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  1. #1
    A Writer

    Mya, Oh Wise One....

    (and anyone else with experience as well!)

    I recently received a request for a full. The agent wants me to include my submissions history. Currently I have sample chapters on an editor's desk, sent there because I was referred by another editor at a different house. In said "submissions history," do I name the editors and houses, or do I merely state that I have sample chapters under consideration with an editor?

    (Trying oh-so-hard to do things right......)

  2. #2
    Mya Bell

    Re: Mya, Oh Wise One....

    Oh, gosh, sticky question. Book industry politics---how much to say and how much not to say.

    Well, it has more "force" if you name the house, but I don't think you're under obligation to name the editor (or even the house if you can provide a general description that satisfies the agent).

    It also depends upon the size of the publisher and its reputation.

    If it were a small house or not-quite-as-well-known indie publisher, I would be tempted to say, "The manuscript is under consideration by an independent publisher."

    If it were a large house, something better known, I would be tempted to say, "The manuscript is currently under consideration by an editor at ___[name of publisher]___. Then, if the agent expresses further interest in knowing the name of the editor, you can go from there (but it might not come up).

    I guess the balancing act is to provide enough information so the agent knows the info is credible (and so it casts you in a positive light), without giving away anything that detracts from that positive aura.

    I don't know if that helps in any way, there are so many variables, but at least it gives you a few thoughts to chew over while you make your decision, and perhaps others will chime in as well.

    --- Mya Bell

  3. #3
    A Writer

    Re: Mya, Oh Wise One....

    Thank you, Mya, for your well thought out answer.

    Book industry politics is certainly not my forte, but I'm not completely in the dark, either. It's actually my businessman hubby who pointed out that perhaps I shouldn't disclose every single detail.

    The first editor is from a well-known imprint of one of the "biggie" publishers. She is the one who referred me to the second editor, who is from a relatively new imprint of a well-known and long-established genre publisher. I don't think I'd be stressing quite so much over the details if it weren't for the fact that Editor 1 referred me to Editor 2, and it's kind of hard to word that in my submissions history without mentioning their names.

    Actually, I'm afraid it might make me sound a little flaky.

    If I stated something like, "An editor at House A read my work and referred me to an editor at House B," is there the possibility that the agent might find my vagueness a bit frustrating? I understand why she is asking for the history; I just don't know what weight a certain amount of information given or withheld will influence her decision on whether or not to offer representation.

    Ack! Perhaps I am overthinking this, too.

    At any rate, your response has given me good stuff to chew on. My desire is to have integrity without shooting myself in the foot.

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