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Author Topic: Choosing Agent  (Read 571 times)
Jackskellington
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« on: March 11, 2018, 10:28:53 PM »

I have four fully polished pbs. And 3 picture books that have been professionally critiqued and I'm now back to editing.
I'm in the process of writing a middle grade novel.
I've learned (from experience and others) that it's easier to break in with a mg than a pb and that pbs are a difficult sell overall.

I have a referral to two senior agents at different agencies, both of whom are top-notch when it comes to picture books and middle grade. Both are ranked highly on Publisher's Marketplace

BUT, there is a junior agent at one of the top agencies (who is ranked lower than my two referral agents on Publishers Marketplace) who is seeking exactly what I'm writing at the moment - an mg horror, in the vein of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? , that has humor, series potential ,and is geared toward boys. And this agent has been actively seeking this book for about two years now.

I'm debating between 1) Using the referrals now to the established agents with proven sales and submitting one of my polished pb manuscripts and mentioning my MG WIP when we speak or 2) Holding off on the referrals, finishing up and polishing my mg over the next month, and querying the junior agent who has been actively on the lookout for the exact book I'm writing with the mg, but who doesn't rep picture books (because she said they "don't have an eye for them") and who may take a while to get back to me.  This junior agent request the first ms pages with the query and takes on average 3-8 weeks before requesting a full, and another several months before getting back to you about the full. I see she's pretty backed up on queries, according to Query Tracker. I also see that out of 180 submissions, only 4 are still open as fulls still being reviewed (and they are months old). The other 176 submissions were passes.

Input is appreciated.


« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:50:17 AM by Jackskellington » Logged
Thulsa_Doom
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 01:37:58 AM »

Go Senior. If they fail, go Junior.
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Got an agent, lost an agent, got another one.
gckatz
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 02:12:56 AM »

I don't see any reason you shouldn't query your picture book while you're finishing your other project. Or, to put the same thing another way, I don't see any benefit to holding off and waiting in order to prioritize a more junior agent who doesn't represent half your stuff. If the senior agents make you an offer, then great. If not, no harm done.
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Jackskellington
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 05:55:26 AM »

Thank you, both.

I thought the junior agent might be hungrier to pick this #MSWL item up and make the sale (and as a series too). They're the only want one all of #MSWL looking for this specific item (and have posted posted a lot about it). But, I see your points and am going to query the senior agents with the pbs first. Really appreciate the help. Thanks.

And Gckatz, congrats on all those likes for your Pitmad Pitch. Pretty sure you shattered a record there!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 06:27:23 AM by Jackskellington » Logged
Hannah
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 02:10:39 PM »

I think you should keep in mind your goals for your long term career when choosing agents to submit to, and that includes your PBs. I'm in the same position of having completed PBs ready to go and an unfinished YA novel and agree it's a tougher way around to do PBs first. I'm looking for agents that do both PBs and YA because even if I end up leading with my YA, I still want an agent who handles PBs.

So even if the junior agent sounds like a great match for your MG, it doesn't sound like a good match overall if they don't do PBs. It does add an element of difficulty looking for a good match for both if you write in different age groups, but there are lots of agents who take both PBs and MG (although not necessarily PBs first!).
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gckatz
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 08:17:40 PM »

Quote
And Gckatz, congrats on all those likes for your Pitmad Pitch. Pretty sure you shattered a record there!

Like eighty percent of them were overenthusiastic laypeople who didn't know it was a contest, but thanks!
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