In today’s messages….
…someone who was reading our submission guidelines and wanted to know what happened when they reached the step where we request a full manuscript and they didn’t have one. Hmmm…. I’m pretty sure from the rest of the message that this was a first time author. And, well, it’s really difficult to sell a first time author without a complete manuscript. It can even be challenging to sell published authors without one (not counting option materials). Having one sure helps with assessing the market and which houses/editors would be the best match. Plus, the editors want to be sure they can actually finish one. So, it seems the answer would be that they would need to go and finish it.
Lots of really fascinating replies to my post about the first agent-author conversation. I think it might make fodder for several entries on this blog in the near future.