Friday, June 18, 2021

"Hi, remember me?"

Several years ago, I had a novel picked up by an agent that made the submission rounds.  Sadly, it didn't sell. The contract was for that book only, so that was the end of that. I also had a previous novel that said agent didn't think would work, so back into the drawer it went.

A bunch of life got in the way (and honestly I was kind of soul crushed) and I didn't write much for awhile.  However, I have a new book in the works, and I have also begun a major revision on old book said agent didn't think would work out that I think will fix the major issues with it.

I liked my old agent, he's from a great agency, and he has a great reputation. I'd love for him to pick up this revision and/or the new book that I'm working on. But I don't know if it would be stupid to write to him and say, "Hey, remember me?" Especially when the revision is for a book that he had previously turned down.  Especially when the last book didn't sell.

Do I write to him and tell him that I had revised the old book and see if he's interested in seeing it?  If he turns it down, do I mention the new book and see if he has any interest in that (the revision will be finished first), or do I just query agents for the revision and see what happens? I don't to pass up a chance or burn any bridges.

What's the down side of getting in touch with Agent Old?

None as far as I can tell.

Remember the guiding principle of querying: agents are looking for things they can sell. You have such a thing. While I won't go so far as to say you're doing him a favor by querying, you're certainly not wasting his time.

Let him know you have something new.

That's always more interesting than anything revised.

You can mention the revised ms at the end of the query for the new one.


John Davis Frain said...

This sounds like the story of Nick Petrie finding Barbara Poelle. Well, finding her again, because the story is just like this writer's story from what little I can claim to know of both situations.

Hey Writer, do you live in Milwaukee? Have you heard of Milwaukee? Shoot Nick Petrie a line and learn how he did it. Or you can go the conventional route.

Good luck. I feel an exciting 2022 on your horizon...

Amy Johnson said...

OP: Wishing you an agent and a deal soon. I'm excited for you. Wonderful things await!

Theresa said...

Fingers crossed for you, OP. This sounds like a promising start.

I'm a huge Nick Petrie fan. His latest, The Breaker, does not disappoint. It's a good thing he and Barbara Poelle found each other!

Julie Weathers said...

Fingers crossed, OP. What have you got to lose?

I've given up on everything and am writing a Fifty Shades does Steel Magnolias romp. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, I haven't given up on everything, but historicals require research and sometimes my brain needs a break.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I would follow up with agent of old before doing anything. Like Janet said, what could it hurt? Good luck. Hoping for great things for you.

John Davis Frain said...

You better not give up on everything, Julie Weathers, I'm still waiting to find your book on the shelf and read about those two "experienced-in-life" women sitting on the porch chatting. I'd listen to them for hours!

Craig F said...

Please, don't put all of your eggs in that old basket. Someone else might see something neither of y'all saw. Let other eyes look upon it too.

Query widely an prosper.

Julie Weathers said...

John Davis Frain The Rain Crow is going out to agents as we speak and I am researching publishers just in case. Dr. Frain and Sgt. Smith will make their noble appearances one way or the other. I am, however, not working on the sequel. I imagine it will be a one and done though their story is far from over. It's time to move on.

I'm on to the next thing that needs to be written.

As for the old ladies, yes, they should have their story. One day.

Lennon Faris said...

If you aim for the stars, you might only hit the moon.

But, the moon! The moon is a lot higher than the ground.

Might as well jump.

Good luck, OP.

Beth Carpenter said...

Fingers crossed for you, OP!

NLiu said...

OP, what a rollercoaster! I sincerely admire your tenacity in even thinking about selling another book after all that. Let us know how you get on!

Steve Forti said...

Completely unrelated and late, but this made me think of you all this morning: Shark Attack Bath Bomb

LynnRodz said...

Best of luck, OP! I agree—go with the new and then mention the old.

Steve, I don't think I'll be buying that bath bomb any time soon!

AJ Blythe said...

The worst possible outcome is another no, but it might be a yes... Go for it, OP, and good luck!

miriam said...

I would definitely reach out to your previous agent, but I would plan to query the new book widely. I'm a little confused about why you left this agent- was there something in your contract that said the deal was terminated if he couldn't sell the book? Or did the agent just decide to cut ties after the first book didn't sell? I would look for an agent who's in it for your career so if a book doesn't sell, you can continue to approach the agent with new manuscripts and can also bring up revised manuscripts if they didn't sell on the first round of submissions. Good luck!