View Full Version : Querying a new project with the last project still out?

08-20-2014, 11:35 AM
Hi all, this is my first post on Absolute Write. I am in need of advice.

Last year I completed my first manuscript. As a newbie, the querying process was quite painful. Eventually, at the end of my agent list, I edited both my query and manuscripts enough to garner some requests. The rejections came in (some very complimentary and offering me to send future projects, which was encouraging) but some agents have been sitting on the material for months without responding. Although I assume they will be rejections, I can't be sure.

Now I am near completion on a new project, which I am very enthusiastic about. It is a dark YA, whereas my last was a whimsical MG, so they are quite different. Several of the agents who have my manuscript do rep both categories. I would like to let the agents who are still reviewing my past project that I am querying a new one - to give them the opportunity to read it first - but I am not sure of proper etiquette. Should I just bypass these agents completely and move on to others? Should I nudge them for closure before querying the new project? Or if it's kosher to let them know about the new project, what do I say?


Siri Kirpal
08-20-2014, 10:05 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The first thing you do is make sure you have a fully edited ms, and gotten critiques from people who aren't family or close friends.


Siri Kirpal

Dennis E. Taylor
08-20-2014, 11:01 PM
Unless the two manuscripts are related, i.e. part of a series, I don't understand why there's any relationship, even in principle. If I was shopping for an agent and had some negotiations in progress, I think I'd hold off to give the agent first shot at the second MS, but other than that...

Am I off base?

08-21-2014, 03:50 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Siri, I definitely learned that from my first experience. This one is one thousand percent cleaner than my last, and I do use betas.

Angry, I guess I don't understand your response? I don't have negotiations in the process. I have 2 fulls and 3 partials that have been out long enough for me to write a whole new manuscript. The only connection is that I really LIKE a few of the agents that have my old material, and I would like to give them a chance to read my best work. I mean, there is always the chance they won't want to read it (although Steven Malk - whom I love - already rejected my last project and asked me to send along anything new, so at least there's that) but I would like to present it.

08-21-2014, 05:20 AM
To be more specific, this is along the lines of what I was thinking of sending:

"Dear Awesome Agent,

You requested my manuscript, (name of ms), on XX date. I would like to let you know that I have completed a new project named XX, a dark YA urban fantasy, which I will be querying soon. If you would like to take a look at it, I would be happy to send it along. My query and sample pages are included."

Any thoughts?

Dennis E. Taylor
08-21-2014, 05:34 AM
I'm saying that if you're just shopping them around, there's no rule that I know of about whether you can or can't or should or shouldn't bundle them or refer one to the other -- unless they're part of a series.

If you were currently talking to an agent or publisher and things were looking hopeful, then I would imagine the polite thing to do would be to ask them if they'd be interested.

Of course, since I'm just getting ready to do that the first time, I'd say I'm basically talking out of my :censored

08-21-2014, 06:05 AM
Ha! I like the censorship there. I have read that agents prefer to be queried with one project at a time. That's why I'm asking.

08-21-2014, 08:48 AM
Being green, I made the unfortunate mistake of blasting through my agent list without truly being ready. My manuscript had all the trademark newbie mistakes, and I had no idea how to write a query letter. I probably went through 16 versions before I found one that worked. My (finally) finished product ended up being pretty good, but alas, it was too late. That's the learning curve, I guess! Thankfully, I have found this forum, query shark, query tracker, etc., and feel ready this time. I have looked through the threads and haven't found much addressing this exact question.

08-21-2014, 09:01 AM
I actually like what you're thinking about sending out, not that I'm an expert. I never received any requests until this current round, but if they still had my older story when I was getting a new one ready to send out, I would like to remind them that they found my work interesting before...and maybe jog their memory at the same time?

08-21-2014, 09:32 AM
Thanks Katci... that's exactly where my head is.

08-21-2014, 06:27 PM
I had the same question when I was in this situation awhile back. Basically, there seem to be two "right" answers:

1) If you're convinced your Shiny New Project is far superior to Previous Work, then you email those agents who still have partials/fulls and ask to withdraw Previous Work from consideration and ask them if they'd like to see Shiny New Project.

2) If you still hold out some hope for Previous Work, then you just wait until you get all the responses back.* That way, if an agent offers rep (which did happen to me in this case), then you can bring up Shiny New Project during "the call."

*I did enter some query critique contests during the interim to make sure that my Shiny New Project's query would be ready to go when the time came.

Debbie V
08-27-2014, 01:30 AM
I'd nudge the agents who have fulls and partials if the time has come to do so, and they aren't the no reply means no types. You can check for response times on Query Tracker.

You can also send out the new work to new agents.

You might mention the new completed manuscript in your nudges. I wouldn't withdraw anything because you'll want them to consider the original manuscript for representation and not just the new one. If they requested fulls etc, it didn't totally suck.