Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Is my ms dead in the water?

My agent recently left the industry. Prior to leaving, my MS had been rejected by five editors. I have since edited it massively. It’s in a very popular genre (Own Voices YA F). Do you think it’s worth me querying it out to other agents, or is it dead in the water?

When you say rejected by five editors, I'm hoping only five editors saw it.

If that's NOT the case, if in fact it was subbed to many more editors, but only five actually responded, that's different.
If only five editors saw it, that's not a deal breaker---maybe. And it won't hurt to query and find out. Do make sure your query says this ms was repped and (lightly) subbed previously.

The massive editing isn't really a factor unless any of the editors said revise and resubmit.

You're always better off with a manuscript that hasn't been seen.

Whether you have one of those at the ready isn't clear.

The good news is even if this isn't something that will gain traction now, it's not as though you must wipe it from your hard drive and never speak of it again.  Just wrap it up in a nice red bow, put it on the shelf and promise to come back later.

FYI, #OwnVoices, and YA are not genres.  YA is a category. Categories cross genre. Genre mean the ms observes certain kinds of rules, or breaks those rules to be fresh and interesting.

#OwnVoices isn't a category or a genre.  It's Twitter shorthand for prodding publishing into the real world.

I assume F means Fantasy, and that IS a genre.


Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats, OP, on having a story that's been repped. You've made it through a lot of gates to get this far. I just read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, a 2015 fantasy novella and will be reading more of her stories.

So go ahead OP, if this story doesn't make it any further for now do as Janet says. And keep working on that next story. Persist!

Kitty said...

I thought F meant female voice.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

That's rough when agent leaves the business. Was the agent with a larger agency? Regardless, you got one agent, you can get another. Keep writing, OP. Even if this book has to go on the sidelines for a time.

Karen McCoy said...

Definitely rough when an agent leaves the business! This happened with one of my recent full requests. I've heard it's getting pretty tough for agents these days, especially ones still looking to get established.

But yes, keep writing. Sometimes working on another story amid this kind of thing can feel like a Herculean effort; remember to find the love of the world and characters you create. Immerse yourself in what's possible.

To the Reiders: Finally coming up for air after our recent move, and just got internet installed in our new place. I've missed The Reef.

John Davis Frain said...

Welcome home, Karen. Times two!

OP, the best thing to be doing while querying is working on the shiny new one. That way, there's no time to obsess. And nine months from now when you might the ms might not find a new home, you'll be on the verge of having a new one ready. And your first story might ultimately become your second. Or third.

Good luck and keep writing.

Karen McCoy said...

Thanks, John! :)

Panda in Chief said...

One other thought, OP, and that is did your agent give you a comprehensive list of all the houses and all the editors she subbed your manuscript? I think this is a crucial piece of information you must have before going forward.

Editors seem to move around fairly frequently, so knowing to whom and where your manuscript was shopped is important, to know just how lightly it was shopped.

Lennon Faris said...

Good luck, OP!

AJ Blythe said...

Is it just me or does there seem to be more and more of these sorts of stories around? Tough business we've chosen!

Good luck, OP.