For the past twenty five years I have been collaborating on genre fiction with my husband. Fifty books and some level of success, we have an agent and an enthused publisher that continues to publish us. But I recently finished a novel that is rooted in my own immigrant experience. Suspense/women\’s fiction, the theme stems from the refugee hardships that is very familiar to me. Our present agent isn\’t interested in shopping this solo novel (set in Istanbul) around as the book doesn\’t fit any traditional molds. My question is that can I seem representation for my solo work while my collaborative effort is represented by another agent? Thanks so much.
Hello! The answer to your question depends on the wording of your agency agreement (I presume you have one). Typically it will cover all your work, whether collaborative or not, but check the wording. If it does allow you to separate out your writing (ie, between collaborative and solo work) then I would suggest a conversation with your agent to see if they would be open to you doing that. If you plan an ongoing solo career, alongside the collaborative one, it might be possible to find another agent to take you on, but it’s a little sticky if you will still be publishing other books under the same name. As you can imagine, this could cause some confusion with contracts and option clauses etc.
So, I’d say consider all the factors and communicate openly with your current agent. I think that approach will help you decide what to do next. Is the problem that your current agent doesn’t want to represent your solo work — or that they just don’t think they can sell the solo manuscript? If the latter, then that is something to note as you may get a similar response elsewhere.