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How often do you send something new to your agent?

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How often do you agented writers send a new picture book to your agent?

I ask because after not being the most prolific writer, I recently sent two manuscripts to my agent. One isn't really her thing but she will work with it with revisions; the other we decided was a magazine article and I'll sub myself. But I just fixed another manuscript that had needed "something," and it feels too soon to send. Plus I have a bunch of hot ideas from PiBoIdMo!

So I was thinking I would wait until I have two or three manuscripts and batch them -- one will hit, right? And maybe less of a bombardment?

Thoughts? What do other writers do?
#1 - November 08, 2013, 03:39 PM
Kell Andrews
www.kellandrews.com
Twitter @kellandrewsPA

THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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I send manuscripts when I am ready for my agent to read them.  That might be one a week for three weeks and then nothing for six months to a year.

Your agent's mileage may vary;  you need to ask her what she wants.
#2 - November 08, 2013, 03:43 PM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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 :werd agree with Anne Marie. I would send a ms when I felt I had something ready, unless my agent said they wanted things done differently.

 :slap :mademe  :pickme <-- omg I was gone for a couple days and look what we have now!! Awesome.
#3 - November 08, 2013, 04:03 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
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Hmm, I'll still wait. Don't want to have my third strike in a single month!
#4 - November 08, 2013, 04:06 PM
Kell Andrews
www.kellandrews.com
Twitter @kellandrewsPA

THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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I can't remember who wrote a post about this recently but it was an agented writer and her agent said to her, "You only get my fresh eyes once." I think that's the thing to bear in mind - don't send whatever you have until you're absolutely sure you're willing to use up her 'one-time fresh eyes'! Plus if she's already working on your other stuff, is it that you want her to stop looking at the other stuff and focus on this new stuff? Because if not, why send it to her now?

I'm guessing every agent is different, but I'd prefer to have a bit of time to look at what a client has sent me, deal with that and then move onto the next thing... unless, that is, the client believes the new MS is more exciting/better/more saleable than the ones they sent before.
#5 - November 08, 2013, 07:37 PM

I would send the one you think is ready (as soon as you feel that "click") and possibly mention the other WIP's if you think they have potential.
#6 - November 09, 2013, 05:38 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

On second thought, maybe you could batch it together with the revised manuscript. Since you just discussed it, maybe focus on the revisions first?
#7 - November 09, 2013, 05:43 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

I agree you should ask your agent her preference. She seems like a giving agent, agreeing to revisions on a story that doesn't quite fit her taste.

Good luck with your revisions.
#8 - November 09, 2013, 09:31 AM

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Franzilla is right on the money. I worry less about how many I send and more about if the manuscripts are ready. My agent has "reading weeks" and sometimes she'll have three of my projects and sometimes she'll have none. But, yes, ask your agent if she has a preference, then make sure that the next thing you send her is spankin' ready. I know that's sometimes hard to judge, but if you have any reservations at all, run it by a couple more trusted readers and see if they insist it's ready.
#9 - November 09, 2013, 11:06 AM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Pup 681, Truman, When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Specs and Specs II.
Others at www.jeanreidy.com

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Yup. I'm with Anne Marie. She's so smart.  :bow:
#10 - November 09, 2013, 01:25 PM
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The "fresh eyes once" was what Susan Hawk told her client, Marcie Colleen. And it's so true! They'll lose the ability to critique your work well if you go back and forth with them too many times, just like any crit partner.

Once I get an idea I really like, I send the idea to my agent to get her feedback. Is it worth pursuing? I don't want to spend weeks, months, YEARS on a story she doesn't think has a compelling enough hook. Sometimes I send her the first few lines, sometimes just a title, sometimes a premise.

I won't send her a first draft. I'll go through at least two rounds of crits and revisions first. And then I get impatient and send it to her, LOL.

That being said, one of the things I asked her before I signed was how often she expected something from me. She said it was up to me--she would work at my pace. At the time I signed, in 2010, I still had one child at home 3 days a week and didn't think I would be able to write that often. But I suppose signing with my agent made me find the time!

During our 3 years together she's had something out on submission 90% of the time. I haven't hit a manuscript dry spell yet (although I certainly have hit selling dry spells, LOL). I've surprised myself in being more prolific than I originally imagined.
#11 - December 16, 2013, 10:12 AM
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I'm always so terrified I wait until I think it is absolutely ready.  :oncomputer
#12 - January 07, 2014, 12:56 PM

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So here's something I find myself wondering about. Does your agent pitch multiple books for you to differnt houses, or only one ms. at a time?
#13 - January 08, 2014, 10:58 AM
www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com
Twitter: @andriawrose
Trains Don't Sleep, HMH 2017
Big Sister, Little Monster, Scholastic Press, 2017

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Andi, I'd say that's a case-by-case situation. I wouldn't send out two of the same kind of book from the same author at the same time -- because I wouldn't want to compete with myself. But I do have clients who might be shopping, say, a picture book and a middle grade simultaneously -- or a middle grade fantasy and a YA contemp -- or something like that. Even a funny picture book and a serious picture book! Since they wouldn't be going to the same editors, I wouldn't worry about overwhelming anyone.

#14 - January 08, 2014, 06:09 PM
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 06:11 PM by literaticat »
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Thanks, Literaticat. That makes sense. I'm learning to be patient.  :old
#15 - January 09, 2014, 05:03 AM
www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com
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Trains Don't Sleep, HMH 2017
Big Sister, Little Monster, Scholastic Press, 2017

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