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popmuze
01-26-2006, 11:30 PM
I have two projects I want to pitch, one (non-fiction) that would seem to have more immediate commercial potential and the other (a novel).

After amassing a few rejections on the novel, I've been thinking about changing my query to just mention the non-fiction project.

On the plus side, I might more easily get an agent, who I could later give the fiction ms. once the non-fiction has sold.

On the minus side, I could wind up with an agent who doesn't like (and won't pitch) my fiction.

On the other hand, if I wait until I find an agent for the fiction, the window for the non-fiction project could be shut.

In the interest of full disclosure, I now have the fiction at one agency and the non-fiction at another, with each unaware of the other side of my career.

But in preparing a new round of queries, I'm trying to figure out which approach would be the strongest to take.

Unique
01-27-2006, 09:25 PM
After amassing a few rejections on the novel, I've been thinking about changing my query to just mention the non-fiction project.



Am I understanding you to say that your queries have been pitching two projects in one letter? That sounds rather odd (to me).

With that in mind, let me say I am not now, nor have I ever been an agent. I know you said we didn't have to answer, but I felt like it.:e2tongue:

popmuze
01-27-2006, 09:53 PM
The streak is ended at 33.

No, what I'm saying is, I'm trying to decide which project to pitch in my next queries.

For a while I was going out with the novel, but not getting anywhere. Now I feel I ought to switch the focus to the non-fiction. Except if I get an agent interested in the non-fiction, there's no guarantee they'll want to represent the novel, which is my top priority.

On the other hand, it may take a long time to get the novel hooked up with an agent, during which time the non-fiction project would go out of date.

Is that any clearer? I guess I'll have to wait for another 35 people to see.

Unique
01-27-2006, 11:08 PM
The streak is ended at 33.

Is that any clearer? I guess I'll have to wait for another 35 people to see.

Now, now, none of that. I look at queries as sort of a 'sales pitch' letter. Whether it's to an agent or a publisher directly doesn't matter.

You have something you're offering. You're telling them what it is, why it's great, and what it resembles. Once you've written a great query, one for each project, it's not like you have to rewrite the whole thing. Tweaks and changes to the addressee, but not rewriting the whole thing. (It's great, remember?)

There's no reason not to send queries out for both projects. They probably won't be going to the same places. The only problem I see in doing that is if 2 different agents/publishers said, 'YES, I LOVE it, I want it NOW' at the same time. What are the odds of that?

Of course, I'm no expert so your mileage may vary. Maybe what I just said is so full of dookey an expert will hop in to tell me I'm full of dookey and give you the real deal.

(You can pay me in chocolate if that happens.:D )

rchastain
01-27-2006, 11:45 PM
Conventional wisdom is to pitch one project at a time to an agent carefully targeted for that particular book. Querying not only two books but two different kinds of books in the same letter may be shooting yourself in the foot.

RC

popmuze
01-27-2006, 11:50 PM
What I'm hearing is, develop the two queries separately (which I have) and sent them to different agents, ten to one, ten to another. Then sit back and see which way the chips fall.

If any of them want to sign me up, then I'll have to decide whether to tell them about the other project.

dantem42
01-28-2006, 07:06 AM
What I'm hearing is, develop the two queries separately (which I have) and sent them to different agents, ten to one, ten to another. Then sit back and see which way the chips fall.

If any of them want to sign me up, then I'll have to decide whether to tell them about the other project.

I vaguely remember Andy Zack addressed this issue. One complication is that normally, an agenting agreement covers the writer, not the book, and typically the agent will take on all the writer's product, though this is not dyed in the wool. Once you go into discussions on his/her agenting your fiction or your nonfiction, you can bring up the issue of the other product. Most agents who handle fiction also handle nonfiction, although many nonfiction agents don't work fiction.