Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Query Question: querying under multiple names

A recent post about using pen names struck a cord with me.

I have two very near complete mss. One is Sci-fi time travel (97k), the other is Other world adventure (85k).

The third ms I have outlined is a 1920's nautical adventure with no Sci-fi elements ( It could be set in another world easily). And I have a completely written, rough draft non-fiction ms about packing up a family, moving to Europe, and renovating a old stone house(75k.) (It would be under my name and my wife's name.)

Would it be wise to shop the last two under a pen name?

I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but I'm trying to work to my strengths. (Especially as I have no cart or horse at this point.)

I love writing and will continue writing Sci-fi. But the other two projects. I felt had to be written.

You're going to shop ONE ms at a time.

You're going to shop it under ONE name. If it's a pen name, so be it.

Once you secure representation, you'll discuss pen names for work in other categories with your agent. You will adhere to his/her advice.

You're harnessing a cart to a horse you don't have right now, as you wisely point out.

You're doing this instead of writing.

You're doing this because it's easier to fret about a problem you don't have than it is to fix that stupid plot point on page 269. Back to work bucko. That horse is getting impatient.


Kitty said...

That horse is getting impatient.

That sounds like a contest just waiting to happen.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Let’s imagine that I wrote a couple of novels, submitted numerous queries (over a 100) regarding said novels, and...dud upon dud, no requests for partials or fulls.

And let’s suppose that I, as the imagined novelist of course, never really knew if (it's the query stupid) or the story.

Let’s further suppose that after imbuing myself with the plethora of information available to writers on line, especially what's available here, plus books and classes, I rewrite the novels and queries brilliantly. Hahahaha, the laughter is hurting my sides.

Here's the question, finally...
Do I resubmit my awesome query to my dream agents, (plus every other agent who isn’t doing 6 months because of that pesky DUI), under a pen name or do I use my pages as scented drawer liners? (They are infused with the fragrance of forget-me-nots.)

This is all hypothetical of course. But I’m told most agents are big gray and never forget. Pachyderms not sharks.

LynnRodz said...

I would shop the "moving to Europe..." ms last. Back when blogs began and people blogged their adventures for family and friends, a few bloggers hit it big and got a book deal out of it. That's no longer the case. So many people have packed up, moved to another country, restored an old house or farm, that I wonder, is there really an interesting story there for anyone besides the people who've lived it and their family and friends?

I left home during a semester break in college and decided to travel the world. Decades and 60+ countries later, I'd lived in 8, learned several languages, hitch-hiked across the globe, many times alone. (Not always smart when you're a girl, but I had my lucky star.) I've slept in chateaux and on the sides of the roads, met famous people and not so famous, people from all walks of life. We're all more alike than we want to believe. Do I think my story is interesting to anyone but myself and my family and friends? Okay - strike out family and friends! My story is of interest to me, but it doesn't make it a bestseller. Unfortunately!

Kat Waclawik said...

Many thanks, Your Toothiness. Exactly what I needed to hear today.

Susan Bonifant said...

Yup. Perfect. That is one long trip to the page some days.

Anonymous said...

"Stupid plot point on pg 269."

Huh. Can a shark see through salty waters hundreds of miles aay,and into the internet and directly into my current WIP?

Inquiring minds wanna know.

All joking aside, I've worried my silly little self to death over similar things...there is truth to "first things first."

@Kat - "Your Toothiness." LOL!!!!!!

french sojourn said...

Epic...as usual.

Cheers Hank

DLM said...

"Completely written" is not a draft. Editing and revision and deletion are all *writing*. Not just getting words on a page.

@Carolynnwith2Ns: "the fragrance of forget-me-nots" ... Hee!

NotaWarriorPrincess said...

So you're saying I should pull the ones I sent out as "Charlotte Bronte" "Truman Capote" and "JK Rowling"?


Karen McCoy said...

Loved Tangled. That horse was my favorite.

My horse is definitely pawing inside the stable. *gets back to work*

Jan said...

Just keep the Feed Bag of imagination full!

Standback said...

You're going to shop ONE ms at a time.

Hmmm. Intriguing. I'd actually never heard this advice before. Could you (or a kind commenter) expand on this? If I've got to manuscripts ready, why would I only shop one of them?

Cordia Pearson said...

Morgyn Star
Back to work bucko. That horse is getting impatient. Janet Reid on cart before horse. http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2014/07/query-question-querying-under-multiple.html?spref=tw … pic.twitter.com/pRGpIfv3Ie

Jenz said...

Standback, because you can only fully focus on one project at a time. A manuscript shouldn't just be finished before querying, it should be polished. Trying to multitask that means no ms gets your full attention.

You may be underestimating the amount of work that goes in to getting a single book published if you intend to manage publishing several at once.

Kalli said...

Pick your best MS. Polish it some more. Write a stonking good query letter. Send it out. While you're waiting for replies, polish the NEXT best MS. If you get no bites on the first, put it away for a bit and query the second. Don't worry about pen names until you've got an agent for ONE novel.