Question of the day: Do you feel the current state of the economy is dictating what books are being published? For instance, my second novel is about a mother caring for her adult daughter who suffers from a chronic illness. I am struggling to find an agent for it, although all my rejections are personal. You were able to write about cancer and yet didn't scare away agents, why is writing about diseases now so taboo? Everyone says that my writing is great, yet they say that the subject matter is a tough sell right now. Arrgh!! I wanted this to be my break-out novel and it's not breaking anything but my heart. I've written a third novel in the meantime and my publisher is gobbling it up, but I had hoped to have an agent by now to help me. What would you do, wait to see if the second book can find an agent or go ahead and sign the papers on the third book even though I'm sure the contract will be bad? Do desperate times call for desperate measures or is patience a virtue on this one?
I'll offer a third suggestion: since your newer book is the one that's generating the heat, why don't you shop that one around to agents? I wouldn't sign a contract that I know is going to be crappy, but an agent can certainly take a crappy contract and make it a better one, AND, hey, you never know what other offers an agent could get you. If your previous manuscript just isn't getting the job done, set it aside, and you might discover that as time goes on, your wound will mend...especially if you sell the next one. :) And once you've sold the other one, who knows, maybe it will open doors for the one you have your heart set on right now.
I think the key is not to get too, too, too invested in one manuscript, such that it can divert the trajectory of your career. A lot of us have had that ms, the one that we poured every ounce of ourselves into and that ultimately didn't sell, but I'll tell you what: I am so grateful that I didn't get hung up on that specific ms and that I moved on from it, because if I hadn't, my career would be DOA right about now.
As far as the first half of your question, I'm going to devote a separate post to it because I think it's a worthy discuss to have in and of itself.
Good luck and hang in there! BTDT. Other readers who have BTDT, can you weigh in and help her out?