I plan to search for an agent soon to pitch my small series of how-to books that I’ve written. I am also half-way through my first novel which is turning out better than I expected. If an agent decides to handle my how-to series, would I use him/her for the novel as well? Do agents usually handle one or the other or does an agent stick with a writer as long as the writer is producing publishable work? I’m asking so I don’t step on anyone’s toes with these two different projects.
I handle fiction and non-fiction and most agents do. If an agent sells your first book, you ask him/her about the second. Mostly they'll take it on, sometimes not, particularly if it's WAY outside the area of the first one (like yours).
The strategy here is to have an agreement with the agent the gives you two things: a way to get out of the agency agreement, and a specified limit to what s/he represents.
My contract gives you 30 days notice, for any reason. I also take on one book at a time, but generally, keep representing clients for further books.
Query only one of these at a time though.