Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Querying a Collaboration

I am getting ready to start the query process on my novel. The story has been written by me with collaboration and historical input by another.

On the book, I have put the title, then -- a novel by L H with EH

I have the query written as if it is seeking representation for both of us. Is this how it is done when there is collaboration on the story? We consider it a joint venture. Does this cause a problem for the agent?

I guess my real question is, should I be querying for just me, the prime writer of the story, mentioning the collaboration, or leave it as the two of us?

If the agent liked the manuscript, would he/she offer representation to the both of us or just the main writer of the story?

Should I query like this or just query for myself for now?

You should be doing exactly as you’re doing. With some collaborations authors choose to have separate agents (often they already have agents for other projects). Most of the time, however, one agent will represent the author team on the book. Since you see this as a collaborative effort it only makes sense that the agent would want to represent the author, which in this case happens to be two people.



trump said...

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BookEnds, A Literary Agency said...


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Loree Huebner said...

Very informative post. Thank you.

Gin said...

Nothing to do with the agency issue, but collaborators might be well-advised to look into establishing a partnership agreement that sets out who gets what percentage of the monies, who makes final decisions, who does what after the sale (e.g., booksignings, social networking, etc.). If this isn't in place BEFORE the sale, things could get sticky later.

ryan field said...

I admire those who do collaborations. I can't do it. I work better alone. But I've always liked the thought of doing it.

Emily said...

thank you!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I tried collaboration once, well twice. First with my mother on a book about…actually I don’t remember what it was about but the whole, two is better than one thing didn’t work.
The second collaboration was marriage. It worked because I don’t write about it, much.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Interesting post. I've collaborated on hundreds of songs, but never a book. I can't imagine it, but admire those who can do it.

Cindy said...

interesting topic--something I never thought about before. I collaborated on two non-fiction books and we went agentless with them, but this is good info to know if down the road I need an agent for a collaborated work.

Michael Seese said...

My first book (if I'm allowed to self-promote, it's called Haunting Valley; if this is verboten, feel free to exclude) was a collaborative effort. My friend came up with the idea, and then I sort of ran with it. It took us literally 15 years to finish, and I did the bulk of the work. But you know what? We got it done, and I really don't care about figuring percentages. At the book signing, he said to me, "I'm embarrassed. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be sitting here." And I said, "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be sitting here, either.

I wasn't the one who coined the phrase, "It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't care who gets the credit." But it's true.

Penelope said...

Am currently working to complete a collaborative novel with Argentinean, Spanish-writing friend — surely the first between NZ and Argentina. It has its challenges and joys; we've yet to find out who will publish it, preferably in its bilingual version. Certainly we'll make no secret of the fact there are two of us; that's its intrigue.