?

Which book should I be focused on submitting?

  1. The old one that I feel is stronger as book but harder to sell

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. The new one that is probably more commercial but is definitely a worse book

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. None and wait for the next one

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Which book to be submitting?

    Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by LostThePlot, Jul 22, 2017.

    So I have just gotten another book to the point where I could be thinking about submitting it. But I am a little bit torn.

    The previous book I felt was very strong and while difficult to market (romance with a downer ending) I'm exceptionally happy with it. I have been looking to sell that book and had a couple of agents ask for the whole manuscript. All very positive in most different ways. It's not a perfect book but it's a good book and it's well written and tight and just all around good.

    The book I just finished is fine. It doesn't have the downer ending, which is a step up. It doesn't have quite the same overtly depressing subject matter. I've got it into a good shape and I'm happy with where it is. It works the way I want it to. The emotional moments pop. It's fine. It's good even, maybe. But it's not as well written as my previous one. It's not as powerful, it's not as effecting, it's not a story that will pull you out of the chair and force you to pay attention to it.

    The first one feels to me like lightning in a bottle; this one feels a bit of a sophomore slump, to me anyway. And the to me is the important bit here. Because to me means a crazy person thinks. There is a reasonable chance that the latter book is just a better book to non-crazy people; that toning down has made it more interesting to other people but less interesting to me. It's also possible that the re-writes the later one underwent have soured me to it because I got knocked off my groove.

    But, whether it is just me or not I am stuck with the feeling that the first book is a better book and that I should keep trying to sell that. But of course there's clearly an argument to be made for moving on and trying my luck with the new book. It's more commercial, just all around much more of what you'd say was a normal book. But it still feels the weaker book.

    This is further complicated because the next book is superb but I'm maybe four to six months away from that being ready to submit and that leaves me in the position of not really knowing what to do. Should I be submitting the best book I have right now (the first one)? Should I be putting aside my misgivings and trying something fresh? Or should I be waiting until I get through with the next one?
     
  2. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    The capitalist in me says sell the book you think will sell.

    The 90's movies enthusiast in me says don't compromise your values, sell the book that shows who you are.

    The realist in me says, uh, why not just submit both?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    If you have a novel ready to go, and it's the best the novel can be (the best you can make it), send it off to find representation (an agent). If you have two novels ready, is there a reason you cannot start the query process for the second? You may not be able to send both to the same agents at the same time, but if one gets rejected by an agent, there isn't a reason that the second novel shouldn't be sent...unless there is some reason you know the agent wouldn't be interested.

    You never know what aspect might make the difference, and make an agent interested in representing one of your works.

    When you get the third one finished...start sending it.

    That's my two cents.
     
  4. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Because having two books means twice the work involved in submitting, not just actual submissions but tracking which ones I've submitted to previously as well as remembering which one I submitted to each one. I already have a day job and I write on top of it; I'm not in the market for collating spreadsheets of agents. At least when I'm sending out one book at a time I can focus on doing a few submissions well instead of trying to figure out why I remember this page but have no record of sending them anything.

    Suffice to say; I want to submit one book at a time. I am only one man.

    Edit -

    Remember the first book has been seeking representation for six months (more?) and has already been sent to all the agents that initially jumped out at me. I can go find more that didn't immediately strike me as a good fit or that are less than idea for other reasons (say US based ones) but no matter what it's not like just submitting for the first time.

    This is part of the reason why I feel moving on may be a better move; because I have already been through all the agents that I felt good about submitting to and moving on this becomes an ever more unlikely proposition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    You have one that don't really like, and one
    you hold in high esteem.

    Pick the one that best represents you, and that you
    are most proud of putting out on the market.

    You never know.

    At the end of the day we can only give you opinions,
    it is your decision not ours. So if you feel you should
    place your money on the one you think will fair better,
    then do that. Or invest in the one that takes a riskier
    approach. Which one is more you?

    If it were me having that knowledge, I would take the
    easier option to get a foot in the door. And then follow
    it up with the heavy handed one.
    But it isn't my choice. I am sure there is someone here
    who can do a far better job of helping you get your thoughts
    sorted in the matter.

    Good luck, and hope you make the best choice for you. :supersmile:
     
  6. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I am uncertain how positive it is for a book to be more me. A little bit, sure. A little edge, a little frisson of the dark. But I am certain that the amount I like is too much.
     
  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Which would you prefer make it to the market? That is the one you choose.

    Don't over complicate it.
     
  8. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I don't have a preference. If any of this run of books gets published they all eventually do. And they've been slowly becoming less to my tastes and more to my readers tastes with that goal in mind.

    The question isn't really what I like; it's what you people think agents would like best; a better book that has some tricky elements or a more average book that has wider appeal.
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    You're really asking whether to submit Book A to second tier agents or Book B to top tier agents, right?

    Go for the top tier agents. Just getting an agent isn't the end goal, here--you want to get an agent who can sell your book to the best publisher for that book, and who can sell your future books just as well. You want the best agent you can get. Submit Book B.
     
  10. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Yes that puts it quite succinctly.

    Thanks.
     
  11. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Then go with the option that will be your fastest and
    easiest route to being published. Simple as that.
    The more 'mainstream' piece will make it simpler
    for you, as it will be easier to market.
    (I think each book has to make it on its own unless you
    are looking at a contract that guarantees that you
    have a safe place to publish X number of books
    once you make it past the first one.) IDK.
     

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