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D. E. Wyatt
10-19-2018, 03:37 AM
So my first book was self-published to good reviews as a novella in 2013. This was followed by a full-length novel that was picked up by an Indie publisher after they checked out the first book. For the third book (of the same series) I decided to get an agent. Additionally, I learned the publisher of Book 2 was folding after I began shopping Book 3 around, and that book is now out of print. (full rights have reverted to me). The third book received some interest and encouraging remarks, but ultimately all the agents I submitted to passed (my favorite rejection: "Marvelous! Stupendous! I loved it!... But it's just not a good fit for me.").

I figure that part of the problem I have with Book 3 is agents not wanting to pick me up in the middle of a series, and would prefer to start with something new. I'm also dissatisfied with the edit of Book 2 (the publisher took total control. I especially hated the cover, but was told, "This is what we're using") and decided it needs some rewrites. However I also felt that there's a number of things I wanted to revise on Book 1, part of which included expanding it from a novella to a full-length novel both to better flesh out the story, and because a novel is an easier sell. I'm currently in the process of doing this now.

I'm curious on how I should approach pitching this to an agent once the rewrites are complete. I'm certain I'll want to be honest that the book had previously been published as a novella, but that I have full rights to it. However I'm unsure of how exactly I should broach this once it's time to start shopping it around.

cool pop
10-19-2018, 04:22 AM
You could rewrite it completely and shop it. That way it could be considered a new work but if you plan to keep aspects of it where it might be recognizable then you can let them know it was previously published. But, unless it sold gazillions, if you rewrite it into a new work (just using the original series as a jumping off point) I doubt they'd know. I mean, it would be a new book.

D. E. Wyatt
10-19-2018, 06:09 AM
Well, Book 1's rewrites aren't nearly done and I've already doubled the length, so it substantially IS a new book. All said and done, I suspect it will end up being about 66% new content greatly fleshing out a lot of stuff I abridged (it was planned to be a short story, but ended up longer).

Old Hack
10-19-2018, 11:38 AM
I doubt you'll find an agent willing to represent any of the books in this series. Two out of the three books have already been published and from what you've said, sales have been lacklustre. If you're determined to work with an agent from now on your best bet would be to shelve the whole project and write something new.

D. E. Wyatt
10-19-2018, 10:48 PM
There ARE some mitigating issues on the first two books. The first was a novella, which are a hard to sell in the first place (I know even established, big name writers have trouble selling them as standalone stories). I also only had myself for marketing (self-published) and no budget to do it with. The second I literally got NO help from the publisher whatsoever. No real marketing support, an edit I didn't like, and a very bad cover (which i rejected but they used anyway).

waylander
10-20-2018, 12:30 AM
I suggest you ask the current visiting Jessica Faust here https://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?338849-Welcome-Jessica-Faust-of-Book-Ends-Literary-to-Ask-An-Agent-for-October

lizmonster
10-20-2018, 01:11 AM
There ARE some mitigating issues on the first two books. The first was a novella, which are a hard to sell in the first place (I know even established, big name writers have trouble selling them as standalone stories). I also only had myself for marketing (self-published) and no budget to do it with. The second I literally got NO help from the publisher whatsoever. No real marketing support, an edit I didn't like, and a very bad cover (which i rejected but they used anyway).

These are all mitigating issues, but I suspect they're not going to matter much to another publisher. That doesn't mean it's hopeless, just that you're playing very long odds.

Jessica Faust did answer a similar question (https://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?338849-Welcome-Jessica-Faust-of-Book-Ends-Literary-to-Ask-An-Agent-for-October&p=10465701&viewfull=1#post10465701), but you could always ask her about your specific circumstances.