Querying Two Books at One Time
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Oct 06 2022
We get questions a lot about the etiquette of querying two different books, presumably two different genres (but not always) at once. Can it be done?
Sure. I mean honestly, you can do whatever you damn well please. I’m just not always sure it’s an efficient or effective use of your time to work that way.
With the exception of picture books, most books take a few months to write, edit, revise and prepare for submission. The months in which you are querying and submitting the first book. With that in mind, I think it’s reasonable to expect that it will be six months between the time you start querying your first book and the time your second book is ready to query. To be honest, if you’re not getting bites on your first book and you’re whipping out the second one in less than six months I suggest you actually slow down and spend a little more time revising and polishing. It could make a difference.
When the Second Book is Ready
When you’re certain your second book is ready to submit I would take a beat to take stock of where you are with the first book and instead of dividing your energies between the two, focus on the new one.
The truth is, in six months’ time, while you certainly won’t have all the responses back, you’ll likely have hit a good chunk of your agent list. Because there are honestly only about 50-75 agents in your genre who are right for that book. If you’re querying 10 or so agents a month they’ve all seen it by now. With that in mind, I would stop querying. Yep, I said it, you can now stop querying that book. Manage requests and rejections for it, but put your energies into the second book instead.
Forward Momentum Leads to Success
Getting stuck in the cycle of querying or revising a book doesn’t move your career forward. To do that you need to be ready to give something up and there’s no better indication that it’s time than when you’re working on that next book. Once you start writing the next book it’s time to stop writing and editing the previous book. Once you start querying it’s time to stop querying the last book. We get asked a lot about when to know your book is done and there’s no better indication than when the next thing takes its place.
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When you’re anxiously waiting for a book to arrive, you may be tempted to check out your social media accounts or start reading other books. That’s why I want to share with you the best way to approach this.