Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What if you have two projects to pitch?

I'm currently shopping novel number one. Two agents are reading completes (slowly!) and one has a partial. 39 other agents -- including you -- have passed on it. Meantime, novel number two is close to completion, and purely from a one-line pitch perspective, seems like a far more salable premise. So I'm wondering what happens when I have two projects I'm pitching. Do I put the first one in the drawer, and try to sell it after I've sold the second? (I know I'm being optimistic.) Do I pitch them simultaneously?

This is a very hard call, and a very subjective one. Hopefully readers will chip in with their opinions, but my own is that you pitch the one you think is most marketable first.

6 comments:

calendula-witch said...

I think it's okay to pitch more than one project at once, given the long wait time involved to hear back from agents (and how fast I write). I just keep careful track and don't query one agent with the new project until they've passed on the old one. At one point I had partials or fulls for three separate projects out with agents...that's down to two now, but hey. More irons in the fire is all to the good, I think.

Anonymous said...

I would think if the projects need different kinds of agents, then it is always appropriate to simultaneously shop...

like if one agent handles lit fic and not sci fi and another handles sci fi but not lit fic...

Jaye Wells said...

Sounds like project one is getting some good interest, but it might fall in the "close but no cigar category." If you feel book two is stronger, polish that baby till it shines and send it out.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just try to sell the first one until you've exhaustged all reasonable possibilities, (i.e. been rejected by 100+ agents, been rejected by all the micro-houses), and then by that time, you'll have #2 ready to go. RIght now #2 is just a first draft, right? So query #1 until #2 is polished, and the queries written, agents to query identified--you know, everything ready to go...and at that point, you remove #1 from the market (or maybe go POD route), and hit the industry proper with #2.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with pitching two projects (following calendula-witch's advice), but I would personally do them one at a time. Polish the better one, send it out, and keep working on the other (or start a third book). Who knows, by the time one sells, the publisher may want more, and you'll have some others close to completion and won't have to rush.

Ryan Field said...

I prefer to stick to one thing at a time.