View Full Version : Mentioning Former Client in Query

09-29-2015, 06:01 PM

I was reading a book the other day that has enough similarity to mine to use as a comp, and in the Acknowledgements, the author thanks her agent. Since the projects aren't so similar that they'd overlap, I thought this would be an excellent agent to query. The problem is that in doing more research, I discovered that this author left the agent to go Indie earlier this month. She gives the agent a very nice thank you after saying she just couldn't come to a contractual agreement with her former publisher, but I have no idea how amicable the split was.

Would it be bad to mention this author? I'm torn because I don't want to associate my book with possible bad feelings but the comp would otherwise be good.

09-29-2015, 08:15 PM
The fact that the author mentioned the agent positively suggests that there aren't bad feelings. Also, if the novel is a good comp for yours, then it might be something this agent would actually use in submitting your novel to editors.

I would probably go ahead and do it.

09-29-2015, 11:33 PM
Agreed. We don't always know what the current relationship is between a writer and agent, so just assume a comp is a comp. If the agent repped that book, then it was obviously a book she liked and wanted to get behind. I would mention the book only and not the author. But I think the only time you don't comp a title is when the title did really poorly or had some sort of scandal around it. Likewise, I wouldn't name drop an author you know left on bad terms.

09-30-2015, 12:18 AM
I would err on the side of caution though, I sent my ex-agent the nicest of letters. In public, about our history, I will be gracious and all that. But privately? I'm seething.

09-30-2015, 11:14 PM
I don't think comps are a good idea. They too often aren't comps at all, or if they are, they comp a book that didn't sell well, or they sound boastful.

10-02-2015, 07:08 PM
It sounds like just mentioning the book might be my best bet. Here's hoping it won't cause a problem!