1. Maturin
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    Maturin New Member

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    Would a publisher/agent be interested in a trilogy from a first time writer?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Maturin, Aug 5, 2012.

    Hello everyone!

    I am currently working on a manuscript for the first book of what I think will be a trilogy. I am currently at 85,500 words and will probably end up at around 150k easily before I'm done. Like the title states, do you think a publisher/agent would be interested in such a heavy book from an unknown writer, a book that is also part of a longer story-arch? Would it be harder to get a trilogy published than a single book?

    I realize alot hangs on me as a writer and the story itself, but if its good, do you think there is a chance? Or should I perhaps shelf the book for a while after I'm done and perhaps try my luck with another story first? I'm actually pretty confident that there's quality in my work (only trying to get published will show if I'm right or not, I guess :)) but do you think I'm wasting my time with a trilogy as a first book?

    I appreciate your comments and help!

    -Maturin
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    You might find this thread an interesting read.

    And the basic answer is: of course it's possible, but it's staggeringly unlikely. You're really best off trying to sell a standalone novel first, be that an actual standalone novel, or a novel that has room for sequels, but doesn't need them in order to make sense and be enjoyed.
     
  3. Maturin
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    Maturin New Member

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    Thank you Banzai for the reply! I made bad use of the search function, sorry for that! I'll look at the other thread =)
     
  4. Crystal Parney
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    Crystal Parney Member

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    My first novel, due out in Oct is a single novel yet I left the end open for a sequel, and I am currently building my plot for the second book. Anyways, I obtained a publishing deal with my first book, even with the end remaining open. Maybe have your first book leave an opening for a second, and so on.
     
  5. tiffanylyn
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    tiffanylyn Member

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    I just came from the Willamette Writer's Conference in Portland, Oregon and I heard the contrary to Banzai several times (not that the agents at the conference were the end all, and I'm just relaying information here). I heard that the more you have written to be published (in regards to a series) the happier they are, unless it's non-fiction, of course. Yes, they love the trilogy and it's very hot right now. It means money for them. In regards to word count you might want to be careful. I liked one answer I received on this because it made sense. It was: Publishers and agents don't want to see more than 100k words from first time writers. The bigger the book the more it costs to publish and shelve it, and they obviously don't want to take risks with newbies. I guess Twilight was a risk and she (they) got "lucky" because it was way too long. Again, this is what I heard from the conference. Maybe Banzai is correct. Google it :)
     
  6. BBBurke
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    BBBurke Member

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    I don't have enough insight into agents' minds to know the truth, but the common advice I've been given is that you should make the first book able to stand on its own. That doesn't mean that it can't eventually be part of a trilogy or series, but that it has enough of a resolution that it can survive if the other books don't get published. I think it's easier to sell a single book than a series, but both are possible.

    And this is just my gut, but if you are searching for an agent and they like your query and your manuscript, they will work with you. They might say that you should make the story stand alone, or they might say that they can sell the whole trilogy. But if they like the idea and the writing they will be interested and you can make changes from there.
     
  7. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    Yes. No. Maybe?

    Send out a few queries and see.

    If you put it on a shelf, the answer is definitely "No."
     

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