Friday, July 17, 2009

Travel all over the countryside, ask the ...

I have a travel book currently under contract with a publisher, due out at the end of 2009. It was a contract I negotiated myself, but I would now like an agent in order to grow my career.

I have booked my next adventure and started researching, and could pitch the idea of it, but obviously I cannot start on the manuscript until I've done the travel. Should I wait until I have written the manuscript before submitting to an agent, or can I pitch my idea based on the fact that I have a book in the same genre?

You can pitch the idea, but don't get your hopes up for representation based on your pitch and your past book alone. It's not impossible - not many things are impossible - but your first book would need to have sold fairly well in order for an agent to take you on for the second without seeing a manuscript.

I say it's not impossible because I've taken on authors on the strength of their first book and their ideas for a second. But travel writing is a tricky genre (in Australia, at least - and I'm presuming you're Australian). I don't take it on because I've found it too hard to place in the past. Of course, if the writing were amazing, I would reconsider. But it would need to be amazing. You'd also need to have a great idea for the second book - something that's sufficiently different to other books on the market to make the agent (and, then, publisher) think it's worth taking on.


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Noah Wheelock said...

Hi Agent Sydney. Thanks for this blog - I just stumbled across it, but it's terrific. This post in particular piqued my interest, as I have a travel book idea that I believe to be marketable (I know, I know - who doesn't, right?!), and while I have been published in a couple of smaller (but legitimate) travel magazines, I have no book to my credit.

That said, the trip to be undertaken for the book would be both time-consuming and expensive and, while I believe it to be marketable, I also realize it's a pretty difficult market to break into. So would you think the only real option is to invest both the time and money, then write the book and hope for the best? Is pitching to an agent - or directly to a publisher - prior to the trip a possibility, or such a longshot so as to not be worth the effort?

Noah in Canada

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