mandyhubbard (mandyhubbard) wrote,

A single line can change your career...

A few weeks ago, during an #askagent session on twitter, I mentioned something about how I HIGHLY Reccomend that writers add a small line, toward the end of the query, about other projects.

This seemed to catch people off guard, and I got a flurry of responses saying, "What?! I thought we had to focus on one project only!" "But everyone else says "ONE AT A TIME!"

But you know what? I've ended up signing a client becuase of that line. And another agent chimed in and said the exact same thing.

I'm not saying to fully pitch another project. What I'm saying is a single line, at the end.


"I am seeking an agent for this, and another completed YA project." or "I am hard at work at my next YA, a darker, more mature book about X" or "I am currently writing another paranormal, this one featuring Minotaurs."

Short. Simple. Sweet.

If I, as an agent, really like your query-- if I'm this close to requesting it, but something makes me pause, I know I need to reject it. But if it was that close? I might say, "Sorry, not for me-- but please do pitch your other project!" or "Unfortunately, I have to pass-- but keep me in mind when you're done with the minotaur book! I love minotaurs!"

You've opened a door that would have stayed shut if you hadn't mentioned the other projects.

One of my very first clients pitched me a paranormal YA that I liked, and I knew it was good, but I didn't feel that gravitational pull. But since her voice/writing was so great-- and she added that pivotal, important line that said she had other proejcts-- I replied and send, "What else ya got?"

She sent 3 pitches over. And I went ga ga for one. Fell in love. Signed her.

Had she left that line out, she would have received the standard form rejection.

A second example: In the last week, I received a query for a light, frothy romance. At the end of the query, she mentioned receiving a SCBWI Work-In-Progress grant for her "other" novel, a darker, edgier YA. I requested the romance and then said, PS: Have you queried me on the other project? If not, send the full pitch over."

She did. I loved it. I read both of her full manuscripts. Her range impressed me. But more importantly? It was the "OTHER" novel I fell for.

Just don't make it sound like you have a gargantuous stack of unpublished works, and there's really no downside, in my opinion.

There is a hundred ways this can play out in your favor, so why miss the opportunity? Add the line.

You never know what good could come of it. :-) 


Tags: queries
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