Sorry about my absence this week. I've been crazy busy getting things ready for my agent!
Even before I submitted to agents I wondered what to expect if I've written a sequel to the book I'm submitting. Not much at the agent stage really. At that point you want to focus on your first book. If you don't get someone interested in it they aren't really going to care about what comes after. However, once an agent takes you on then things change. First and foremost you have to get your first book ready. Which means revision even after you get an agent. They want to make sure they have something polished and ready to go before considering more.
Once I'd got through the revision stages with my agent I asked him what I should have ready in case editors ask about the sequels. At that point he was very excited to hear about the sequels. He wanted to know how much I'd written. I've completed the second novel (and revised several times) and am about half way through the third. With that in mind he wanted not only my revised first book, but a synopsis or outline of the second, 2 chapters of the second, and the first page of the third. Since that was all already done it was just a matter of attaching those things to the email.
If you've written a sequel to your book be honest with your agent about what stage it's in. If its the first draft tell them. If you've revised it several times, let them know that. Have a synopsis or an outline ready! Most important, never stop writing. If I had stopped writing the moment an agent showed interest I wouldn't have a sequel completed and be half way through the third. I used all the nervous energy to keep writing and now I have a trilogy instead of just one book! You don't have to write a sequel though. Write another book altogether if you like!
If you have written a sequel have it ready, then once your agent is happy with the revision of the first book, mention the sequel! Both your agent and prospective editors will want to know about it. Happy writing!
For those of you looking for an alternative way to publish check this out. Here's a new publishing imprint that wants authors to take a more active role in their own promotion and are taking a different approach: http://kenatchity.blogspot.com/2009/10/morgan-james-publishing-and-atchity.html