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brs18041
01-30-2015, 10:45 PM
Hello!

I have finally decided that as soon as I finish my current WIP, I will be parting ways with my agent, and will start querying again. It's hard to know I've "wasted" more than a year (and a manuscript), but I guess I can chalk it up as a learning experience. I'd rather start from scratch than put my new baby in this agent's hands. A bad agent is, in fact, worse than no agent.

Anyway, my question is: when I start to query again, should I mention in the query letter that I previously had an agent? Would this help me stand out, or is it irrelevant? If I do include the info, should I mention why we parted ways?

The choice to part ways will be mine (mainly due to bad communication issues and an overall lack of effort to sell my MS -- she seems incredibly overwhelmed, and I'm not the only client who has issues with her). I'd love to include the information that I was previously agented to show that someone once took the chance on me, but I also don't want new agents thinking that it was the quality of my previous MS or my fault that the relationship didn't work out.

Thanks in advance!

susangpyp
01-30-2015, 11:29 PM
When I sent agent queries the first time, I did so six at a time. Sometimes I would get feedback from an agent that would help me reformulate my next batch. You might want to formulate a query that mentions the agent, one that doesn't and one that treads carefully on the hows and whys of the parting of the ways.

My first agent did a lot of work on my submission and sold my first book, but was disinterested and somewhat of an obstacle on the second book. Thankfully she retired before it was published so I didn't have to go through what you're describing. However, before her retirement I had the plan I just described in queries to new agents. Mention it to some and not others and see there were questions and, if so, what were they. I didn't really feel like plastering my relationship with my agent all over the industry, but I thought I'd throw it out to a few since it was a fact that would need disclosure before signing with a new one.

Agents are very different and respond differently to queries. Some may be put off by the agent situation and some will understand. I would just tread carefully and play it somewhat close to the vest.

Putputt
01-31-2015, 04:06 PM
When I queried, I just said "I recently parted ways amicably with my agent. MS TITLE has not been submitted to any editors." That worked just fine for me.

LaneHeymont
02-03-2015, 12:45 AM
When I queried, I just said "I recently parted ways amicably with my agent. MS TITLE has not been submitted to any editors." That worked just fine for me.


This ^^^^. I pay attention to the agent part. Some people just don't work well together or things just happen. Don't go into details. Just say you parted ways and go on with the query.