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Sending a Query Before the Novel is Finished

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Greybeard, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Minstrel

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    Is it acceptable to send a query letter to an agent or publisher if the novel isn't finished yet? What if you are very close to the end?
     
  2. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    Published authors say it shouldn't be done, which means, I guess, that it's possibly, just not advised.

    By 'isn't finished yet' do you mean it isn't finished being written, or it's still part-way through it's third or fourth heavy edit? Because if you mean isn't finished being written, then I would think it still has a lot of work yet to be done on it, as most novels need quite a bit of editing before most agents/publishers will look at it.

    If it's almost finished being edited however... well, then maybe starting to query isn't as bad.
     
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    It's best to be finished (revised and edited to the best you can make it). In the big scheme of publishing, unless it is a time-senstive project, a month or two isn't going to make a difference.
     
  4. Since publishing, I've spoken with several other agents and publishers other than those with whom I signed. I got mostly the same feedback - that I was lucky in signing my first novel. They all said that it is not only preferable, but usually their requirement to see a finished product (in terms of top to bottom, not completely edited) when submitting to a publisher. They don't want you to send it all at once, but rather a query with a few chapters; however, they want the rest of the work ready to see if they consider you publishable and sellable.

    I went backwards. I hard many non-fiction and creative non-fiction works floating around. I signed with a publisher to help an athelete write his memoir. While talking, they asked my favoirte inquiry to date...."Do you have anything else you're working on?"

    HECK YES!

    I sent them half of a novel and chapter sketches for the rest and they signed it. That was a year and a half ago and it got published not long ago.
     
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