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Agent pitching a series to publisher

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I'm curious to people's thoughts here. I know that from a writer's perspective, it's important to tell a agent when querying that a book is part of a series, but if a writer is pitching directly to a publisher, it's often better to not mention the series out the gate (unless the house is looking for a series).

But what about when you have an agent? Should (do they?) they pitch it as a series? Why or why not? If you've been in this situation, what happened in your case? Is it different if you are a first timer vs. and established author?
#1 - July 09, 2008, 07:40 AM
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My first agent just shopped around the first book from my trilogy, with the explanation that publishers will want more if the first book does well but otherwise might be put off by knowing I had three. At that time I hadn't sold a book yet and I imagine that could make a difference but people get awesome deals all the time so I don't think it's necessarily impossible for an unpublished writer to sell a series.

My husband's agent is submitting his books as a series but they're easy readers so I guess that's a different story entirely.
#2 - July 09, 2008, 07:45 AM
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 09:46 AM by C.K. »
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

ecb

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We just sold the first two books of a potential trilogy.  When I sent my partial to my agent, I also included a short "series pitch" I had done--brief, one- or two-sentence descriptions of each of the three books--and told her to do whatever she felt appropriate.  She looked at them and said, "We'll just include this with the partial and let them respond how they want." They responded by asking for Books 1 and 2.  I'm very pleased that we decided to go this way.

Now, as for that "series pitch" thing?  I have no idea if that's how it's done or not--but I had the ideas and I wanted my agent to see them, at least, so I wrote them up the way that seemed to make the most sense to me.

And lastly, I guess I should say that this was sent to the house that had already published my first book.  I'm sure things would have been different for a first-timer, or for a new house.


(edited b/c apparently I've forgotten how to use verbs.)
#3 - July 09, 2008, 03:27 PM
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 03:37 PM by ecb »

I had other ideas for books set in the same world as the book my agent was pitching and I kept asking him if he wanted me to write something up for him to submit to the publisher.  He kept saying I didn't need to and honestly, I got kind of stressed out because I thought you had to have at least synopses of books to show editors to get them to buy more than just the one book.  I kept saying "are you SURE you don't want me to send a little pitch or something?"  In then end, we sold in a two book deal and it wasn't until the first book was finished that my editor asked about the potential for a sequel.  So whether an agent pitches something as a series probably varies from agent to agent and also editor to editor.  I would imagine that it's often the way we query agents -- they tell the editor the book can stand alone but has series potential.  In the end, I think if the editor wants a series, they'll make it a series even if that wasn't the author's intention :)
#4 - August 25, 2008, 09:06 AM
THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series (Delacorte)
INFINITY RING: DIVIDE and CONQUER (Scholastic)
www.CarrieRyan.com
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