Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Query Multiple Books

After responding to a query I received this email from the writer:

Thank you, Jessica. I know I'm not supposed to ask questions of an agent, but this time I'm going to chance it, as the answer will influence any queries I send in the future: I have three finished ms, all in the same genre, but I never know which one to send to an agent. Should I send one and add a note that I have two others? Or stay quiet on the other two?
Again, Jessica, thanks for your quick reply, and if I'm off base just delete and I'll understand.

I'll admit I don't always respond to questions like this on queries. Not because I wouldn't like to, but there are some days when I barely have time to get my coffee in and on those days I usually delete. In this instance however I was able to write back a very quick reply and with the blog I can expand on that a bit.

I don't think it ever really hurts to let an editor or agent know that you have other books that you've written and might be available. That being said, the response you receive on a query letter will be solely based on that query alone. So I would worry less about trying to tempt them with everything and focus on that one thing you think is the strongest. What is the strongest story with the strongest hook and the strongest writing? Put everything else aside and make that your focus.

Also keep in mind that an agent usually assumes that what you're querying is your most recent work so if this doesn't grab her it's unlikely something she thinks will be less polished will.


1 comment:

AJ Blythe said...

Querying your most recent work makes sense. Actually, I'd only have the most recent to query because the others would be buried under their reject slips, lol.

Your post got me thinking though (and yes, that can be scary): What if the book you are querying is the first of a proposed series? Do you let the agent know you're planning a series, or just focus on the book in question and mention the series concept once you've landed an agent? Or because I write cozies would the agent assume it's a series because they usually are?