4.01.2006

Let's try again

Dear Miss Snark;

Very recently I parted company with the small publishing house (not a vanity or subsidy press) I was with over issues of incomplete orders and failure to pay royalties. I have legal releases returning the rights of all my titles printed under this publisher back to me.

Now I'm getting ready to shop one of these novels around to agents, however I'm wondering how much information should I place in the initial query? Should I mention it was previously published and by who? I have no problems with coming forward with any or all of this information, however I don't want to kill my first chance with an agent by overloading a query with too much detail.

As an agent, how do you recommend I handle this situation?


You have to mention it, and you have to give the publisher and year published in the query letter. This isn't a question of a work that languished on an agent's desk, or even made the rounds of editors. This was published. What you're shopping now is not new work; it's a reprint. Most agents won't even look, me included.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

My advice is get to work on a new novel. If it sells and becomes popular down the road, there may be a newfound demand for the older titles and then someone might risk putting them back into print.

Anonymous said...

I know my comment here isn't quite the question this author asked, but hopefully it has some relevance.

I've seen where successful authors of their subsequent work will have earlier work repackaged and reprinted for a new market (Janet Evanovich, for example). Would an agent who is interested in something new also be interested in something previously published where the author has recovered the rights to his or her earlier works?

domynoe said...

IF agents won't look at reprints, how do you get a work to an imprint that specializes in reprints? Submit directly, get interest, then grab an agent?

Beth Amos said...

When querying for a new work, is it worth mentioning previously published works the author has regained the rights for? (Particularly if the new work is in the same genre??) Does it matter if the previous works were pubbed by a "big" NYC house versus a small publisher?

Janet/Cricket said...

To address the original question about not wanting to look at previously published work...do you think Linnea Sinclair's agent feels like a fool for taking her on?

I mean after all, the woman only finalled in the RITA with two books in two categories, both of which had been previously published by small press publishers.

Or maybe Ms. Sinclair's agent knows a good thing when she sees it. Just a thought.