Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prolific or Unpublishable?

STATUS: Crazy busy. A couple of deals are going down so I’m spending a lot of time on the phone.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? The BARE NECESSITIES by Phil Harris (from The Jungle Book)

Nothing is more frightening for an agent then to receive a query where the author proudly announces that s/he has 10 completed manuscripts and a few partials ready for review and can s/he send them along.

Yikes. I realize that the writer includes this information to show the seriousness of intent (or ability to write lots of material) but that’s not what I’m thinking. I’m thinking, “You’ve completed 10 manuscripts and none of them have been published at this point? Did you need 10 manuscripts to learn how to write?”

Now this might be erroneous thinking on my part. Maybe this person is really good and just happens to be prolific.

If that’s the case, you spring that information on to your agent after you’ve signed for representation. (Keywords here are “signed for representation.”)

In a query, it’s best to highlight one work and one work only. We have to fall in love with your writing first and we only need to read one project to do that. Then we can explore what else you have in your arsenal.