A Little Too Much is Probably Enough

Dear Miss Snark:

I, too received a rejection with a 'keep up in mind for other projects' notation written at the bottom. Now, I have other projects, but is it wise to start querying a second manuscript while other agents are looking at partials, and the number one agent on your list is reading a full?

And perhaps, the bigger question: At what point do you decide to stick a manuscript into that 'under the bed' file and move on to pitch the next?

Pats to KY, and help yourself to my Bombay Sapphire.

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

Oh, that is Miss Snark's new motto! Call the armorer for rewelding the escutcheons!

First, I think you should keep as much stuff in circulation as you can afford and keep track of. If Agent A has a full on Manuscript A there's nothing nitwittish about sending Manuscript B to Agent Q. Just keep good notes.

I'm not sure when you retire something to under the bed. There's no hard and fast rule for it but as you query you'll get a sense if one ms is working better than another. Offhand I hope you're querying me with the fourth or fifth novel and the first three are our little secret (well, ours with KY..he's big on dust bunny patrol).

The only thing that's absolutely wrong is to quit.


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Great response to this one! The last line was a perfect reminder to me. I go by the motto: TPT--
Talent, Persistence and Timing.

Simon Haynes said...

On the subject of tracking manuscripts, I wrote a free program which does just that. (It's on my website)
I stress that it's completely free - I wouldn't want to be advertising on Miss Snark's blog or she'd lop my nuts off with a letter opener.

Jude Calvert-Toulmin said...

> The only thing that's absolutely wrong is to quit.

Brilliant advice, nice one :) There is an old adage which goes something along the lines of "In order to fail it is necessary to stop trying."

Anonymous said...

A tip of my denim fedora to Miss Snark. If for nothing else, I gotta admire a lady who can use the word "escutcheons" in a sentence. You've made this Chicago termagant's day.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering -- I feel published! And the advice is great. Butt in the chair, fingers on keyboard is the only way to go. Quitting was never an option. Of course a little libation and a copious amount of chocolate helps, too.

With heightened confidence, I shall polish my query for the next novel. Don't know why I was so afraid I'd get two agents each clamoring to represent me on separate novels. That would be a GOOD thing, right?

And I have a very simple Excel spreadsheet, easily used by turkeys, to track my submissions.

Bernita said...

"lop my nuts off with a letter opener..."

Simon, what a great line.
Where's Bonnie?
The visuals...

Anonymous said...

manic mom, TPT -good motto. Your motto reminded me of mine. I ride a motorcycle and my motto is: Watch out for the 3Ds (which can get you killed)--Deer, Debris, and Dumbasses. Sad to say, the last D is often straddling the bike!

Jillian said...

The only thing that's absolutely wrong is to quit.

And I wish you could have typed that in a 72-point font.

I hope your many readers -- particularly the discouraged ones -- haven't missed this gem.

Anonymous said...

Loved the advice. Restored my faith that literary agents are people too. Actually, I never doubted it. Not for a moment.

Georgia Girl