View Full Version : Pitching a book which is technically a sequel

07-04-2015, 11:19 PM
I completed a novel earlier this year, which I am now preparing to seek an agent for. The novel is a standalone work; it is completely self contained, and the reader does not need to have read any other work by me in order to fully understand and appreciate every aspect of the novel.

Nevertheless, the novel is technically a sequel to a short story that I self published a couple of years ago. Some of the characters in the novel are the same as in the short story. Technically the initial events in the novel follow on from those of the short story, but there is no necessary link. Everything that needs to be explained about the characters' pasts is explained in the novel. And the main plot of the novel really has nothing to do with that of the short story.

My question is this: should I mention the existence of this short story to prospective (or actual) agents? I am concerned about how they might react if I mention it. I am also concerned how they might react if I don't mention it, and then they Google my name and the story comes up. If I do mention the story, when would be the appropriate time to do so? In the query letter, after the agent has expressed interest, later on in the process of finding a publisher etc?

Thank you for taking the time to consider my question.

Aggy B.
07-05-2015, 02:18 AM
Unless the short story won a (major) award or sold a lot of copies I wouldn't bother mentioning it during the query stage. When you get to the point of talking about the novel with an agent you can mention there was a short story that came before it, etc. But unless the short story is somehow creating demand for the standalone novel, I don't think it has much bearing on the query.

I have a novel that is similar - it follows a short story that was the introduction to the main character, her familiar and the "love interest"/secondary main character. But the events are completely self-contained. When I asked my agent if he wanted to look at it, he didn't have much of an opinion one way or another about the fact there was a short story that preceded it.

Just my two cents.

07-05-2015, 02:35 AM
Thank you Aggy, you've been very helpful.

07-05-2015, 05:23 AM
Yep, I agree. Sounds like a great thing to bring up in "the call" with an agent. For querying, you're good to go without mentioning the short story.

07-06-2015, 03:07 AM
If you hook an agent it might be something worth mentioning since the short story was published, but no need to mention it in a query. Good luck!