View Full Version : Will agent request outline for the sequel?

04-22-2019, 04:25 AM
I'm going to start querying agents soon on my current manuscript, book 1 of a projected trilogy. Based on what I've learned from this forum and agents' blogs, I should work on a completely different project at the same time because even if you get signed by an agent, he/she may not be able to sell this book and will ask to see something new from you.

I'm ready to start a new series, but here is my question: Should I get the outline done for book 2 in the trilogy in case an agent requests it? Or it can wait until a publisher shows interest? I'd rather postpone that and pour all my energy into my new series if it isn't necessary.


04-22-2019, 06:02 AM
I suspect my amateur opinion is not a bad one, but FWIW it is an amateur one.

Everything I have heard is don't worry about the next book. I've heard the agent will not worry about the next book. The best you can do, and the best the agent can do, is write and sell a fantastic book. This book.

This is not to say don't be writing the next book--But that advice (to write the next book) is not meant to say "Hey, the agent wants you to have the series mapped out" because... the agent hopes to sell this one book. With luck, if that happens, the series is easier. You 'write the next book' because book one likely doesn't sell (the numbers are against it) and also to keep your mind off the whole publishing submissions doldrums.

So--decide what you want to write, whether next in the series or something entirely new--and write that for your own peace of mind. When you query *that* book (the next book) you have this book in your trunk.

Unless it sells, which is the point of having written and agenting this book.

04-22-2019, 06:43 AM
When I queried eons ago, one agent asked if the second book in the series was written already because she wanted to know what happened next. Another agent asked for a synopsis of Book 2. I didn't have a synopsis of Book 2 ready, so I cobbled one together quickly and told them this was a very rough idea of what I'm planning for Book 2. It was super rough and vague, only less than a page long, and they offered anyway. The other agents who offered didn't bother asking about Book 2. The agent I signed with asked for a proper synopsis of Book 2 to be included in her submission package for editors.

After all this excitement...the book crashed and burned in the submission stage. And no editor even mentioned the synopsis for Book 2. It died because Book 1 was just not up to par.

Basically, eh, I would do an outline of Book 2 only if you're interested in doing one, but otherwise, it's not necessary. I highly doubt an agent who falls for Book 1 would retract her offer if there isn't an outline of Book 2.

04-22-2019, 10:42 AM
It really all depends on what happens with your book, and how your agent and the editor approach it.

I've always written my novels with an eye towards series potential, but I'm definitely in the Pantser category, and just discover a lot of a story as I'm writing it. So when I got a book deal and the editor asked about future books for a series, I explained that I just wing it, with a few crucial plot points here and there--at best--as milestones in the book and let the rest of the story tell itself. She was cool with that. That might change if they really want to know more, but so far it hasn't come up.

04-22-2019, 11:36 AM
My impression is that agents will ask for an outline of book 2 as part of the publisher submission package for book 1, mine did.

04-22-2019, 07:46 PM
Thanks everyone for your input!

05-02-2019, 12:55 PM
Comng in late, but during the submission to publishers phase, I was asked to supply an outline for Books 2 & 3 as I had said I wanted to do a trilogy.