View Full Version : Almost Unshopped

04-10-2018, 08:55 PM
I'm revising a MS in hopes of querying later this year.

About a year ago, some early chapters and a synopsis were offered to the publisher of my first three books as a (contractually mandated) option book. They passed (they felt it was "too dark," and in contrast with my other work I can't argue with that :)).

Does this doom it as a book to query? Do I mention in the query that the one publisher saw a book proposal and part of an early draft?

AW Admin
04-10-2018, 09:00 PM
Maybe something like

HC, the publisher of my SF trilogy, thought New Book was too dark for them in the context of my other books

Maybe mention that you're willing to use a pen name (if you are willing).

04-10-2018, 09:06 PM
The book was used to satisfy the "first look" clause of my previous contract, but as the book was vastly different from the ones the publisher had already purchased, it didn't fit with their imprint. This is the only editor who has seen any of the work, and it's not attached to any agency.

04-10-2018, 10:49 PM
Thanks, folks. I'll mention it in the query with some nice, neutral verbiage.

And yeah, I'll use a pen name if I have to. I'd rather not, but needs must, I suppose.

Anna Spargo-Ryan
04-11-2018, 06:31 AM
I'd be inclined not to mention it at all until phone call stage. Pages and a synopsis to fulfil a first right of refusal clause are definitely not a deal-breaker (how many other publishers does that leave!) but it runs the risk of sounding like one. I think if you were to mention it, I'd it do in the context of your other publications, like "I have three novels out with HarperCollins, and am excited to explore other options for this manuscript, which takes a dark turn from my previous work." Or something? Maybe?