1. John Franklin Dandridge
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    John Franklin Dandridge Member

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    Pitching a two volume novel

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by John Franklin Dandridge, Aug 24, 2015.

    When I submit to agents, should I mention that my novel is the first of a two volume set, or just pitch the first one alone, saving mention of the 2nd should they be interested?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You say "two volume novel." Do you mean that, or do you mean "two book series"? To distinguish between the two, does the first book stand alone, coming to a satisfactory conclusion, or does it end with a "to be continued" vibe?

    My understanding--and this is from advice that I've read, not from personal experience--is that you are selling a novel, one novel. The fact that a sequel is complete may be useful and welcome information, but you're still selling one book, so the information about the sequel should not in any way be a dominant point of your pitch.
     
  3. John Franklin Dandridge
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    John Franklin Dandridge Member

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    I think that it has a 'to be continued' vibe, but I'm so close to it that I can't really say objectively. So I suppose it would have to be pitched as a two book series. Thanks a lot for your advice.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you're writing fantasy or science fiction you can get a little more leeway on this, I think. There are books by first time authors that don't really stand alone so well and are instead the first of a series. Even in those genres I think you'll have better luck if the first could be a stand-alone novel in some respect, even if an over-arching story continues in the second book. Depending on how long they are, you could also pitch the whole thing as one novel instead of two, if the story is really indivisible.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you can possibly, possibly make the first book standalone, I think that that you would be eliminating a huge handicap to selling the book. I'm sure that there's no such thing as a real "never", but the general understanding is that publishers very, very rarely buy a series. Edited to add: Very, very rarely buy a series from a first-time author, that is.
     
  6. John Franklin Dandridge
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    John Franklin Dandridge Member

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    Yeah, and its borderline sci-fi, but I may try to make the first stand alone.
     
  7. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a rather large 260K word 1st draft. It's not rambling, it just covers a huge scope of 1st Century historical fiction across six empires. I am editing it mercilessly, but this may wind up having to be published as two books. I suppose it helps if the second book is actually finished, and there is a clear, if not totally complete, conclusion to the first? I am a first time writer, so publishing is still new to me, and I am at least three months away from a professional editor, and six months away from agents and publishers.
     
  8. John Franklin Dandridge
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    John Franklin Dandridge Member

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    Yeah, I got to about 120k words before I realized I was going to have to split it in two. Luckily, the split came at an in between point where both books have their own arc. I'm a couple paragraphs from finishing my final revisions before getting the first book professionally edited and formatted. The second book is anywhere from 10 to 20 pages from being finished, so I plan to submit to agents for the first around the time the second is done.
     
  9. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks! I am about 5% through second edit, and discovered a coupla paragraphs of narrative third person stuff about Alexandria that is nice history but irrelevant.... the Roman officer is riding in to visit the Library to do some research, so the focus should be on what he says and hears and thinks, not an historical treatise. It was a nice chunk for me to focus my mind on what the city was like, but it has served its purpose. Anyway, the Senator will be taking them on a carriage tour of the city, enroute to the dockyards and ships, in the next chapter. I changed that 3rd party stuff to his narration... while the centurion is ogling the girls in two piece bathing suits on Eunostis beach.

    I have a period mosaic showing that scene, playing beachball! Would look good on Santa Barbara. And soldiers never change.
     

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