Dear Miss Snark
I love your blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to help us all. And sending a letter to your client’s mom – it’s just classy!!!
My question is this. I have a completed manuscript for a novel – lit fiction 78,000 words. I sent out two query letters at the same time – the first was to a publisher who accepts queries via email and the second was to an agent who doesn’t accept queries by email.
About two weeks after I sent the query the publisher asked for a partial manuscript which I sent. Another two weeks later she came back to me saying that she loved what I sent her and asked for the full manuscript to be emailed to her. In the meantime the agent received the query and emailed me a reply asking for the full manuscript which she wants me to print out and send via snail mail.
I would prefer to sell my work via an agent – you are the professionals after all - but I don’t want to risk alienating the publisher because it is a small division of a very large publishing house and I think I would like them to publish my book. But again, I don’t really know if they are or aren’t the best publisher for my work.
1. Do I send them both the full manuscript or
2. should I just send the manuscript to the agent?
3. Do I tell the agent about my contact with this publisher (this has been my only contact with any publisher).
4. Do I tell the publisher about my contact with this agent?
I am aware that one or BOTH of them (sob!) might pass once they get the finished ms.
Publishers and agents aren't in enemy camps. Publishers like us. They'll be glad to have an agent on board if they want to set sail with your work. Agents love the idea that a major publisher is interested.
I'm glad to see that your question didn't involve any part of "do I still have to pay an agent if I bring the publisher to the deal" cause selling a ms is a lot more than finding a publisher to say "yes I want to acquire this".