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Re-submissions and Re-querying: Yes or No?

You’ve sent in your query and, lo and behold, you’ve landed a partial or full request. First, congratulations! You’re now entitled to do a happy dance and celebrate with chocolate and wine (or whatever you do to celebrate). And now get ready for a long wait. But what should you do if another agent (editor, writer, etc) gives you feedback while the requested material is out, which results in substantial rewrites to your novel (or even just the first chapter)?
According to the Gate Keeper, resubmit it. For more insight into her wisdom and how to do this, check out her posts here and here.
What should you do if you’ve queried an agent with sample pages, but by the time they’ve request the partial or full, you’ve made substantial changes to those pages? According to Joanna Volpe (agent), you need to tell the agent this when you send in the requested material, even if you know the agent won’t be reading the manuscript for several months.
And finally, if an agent rejects your manuscript and provides constructive feedback but doesn’t ask you to resubmit, however, you do a complete overall based on the advice (new title, varied plot, voice, etc), can you re-query the agent with this book?
This really depends on the agent. For some, a ‘no’ means ‘no’. If they wanted to see it again, they would have asked you to resubmit after you’ve finished the revisions. For others, it doesn’t hurt to re-query them, and explain that you have made substantial changes (because chances are great they might still recognize it from before). More than likely, though, they’ll still say no, but it’s not the end of the world. Just keep querying it to agents you haven’t queried before.
Now if you only queried the agent, and they rejected the query and sample pages, you can certainly try re-querying them, but only if you’ve made substantial changes to your query, samples pages (for example, you deleted the old ones), and possibly even your title (because some agents keep record of that). And don’t try re-querying them so soon after the first attempt. Check out Jessica Faust’s and May Kole’s (agents) posts for their thoughts on the topic of re-querying and re-submissions.
These questions were based on ones recently sent to the Query Tracker Blog team. If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments or email them to us.

Stina Lindenblatt writes contemporary and romantic suspense for young adults. In her spare time (LOL), she’s a photographer and blogging addict, and can be found hanging out on her blog, Seeing Creative.
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9 comments:

On December 13, 2010 at 9:02 AM , salarsenッ said...

All about Stina! Love this post and such an important topic. Thanks for the advice.

 
On December 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM , Krista V. said...

Great collection of links and information, Stina. Thanks!

 
On December 13, 2010 at 12:07 PM , Jessica Bell said...

Hey Stina, I had no idea you posted here! Nice article! :o)

 
On December 13, 2010 at 2:02 PM , Candyland said...

Super! I actually re-queried with the same book(and MAJOR revisions) and got another request. I think it doesn't hurt to ask.

 
On December 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM , Julie Musil said...

Thanks, Stina!

 
On December 14, 2010 at 11:28 AM , Margaret Duarte said...

Thanks, Stina. I sent out a query package (query, plus synopsis, plus first 3 chapters) to an agent at her request. I don't mind the wait (eight weeks so far), since I'm busy with the holidays, but in January I expect to hear back from her. I need information such as yours to know the next step to take. You do us authors a great service.

 
On December 15, 2010 at 7:19 AM , caitieflum said...

The part that no one ever mentions is that some agents have assistants. To me, the biggest reason for a re-query is the agent getting a new assistant. Maybe they will see something the last one did not.

 
On December 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM , Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I've given this some serious thought, as I may want to re-submit at some point. As you say, it really does depend - and in the end, it's all in the book, right? If it's what they're looking for, they won't hold it against you. If it's not, they won't be interested no matter what.

 
On September 14, 2011 at 2:15 AM , Victoria Collins said...

Thanks so much. I blogged asking these very questions just recently(http://wp.me/p1AW0D-2R) - and this answers. Nice to know I'm not the only one who's faced this dillema.