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Seeking clarification: How many MS to submit?

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Seeking clarification. I am sending my PB MS to an agent I pitched to. However, when I check the submission guidelines on the agency website. It states clearly:

 "if you are a picture book writer, you may include two (2) manuscripts.  Please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested"

Does this mean I send 2 MS of the same book (the one I pitched) or does this mean I send 2 picture PB MS (2 different books)?
Does this also mean that I may not send just 1?

Thank you so much for your help!
#1 - April 24, 2017, 10:37 AM

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I think you're okay either way. The agent requested the one you pitched, and I think it would be fine to send just that one.  The submission instructions say you *may* send two PB mss, not that you *must*. But you could certainly send two, noting that you are sending the one requested by the agent and one additional ms, per their guidelines.
Good luck!
#2 - April 24, 2017, 11:10 AM

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That agent is saying you can submit two different manuscripts if you want to. I know there are just a handle of of agents who accept more than 1 MS on an initial query -- it always throws me off too! Good luck.
#3 - April 24, 2017, 11:45 AM
Lisa Katzenberger
@FictionCity
www.lisakatzenberger.com

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Thank you for your reply.  It is confusing. I do remember her saying something about only representing authors of multiple works, but I was pretty nervous so I'm not sure.  I better get started on number 2 then...it's weird though b/c I didn't pitch that one.
#4 - April 24, 2017, 06:56 PM

If an agent is asking for 2 PB MS, I'd still  send the agent only one.  The one that I like the best and let the agent know I have other PB MS.
#5 - April 25, 2017, 06:46 PM

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I like this, because I have both fiction and NF picture book manuscripts. So with this agent, you could send one of each and show your range.  If you only have one manuscript that is submission ready, then just send that one. But with pb agents in general, you should have more manuscripts ready to send. When an agent has been interested, I have almost always been asked to send more work. Good luck!
#6 - April 26, 2017, 06:49 AM
ANNIE B. MADE FOR TV, Running Press Kids 2018
MAURICE THE UNBEASTLY, Sterling 2017
SOPHIE'S ANIMAL PARADE, Sky Pony 2015
MARATHON MOUSE, Sky Pony 2012

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Send the one you have ready. If you rush to send another, it may not be up to snuff. Do try to have at least three projects agent ready by the time you hear back. Picture book agents almost always want to see a second or even third manuscript before they offer rep.
#7 - April 30, 2017, 09:14 PM

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Send the one you have ready. If you rush to send another, it may not be up to snuff.

I get where Debbie is coming from, totally--and I would add that if you don't have a second manuscript (and preferably more) that is up to snuff, you ought not to be querying.  A picture book author who doesn't have several quality manuscripts is not ready for prime time.

#8 - May 02, 2017, 08:45 AM
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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I've seen some agents take a much longer cultivation process with picture book clients. When you query novels, agents generally offer on a single book. That does happen (rarely) with PBs, but some agents will want to see a number of manuscripts and maybe some revisions over a period of months before committing.
#9 - May 02, 2017, 11:14 AM
Kell Andrews
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DEADWOOD, Spencer Hill, 2014
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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I agree with all that's been said here. You are fine only submitting one, and you shouldn't submit anything less than 100% ready. Also, picture book agents almost always ask to see more work. It's better to wait until you have at least three polished manuscripts before you start querying/pitching to agents.
#10 - May 25, 2017, 08:09 AM
Hannah

Diamond Man (Balzer+Bray, 2018)
A Father's Love (Philomel, 2019)

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I think you definitely need more than one MS before you start querying, even if you only query one at a time. I submitted a PB MS to an agent who liked it enough to ask for 4 - 6 other projects from me. I only had 3 polished manuscripts to offer. If an agent does like your PB, they are going to want to see more and you don't want to be in the position where you send back rough work.
#11 - May 25, 2017, 04:50 PM

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