So my first book, which I wrote with the intention of starting a series, is being read by an agent right now, and I find myself wondering: do those of you who write series start the next in line before the current one is published? If so, what happens if your editor sends it back and wants major plot changes (that affect the next book)?
If you don't start the next book while waiting for the first one to be published, what do you do with yourself while you wait?
Just curious how it all works.
Hummm, waiting for a agent to reply. The overall chance that an agent will accept your book is very low. Not because it isn't a great book, but because agents are looking for material that they can SELL to one of the handful of publishers they know. They say they represent you, but that is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Like all of us, they are looking to make a living.
Once, I had an agent reject a book because she "couldn't stand to read another serial killer story". The funny part is that it wasn't a serial killer story. There was only one murder, a murder that the detective was determined solve even though she was an unimportant person. Clearly she didn't even read the story.
To answer your question directly, write, write, write. Do the next book. Start another series. IJ said, she wrote 4 books while looking for an agent.
These days, a beginning writer needs an agent like a frog needs a bicycle. The magic word for new writers is simple - ebook.
I agree with I.J.
On self-publishing, it depends on the writer. Even though some writers might not mind doing everything themselves we must remember not every author wants to do that. A lot of authors still want to work with publishers and agents and not have the burden of all that other stuff. So a writer should evaluate their personal goals and pick the mode of publishing they would like to do.
Self-publishing a book is not easy. Just because someone puts it on Kindle does not mean that it will sell. Also the 99 cent pricing thing is no longer working. That gimmick has gotten old and pricing a SP book low is not even a guarantee that it will raise interest. It was something new when Hocking did it, everyone jumped on and now it's not so effective. Plus readers complain all the time about being burned by 99 cent books that are horrible so it taints their perceptions of those that might be decent making it harder for new authors to stick out in self-publishing even if their books are good.
Self-publishing is even harder than commercial publishing. You have to do everything yourself and have to find time to write which is what a lot of the more successful self-publishers complain about now. They have to promote 98% of the time. If you are the type who doesn't wanna spend your entire time promoting (like most authors don't) then you won't succeed with self-publishing. You have to promote ten times more self-publishing than you would with even a tiny publisher just to get reviews or someone to even know about your book. Just sticking it on Amazon doesn't cut it.
Also about self-publishing ebooks, ebooks have become very popular (I don't touch print books now myself) but there are still a lot of readers who prefer print and still only read print and that's a big market still. But the point is every writer has to choose what's best for them according to what they hope to achieve and their goals. If you want a contract with a publisher then you need to submit to agents or publishers. Don't self-publish thinking down the line it will lead to a commercial deal. No. And if you wanna self-publish, research it and make sure that's what you wanna do.
Either way you never wait on anyone before writing something. Keep writing because it's best to have a lot of stuff you can submit than putting all your eggs in one basket with one book.
Did that agent pick ours up? I have several agnets looking at mine now and I was wondering how long unitl I hear something back, if ever.
Some are quick. I assume you didn't offer exclusives. If you care a great deal about a particular agent, it may be ok to do so, but limit the time to one month.
In my opinion, the answer to your first question is YES! I remember reading somewhere that if you are fortunate enough to be picked up by a publisher and your novel does relatively well, your publisher is going to expect the second book in record time. That's a lot of pressure!
So, I wrote the sequel to Mixed Messages before that book was accepted. And I'm very glad I did! Mixed Messages, the first novel in my Malone mystery series, will be released on April 17th and my publisher has already expressed interest in the second book for the series. Fingers crossed but I'm working on some rewriting, editing, etc. on book 2 as we speak.
To answer your second question, what happens if your editor wants major plot changes? You'll do more rewrite and make them!