

If you don't think you can maintain a comfortable fit with this agent for the kind of writing you do, then try another; your first novel is by no means "dead." You can always tweak it a bit. Good writers never get tired of polishing.

In the meantime, you'll have two MORE books for the next agent to shop, perhaps even finishing another as they make the rounds.

Write what turns you on, not what you think an agent will like.

If one agent liked your first book, then so will others.