Do agents prefer you to have no previous books published-they want to Discover you?

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Thread: Do agents prefer you to have no previous books published-they want to Discover you?

  1. #1

    Do agents prefer you to have no previous books published-they want to Discover you?

    Hi there,

    I have interest from quite a reputable medium sized publisher. I have a book they may be interested in; it's a novel I wrote a year ago. I've completed a new one that may attract mainstream agents.

    Do the larger agents prefer you to have no publishing history and want to sell your novel as a 'debut' or are they impressed if you've had a book published? Also I've heard that agents look at your first book sales when considering your second book.

    I might sell well with my first book, or not, depending on many factors including luck (the medium sized guys have a good marketing dept.)
    I want to hold my new book for bigger agents and publishers.

    I hope this makes sense and thanks for taking the time to read my post.


  2. #2
    I had a fairly extensive history with small presses when I approached my agent (for work in a different genre). I think my publishing history may have helped her appreciate that I was prolific and professional, but other than that I don't think it did me much good or much harm. We ended up selling my first books with her under a different pen name, so they were still marketed as debut books. Because my first books were in a niche genre I don't think my agent paid much attention to their sales numbers.

    Overall? I think it may balance out to be a neutral factor, but that's not an opinion I'd fight to defend if someone had a compelling disagreement.

  3. #3
    Thanks for that – Im glad sales with an Indie won't affect my chances finding a new agent or publisher.
    Thx for your thoughts.


  4. #4
    Well, they may not want to represent you if you have made a toxic wasteland of your name online, or have a bad track record of published work. It is 2018, and they will likely google you before offering a contract. This is why pen names are handy; to insulate your writing from all the crap that real-you put on the net.

    Yep, if you wrote a few turds, they can come back to haunt you.

  5. #5
    Thanks very much for that - I'll bear it in mind.


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