I am wanting to find an agent in Australia (like winning Lotto). I have had my first novel published (assisted) by Athena Press in UK and it is just now released in that country and on Amazon.com. My dilemma is whether to send my novel in its published form to a publisher or agent, or both, or whether in fact they would rather have it in manuscript form. In fact, do I tell them it is already published overseas?
Most publishers - and certainly most agents - won't want a full-length anything when you first submit. Why, just this morning someone sent us a self-published novel accompanied by a letter saying that he knew that agents normally want three chapters and a synopsis but he'd decided that he'd send this book anyway, to prove that he's serious about his writing and so we could get an idea of how he'd like the finished cover to look. After much mirth while reading the letter aloud so everyone could enjoy being told how to do their job, we wrote to him to say that, as he'd completely ignored our submission guidelines, we won't be reading it. So the important thing for you is to abide by the submission guidelines of whomever you're sending the novel to - if they want to see the whole thing, you can certainly send the book (they're easier to carry around than manuscripts) but feel free to ask the agent or publisher which they prefer. You must definitely tell the agents/publishers that it's published overseas, and by whom.