Fiction books must be finished before query?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
aldentan
Private E-1
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:37 pm

Fiction books must be finished before query?

Postby aldentan » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:16 am

Hi all,

I've learnt that before querying an agent with your fiction book, it has to be finished first.

Wheareas for a non-fiction book, it doesn't have to be.

Is this true?

If so, why?

Thanks.

User avatar
Brien Sz
Sergeant Major of the Army
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:10 am

Re: Fiction books must be finished before query?

Postby Brien Sz » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:24 am

What I heard from agents is that for non-fiction it far more important to have a platform - blog, website, twitter, Facebook, etc... The reason is that agents want to work with established experts on a topic. This way, at least, if you have a partial manuscript and they can see that you are an expert with a solid following, they will be more likely to work with something that isn't complete.

williamadams
 

Re: Fiction books must be finished before query?

Postby williamadams » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:00 am

[quote="aldentan"]Hi all,

I've learnt that before querying an agent with your fiction book, it has to be finished first.

Wheareas for a non-fiction book, it doesn't have to be.

Is this true?

If so, why?

Thanks.[/quote]
=========================

partially true

you will need what the agent wants
often a couple sample chapters to grade your writing skill
and a detailed outline
plus
a sales pitch showing who would buy this
having street cred is a big plus as is having a following on social media

look at WM for general guidelines
and check each agent/publisher site for specific quirks they have

User avatar
ostarella
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 am

Re: Fiction books must be finished before query?

Postby ostarella » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:50 pm

[quote="aldentan"]Hi all,

I've learnt that before querying an agent with your fiction book, it has to be finished first.

Wheareas for a non-fiction book, it doesn't have to be.

Is this true?

If so, why?

Thanks.[/quote]


Agent: I love the first 3 chapters of your novel! Send me the full ms!
Author: Great! It'll take 2, maybe 3 months to finish and edit and revise, but...
Agent: Okay, never mind. I'll go to the next author on my list.

That's why you have your novel finished - completely finished - before querying. Agents have way more submissions than there are slots at publishers, and they can't sell (ie, earn a living) what they don't have in hand. You may or may not go on that agent's "forget it" list for future submissions, but why take the chance?

Non-fiction is a horse of a different color. The author's platform/reputation is very important - publishers will not work with someone who can't show they know what they're talking about. They also work more closely with the author during the writing process. Here's a pretty good overview from the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/02/16/so-you-want-to-write-a-nonfiction-book/


Return to Writers' Block Party

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests