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View Full Version : Sent a Book Proposal Prematurely. Not the Best Idea.



Joanna Alonzo
04-17-2014, 09:25 AM
So here's what happened... I sent a book proposal to my dream agent late last year. The agency guidelines required a proposal and the first three chapters of the book. I indicated that I wasn't done writing the manuscript yet and that I intended to finish before January of this year. (When I was ghostwriting, I was normally able to finish a novel in two to three months.)

I was hoping for a response, but I was expecting a rejection at best. I got a response a couple of days later, requesting the complete manuscript once I'm done with it.

I was ecstatic for the first few days then I just... I don't know... I crashed from the pressure. Now, it's April and I'm not done writing the thing yet.

So the question is: Do I have to update them that I'm not done with the manuscript yet? I want it to be the best it could possibly be before sending the whole thing, but I did say in the original proposal that my target date to finish was January. Any thoughts?

ReflectedGray
04-17-2014, 09:37 AM
I think you just need to finish the book. They aren't holding their breath waiting for it, as they have many many other manuscripts to sort through. I'm frankly very surprised that you got any response as well. It is very atypical to query books that are not finished. The reason is because authors can't always write on a deadline. Even well established authors.

I would just finish your book. When you are happy with it, maybe send it to the agent who requested it, but also start querying elsewhere. Requesting a full manuscript is not a commitment of any kind, especially if all they had to go on was a query letter. Apparently they must have liked it enough to overlook the way you jumped the gun a bit, but that doesn't mean they will like your writing.

That being said, other agent might! Or they might! You never know. All i'm saying is don't write for one agency. Finish your book and start the querying process properly.

Kerosene
04-17-2014, 09:42 AM
Agree with Reflected. And, honestly, if I was an agent--unless I was severely interested--I would forget people, deadlines, and whatnot if it didn't matter; I might remember reading your opening pages, but no promises being made. If I was you, I wouldn't remind them, but won't deny what I said if they asked--then I'd apologize, but give no excuses.

Finish, then re-query. They're interested--at least you've got that. Others might be as well.

Joanna Alonzo
04-17-2014, 11:09 AM
All i'm saying is don't write for one agency.

Thanks for this. I'm pretty new to all this querying and I'm still trying to find my way. It kind of feels like if this agent says no, it's over, and from what I've read on this forum, it doesn't work that way.

*fingers crossed*

Gotta finish this novel. :)

Joanna Alonzo
04-17-2014, 11:11 AM
If I was you, I wouldn't remind them, but won't deny what I said if they asked--then I'd apologize, but give no excuses.

Finish, then re-query. They're interested--at least you've got that. Others might be as well.

You're right. I'd probably just go the route you suggested.

And yes. I'm thankful that they're interested. It's an extra nudge to remind me know that I'm actually going somewhere with this novel.

*sigh of relief*

mccardey
04-17-2014, 12:31 PM
I did say in the original proposal that my target date to finish was January. Any thoughts?

Did you say which January? Because I always tell people the book will be finished in August. They don't seem to care.

Don't stress. Just write.

Joanna Alonzo
04-17-2014, 12:34 PM
Did you say which January? Because I always tell people the book will be finished in August. They don't seem to care.

Don't stress. Just write.

Oh, rats... pfft... I said January 2014. Should've left out the year, heh? Haha... I'll use your "strategy" next time... :tongue

Yeah. Not like there's much else I can do but write (and have fun doing it).