Thursday, May 30, 2019

ok, not this, that one instead

I have written a series of picture books, and queried the first book. After replies and careful consideration, I have concluded that the series should start with the second book. Can I requery agents with this second book, even though it is from the same series as the book being scrapped?
If so, would you address this in the query letter, and how would you do it?
Thank you!

Yes, you can query the agents again.
Don't mention the first book.

However, don't expect different results. If an agent liked the idea behind the series enough to pursue
it you would have gotten an email saying "what other books do you have in this series."


Craig F said...

Hindsight should be considered a blight.

Query Tracker has 160 picture book agents listed. Go through the rest of that list or join SCBWI (the children's book group) and see what they think of your work.

I agree that if it struck a nerve you would have gotten more response. That is why I have pulled back from querying. I need to change a few things around and see if it is more enticing that way.

MA Hudson said...

If you like book 2 better, can you divorce it from the series for the moment and query it as a standalone?
If you definitely want to sell in the series idea, you could wait 6 months (while working on new stuff) and query with the 2nd book.
Or, just use a different email address and requery straightaway.
Any which way, keep working on new projects. You might find each subsequent MS is the one the series should lead with!

Kelly said...

Agreeing with Craig F that you should join SCBWI. It is invaluable with the insights gleaned into the kidlit publishing industry.

One of the things I learned at my first regional conference in 2016 is that picture books are not published (or bought) as a series. You may occasionally have sequels like DRAGONS LOVE TACOS and DRAGONS LOVE TACOS 2, but they are the exception. The reason is because it typically takes 2-3 years to publish a picture book and by the time the publisher has determined your book is a hit, most of the kids who loved it have aged out of the picture book market.

You can also read Publishers' Marketplace to confirm yourself that picture books are not being bought as series. Getting a PM subscription is also invaluable (and Janet has recommended that in the past).

E-Z Readers and Chapter books are typically bought in series, however, and a lot of them are also done as work-for-hire. Again, all information gleaned from SCBWI conferences.