re: Querying a Book That’s Already Sold

in Submissions by

Dear Editor….

I’ve signed with a small press for the first two books in a trilogy. The first is coming out very soon, but I’m almost finished with the second. Would it ever be okay to query the second book (or even the series) even though it’s already sold?

Thank you,
Emily

Dear Emily…

Forget about agents right now. Your focus now should be on promoting Book I and polishing Book II simultaneously, and then move on to promoting Book II and writing Book III simultaneously. Don’t drop the ball on those crucial things because you’re futzing around with querying. There’s nothing an agent can do for you until Book III is ready to be signed. Low sales for your trilogy because of lackluster writing or slapdash promoting will torpedo your chances with agents and other publishers down the line. There are other reasons for low sales, but you can control these two—so do! Writing the best books you can and promoting them to the best of your ability is plenty for your plate. Agents will be open to signing you when Book III is written, as long as you’ve got a sense of projects you want to work on down the road and hopes for your larger career.

Happy writing!
The Editor

3 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. You’re absolutely right! I guess I was just having a case of “everyone’s moving ahead at lightning speed! How do I catch up??” But I should just slow down and focus on what’s important now.

    Thank you!!

    • Great question–I know I feel the same way sometimes. Hard to remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race when everyone else SEEMS to be jack-rabbiting their way to bookstore shelves.

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