Friday, August 10, 2018

Offer on A, but you've also got Novel B C and D on submission

I have officially purchased my hamster wheel! After years of prep, I've begun to query. I've kept my mind off the wait by editing my next book and outlining the one after that.

I have one full out (woo) but with somebody who tends to have a year+ backlog of fulls (boo). And I've realized: between very long full waits, ambiguous NORMANs, and finding new agents who might love Project A long after I've given up and started querying Project B/C/D, I'll end up with multiple projects floating around.

If you get an offer, do you only notify everyone with the same project? Or everyone with anything and a note of "I've been offered on something else, want to see that too?" Except if I get a rogue offer on Project A, the person looking at Project B likely already rejected Project A?? Here I go, SPIN SPIN SPIN.
Get off that hamster wheel and get back to writing!

Here's the definitive answer: you notify everyone who has requested a partial or full manuscript, and has not yet passed.

So: do you notify:

1. An agent you've queried? NO* (unless it's been less than 30 days)
2. An agent who requested A when you have an offer on B? YES

3. An agent who passed on B, but requested A, and you have an offer on B? YES
4. An agent who passed on A, and didn't respond to the query for B? NO*

5. An agent who passed on A, requested B, and it's been a long silence since? YES
6. An agent who passed on A, passed on B, but is your dream agent so why not?/NO

7. An agent who never responded after requesting A, B, C and Q/YES

*unless it's been less than 30 days---30 days is the window for a response to a query. If you have an offer, and you queried me less than 29 days ago, let me know.

Here's how you can answer this question with any permutation:

If you accept any offer of representation from an agent, they will represent all of your work (presumably.) Thus another agent can no longer sign you. Thus: Notify an agent who still is considering any of your projects.

Here's how the email looks:
Dear Agent SlowPoke,
I've received an offer of representation for my novel Steve Forti Versus the Word Prompts (a lexicography novel with a acrobatics).  You requested another novel of mine Carolynn Adds An N on (date.)  The offering agent has asked for my answer on (date.)  Love and kisses, you.

You'll be just fine here since you're not actively trying to hoodwink anyone.

Of course you have questions. Fire away!


Kitty said...

I have one full out (woo) but with somebody who tends to have a year+ backlog of fulls (boo).

A woo-boo situation.

Steve Forti said...

I do enjoy doing a double-take when unexpectedly seeing my name somewhere :) Guess I have a new book to write! And Carolyn is the name of one of the main characters in the first novel I ever finished. If only I'd spelled it with an extra N or two, maybe it would have been up to par!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Carolynn Adds An N
How the noble fourteenth letter of the alphabet forms numerous, nifty and nonnegative notes to our narratives.

Thanks for the plug.
It comes out in November. No other month would be noteworthy.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hey Steve not only up to par but novaturient in regards to your writing.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

It's time to change the batteries in the rodent wheel again. Good luck, OP.

KariV said...

I'm tempted to phrase follow up emails almost verbatim now. That's gold.

Amy Johnson said...

I hope all goes well, Opie.

What a response! Seven for-instances, plus the overall reasoning, plus a here's-what-to-say letter. Such completeness is party-worthy. I'll start blowing up the balloons.

Lennon Faris said...

Logical list. Thank you!

2Ns, you always make me chuckle.

Colin Smith said...

*Makes note to sign off query to Janet with "Love and kisses..."*

*Makes note to schedule appointment with hospital soon after to have lips reattached*

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

COLIN hahahahahaha...smooch baby smooch.

Mister Furkles said...

Does that include Agent Sloe Gin Poke?

John Davis Frain said...

I so look forward to the day when I have the problem of alerting agents someone wants to sign me for XYZ while you were looking at ABC.

However, I don't think it'll be in me to address it to Agent SlowPoke. Love & Kisses will be equally challenging.

JEN Garrett said...

But-but, my hamster wheel is so... spinnee!

Great post, great advice, as always.

Theresa said...

We're all waiting for that Steve Forti book.

Claire Bobrow said...

That was like taking the SAT's! Except there was a choice missing: 8) All of the Above.

But seriously, great info to file away if you find yourself in that lucky predicament.
Good luck, OP!

Colin Smith said...

So, do you suppose a Steve Forti query might look like this:

Dear Jan

ting an agent is hard work. They can be difficult to please. Especially when they have a fin, dangerous teeth, and a discerning eye. At the risk of making AT&T ache—ddata usage, you know—let me tell you my story. We open in Germany where Bill, a chap terminally ill and in hopelessly in love finds his girl with another man, discovering to his shock that the guy on the end of her kisses is his younger self. But he has no recollection of ever being involved in a tryst, even with such a stunning lady. How did this happen? You’ll have to read my book!

Thank you for your time and attention,

Mr. Forti

BrendaLynn said...

Steve looms like a challenger on the reefish battlefield. Not Goliath, someone nicer.
My takeaway here is the prompt to get multiple projects in play. Rena Rossner had a great thread yesterday about her ten year struggle to be published, and how it was the third book that finally broke through. I’m encouraged to think by career rather than by project.

John Davis Frain said...

Well struck, Colin. Your pen (or keyboard) must have been geared up for a Friday contest today.

I can't imagine what the full ms would look like, but I'd request it.

Sam Mills said...

Thank you, thank you, hugely helpful. (I am today's hamster.) This is generally what my instinct was telling me...but if you'd said "obviously the correct courtesy is to wait 6 months and rescind all prior queries before moving to a new project" well I would have needed my smelling salts.

Steve Forti said...

Colin, that was awesome. Though there's no way I'd let "my" be used in a single word :)

And Theresa, I'm just waiting for any book with my name on it to hit a shelf. One of these days I'll deem something ready to dive back into the query pits. I can't imagine being like OP and having 4(!) novels under request!

Craig F said...

Squee!. That is the sound of the fourth set of high end bearings going bad on my hamster wheel.

The poor thing looks like it was used as a weapon in an epic battle from Rat Race: the Video Game.

All you can do, because we have to write to keep those voices in our heads quiet, is keep boo-wooing along. Write another and toss into the shark pond to see if you get a bite. One of these days we will all get such a bite. Then the big challenge comes into play.

Have a nice weekend, y'all.

Colin Smith said...

Steve: Ahhh... It's that kind of detail which separates the imitators from the real thing. :)

MA Hudson said...

Hey Sam - Congrats on the full request, that's so exciting. And good on you for continuing on with your next projects. Once you snag an agent and publisher, they're going to be over the moon at how much inventory you've got.

Janet Reid said...

I have survived the Writers Digest conference.
I received a LOT of compliments on the blog, so wanted to share that with all y'all cause this wouldn't be anywhere near the fun resource it is without the readers and commenters.

The Kale Fields of Carkoon got a shout out in one of the seminars too!

John Davis Frain said...

So you maximize the flow of writer tears at the Writers Digest conference, I hope you unleash a flash fiction contest before you allow anyone to leave the room.


100 words. Go!
(Not me, though. I'm editing in an empty house and having a grand time.)

Colin Smith said...

The Kale Fields of Carkoon... sigh... where the shade of a thousand leaves gives respite to the weariest traveler from Carkoon's three mighty suns, cooking him like a foil-wrapped burrito instead of evaporating him to dust.

I miss it like stomach ulcers. ;)