3.06.2006

Going back with a second novel

Your Holiness, (you think Miss Snark looks like Pope Benedict?? nicht danke)

Over a year ago I sent out queries for my first novel. I got requests for partials, requests to see the full manuscript, and a few very nice, thoughtful, personal rejection letters. I got a clue. The book wasn't ready for prime time, so I shelved it. (Actually, it's not on a shelf, it's in a drawer in the desk in my basement.)

Now I'm almost done with novel #2. When I'm finally ready to start querying agents again, do I mention novel #1? (1) Particularly to the agents who took the time last year to give me feedback? (2) Would they by any chance remember me? (3) Would I be in their filing system? (4) Does our previous contact have anything, positive or negative, to do with their interest in possibly taking on my new book? (5)

Or should I just query about the new book on its own merits and pretend the past never happened?
(6) (We'll always have Paris.) (or in this case, Vatican City)

Thanks again for your fabulousness. And thanks for writing fewer posts lately -- it's forcing me to spend more time writing!


1. no
2. no
3. probably not
4. on a data base maybe but probably not
5. no
6. yes, with the following exceptions: The agents who wrote you long personal helpful letters. You say to them "you gave me some really good advice on a previous novel which I implemented, thank you". That's it. Don't put the word rejection or pass or "not right for me" anywhere near this cover letter.


I get a couple of these kinds of things every three months or so..maybe 20 a year. I always hate to see "you rejected me last year but here's my second try" cause I think it influences me subliminally and not for the good. I'd MUCH prefer to read something and think "wow this is great, that author's name looks familiar" and go look him up rather than "oh yea, rejection last year, I guess I better read this and see if he's gotten any better".

This isn't a financial report; you don't have to list your debits with your credits. This is a personal ad: you want to talk about the good points exclusively.