Q: How do you query with a rewrite?

shaking handsQuerying your first novel is a process that morphs over time. In a perfect world, agents request–and LOVE–the book you are querying and you find an agent quickly without (many) revisions.

However, for most of you it won’t be a ‘perfect world’ scenario. You might not get any requests, you might be lucky enough to get some direct feedback from an agent, and if you’re REALLY lucky, they’ll ask you to requery your novel after you’ve done work on it.

So how to do you query again after you’ve done a rewrite?

Do agents want to see the book again?

What if I already sent it to my dream agent and they passed? Will they want to see it again?

Am I even allowed to re-send?

Yes, you are ‘allowed’ to requery, but here are some general guidelines:

1. Let us know that we’ve seen a version of it before.

2. If you’re going to send it to us again, make sure you’ve done a considerable amount of work.

3. If we provided you with specific targets for revision, let us know that you accomplished them. 

4. But be warned, you only get one chance to make a first impression and you’ve already used it.

Books are never considered finished until they go to the printer. They are in a constant state of creating, editing, revising and writing. It’s okay to tweak and polish as you go.

However, you only have one chance to wow us and often times querying with a rewrite isn’t beneficial unless we’ve specifically requested it.

Q: What questions do writers have about resubmitting projects?

Further Reading:

Wait before you hit send. Are those revisions really ready?

First Impressions

An Agent Is Not An Editor

As an agent I am not there to overhaul your manuscript in an extensive editing process. My job is to get it in the best shape I can for submission to editors, but substantial editing is not in my job description because agents don’t have time for it and not all agents are trained editors.

I edit my client’s work to improve the novel’s structure, flush out characters, procure consistency, ask the right questions to get the novel to where it needs to go–as well as copyedit and proofread–before we take it to acquiring editors. Continue reading An Agent Is Not An Editor

First Impressions and Publishing

Everyone has heard the saying ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression.’ Well, unsurprisingly this is also true in publishing. You only have one chance to show an agent or editor you are serious about writing, that your work is of high quality and that it deserves to be published.

Here are a few examples of when first impressions matter:

  • Submitting your work to editors before you have an agent. This can be problematic if/when it’s rejected and it wasn’t in top form. Depending on the circumstance an agent may have to cross that editor off the list if they’ve already seen it, and even if the agent does resubmit to that editor the first impression has already been spent on a manuscript that wasn’t ready.
  • Submitting your manuscript to agents. First impressions with agents are equally important. If you have the wrong name at the top of your query letter, email an unprofessional rebuttal to your rejection letter, or have glaring mistakes in your manuscript agents will take this into consideration. If you cannot properly address a query letter how will you address a potential editor? If you dispute a rejection from an agent, how will you respond when your editor has revision comments? This all sets the tone for whether an agent wants to work with you and represent you. When an agent submits material on behalf of a client and introduces a client to their editor the agent’s reputation is also involved. We want to work with clients who are professional in their writing and interactions, always.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?
  • NaNoWriMo also known as National Novel Writing Month: Don’t query December 1st if the manuscript is freshly written. You only have once chance to make a first impression with an agent so if the work you’ve been doing over November hasn’t been edited or fully flushed out early December is not the time to query. Save it for when it’s ready.

Take your time, publishing is not a race it’s a long process so use strategy.