Approaching Literary Agents after You’ve Been Dumped

Q: What is the proper protocol for seeking an agent if you had an agent who submitted your manuscript to 3 publishers, got rejections and terminated your agreement as a result. I’ve revamped the manuscript and am ready to send query letters, but don’t know how to broch the subject. -Sandi

You need to be honest and disclose these facts. You should send out your standard query letter with information about the project. But at some point in the letter you need to tell the prospective agents that an earlier draft has been passed on by three publishers and give the names of those houses.

It might also be helpful to give a brief summary of the changes you have made in this draft. Provided those three publishers don’t represent the entire world of possibilities for the project, any agent should still evaluate your project on its merits.

Elaine English, Attorney and Literary Agent