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View Full Version : How long should I wait to query a new project?



Lena Hillbrand
01-21-2015, 06:55 AM
I read through the "querying 2 agents at once" topic, but I didn't get a solid answer. My question is about querying a new project, same genre & subgenre.

I gave myself a limit on how many agents I would query with my last novel. I reached that limit and added a handful more that I'd stumbled upon that were interested in the type of novels I write. I am now finished querying and it's been close to a year.

So my question is, should I wait a while to move to querying another novel? It's written and polished, the query is written but might need a bit of polish. By the end of the month, I'd like to start querying. But I still have fulls out with 6 agents (some for as long as 10 months, some only a few weeks).

I've been writing in a niche genre for years and it's finally getting a little interest. I'd like to query while agents are interested, but I don't want to throw out a new project too soon, either. Advice?

thothguard51
01-21-2015, 07:54 AM
Whenever you feel you are ready...

Treehouseman
01-21-2015, 11:44 AM
Well, after I read somewhere that the golden "agent getting" figure was over 50 and sometimes over 100, (and QueryTracker's success stories were full of plus-50's) I queried that many (in bunches of 5-15) over two years to eventual success. I hope that answers the unanswered question!

As for pitching the new project:

If the agents you queried before said "No, but send me something else", send your new project to them straight away!

If you got a form letter that didn't mention seeing another story from you, I've heard in sources that it's polite to wait 6 months. Try anyone you haven't tried first, then move onto them!

Others might have different views depending on their experience, of course.

Good luck!

Bryan Methods
01-21-2015, 02:22 PM
Polish until you're happy, and then send away!

The worst that can happen is what happened to me: you get an offer of representation on one book and sign an author's agreement that means you have to withdraw the other novel from consideration. If you're like me, you'll be so happy that you're in that position at all that you certainly won't regret having to do that.

Quickbread
01-21-2015, 05:47 PM
I'm wondering why you limited the number of agents you approached with the previous project. Keep in mind that it can take well over a hundred queries for some writers to find their agent. For me, it was 150+, and I still landed a wonderful agent at a great agency.

Since you have more than 50 posts, you can run your second manuscript query through Query Letter Hell and get feedback if you're up for that. The people there can really help you smooth the burrs on the query.

Also, it's totally acceptable to follow up on your manuscripts that have been out for 10 months, if you haven't already. Generally, six months is a good rule of thumb for sending a short, polite email checking in to see whether the agent is still interested.

Good luck!

popgun62
01-21-2015, 07:47 PM
I don't see a problem with sending out another project. If they are only mildly interested in the first one, the second one might push them over the edge (in a good way!) and they'll make offers on one or the other, or maybe both! Don't limit yourself, especially in the number of queries you send out. I didn't stop querying until I had exhausted every avenue, and five years later it paid off :)

Lena Hillbrand
01-22-2015, 03:49 AM
I only waited 3 months to nudge, because all the agents with fulls have said they would get back in 8 weeks. I know that they are all probably swamped, so I waited 3 months to nudge, but I've not had responses to nudges, either. Unfortunately, I'm sure sometimes a MS falls through the cracks, so to speak, and I close them out as No Response=No.

I don't really know why I limited the # of agents on my list. 100 seemed a good stopping point. I had initially planned to self publish and didn't even consider querying it until a beta reader/author encouraged me, saying my genre was hot right now. I queried a project years ago, but was told the genre wasn't selling then.

Anyway, I think the new project is more marketable, so I may send it out and see if I get any bites. Wasn't sure if it was bad etiquette to send out a new project when I had one still out.

Thanks, everyone!

Niiicola
01-22-2015, 05:59 AM
For the agents who didn't respond to your nudge, are there other agents at that agency you could query instead? I feel like it wouldn't be a problem to query somebody else with a totally new project a year later, and then you could avoid the awkwardness of "Hey, you didn't write back to me, but here's something else."

Also, you have my deep sympathy on the no-responses to nudges on requested material. Those are the worst.

Thedrellum
01-22-2015, 08:40 PM
I'd avoid querying the agents who already have your full until they give you a response. And if they give you positive feedback, I don't see anything wrong with requerying them right away--if they've had your novel for half a year plus, they know you're probably working on something else.

With my novels, I queried until I lost faith in the novel. With the one that got me an agent, it was the 111th query that received a bite.

Mark Thompson
01-22-2015, 10:11 PM
No news is bad news.
M

mayqueen
01-22-2015, 10:32 PM
I only waited 3 months to nudge, because all the agents with fulls have said they would get back in 8 weeks. I know that they are all probably swamped, so I waited 3 months to nudge, but I've not had responses to nudges, either. Unfortunately, I'm sure sometimes a MS falls through the cracks, so to speak, and I close them out as No Response=No.

Three months is pretty standard. I'm sorry about the non-responses to requested materials. That's happened to me and it's not fun.

I personally wouldn't query those agents with the new project. I *might* send a second nudge and a polite hey here's my new thing and the query is below. But I wouldn't send them a totally new query. Not for any good reason other than my own personal feelings.

If there are other agents are their same agency or anywhere else you want to query, then I do think that enough time has passed.