There's more where that came from too!

I have a completed novel, which I have been pitching to agents for some time. In the query, I mention "this is my first novel" and that I'm working on the sequel as well as two other unrelated novels in different genres.

The novel I am working on now is one in a planned series. With this particular novel, I'm wondering if I should mention "this is my second novel," based on the completed one mentioned in the first paragraph?

I get the impression -- being an unpublished hack without representation -- that I should probably stick to the novel in question, and not mention any other unpublished ones collecting dust. Whaddya think?

Whenever I get letters like this, ones talking about a multitude of novels just waiting for me, I get a bit queasy. I've seriously gotten letters from people telling me they have nine novels done and waiting for the publisher. Usually they mention they have several more in outline. When I read the sample pages I can see why they have so many novels at hand: they didn't spend enough time polishing this one.

Every great novelist has three or more not-so-great novels under the bed that should never see the light of day. Those are the novels written while the writer was learning craft. Sometimes they DO see the light of day and everyone remembers why it's not such a good idea.

Focus on one novel in your query. You can mention you envision it as a series. Don't mention any others. Whether you wrote this first, sixth or fifteenth has no bearing on the point of your query to me: is THIS one something I want to represent.

One at a time.


Elektra said...

Two words: Northanger Abbey

antfarm said...

Two more words: Hornet's Nest.

Elektra said...

Two more: Green Dwarf