View Full Version : Re-querying agents

05-20-2008, 03:22 AM
Last year, I queried a large number of agents and had several requests for partials and a couple for fulls. After getting rejected each time, I let someone from AW read it. After going over his comments, I realized he was right and made the changes. Would it be Ok to requery the agents, including the ones who asked for a partial?

05-20-2008, 03:27 AM
I'd say only if they asked to see it again after you made (their) suggested revisions.

ETA: That's why it's a good idea to only submit to about five to seven agents at a time, and see what kind of response you get first. I know it's hard to wait!

05-20-2008, 05:24 AM
Move on and query others...if the agents had liked the premise they would have said so...

05-20-2008, 06:41 AM
Do agents keep tabs of the names of the people who query? If these guys are top guns then it is worth a second rejection.

05-20-2008, 07:02 AM
In going over my notes, I see that I had five partial requests and two fulls. Three of those partials liked the premise. One even said the writing was strong. They didn't give me any reason beyond it just didn't grab them like they wanted it to. Do you think it would still be wrong to re-query them?

05-20-2008, 04:03 PM
I can only comment from reading and from asking agents after a rejection.

The three agents (big ones) I asked replied that it is absolutetly ok to re-query after a significant rewrite especially when they had asked for a partial or even full.

If you look at the sheer numbers of queries thrown at them, I doubt that anybody bothers to keep files or to remember you. Maybe if you pester them every week... in addition, many agents have readers who may not stay in that job forever.

I would think that agents who want to struck a deal will be willing to look at your revised work. Maybe it is wise to mention it in your query that you queried them before but you have done significant blahblahblah. In any case, I know of three writers who successfully re-queried. But -- of course -- I don't know of the many who got thumped down because of a re-query.

Email the agent you want to requery.

My twopence worth


05-20-2008, 07:22 PM
Of course it is never wrong -- it usually is more of a waste of time -- yes it is possible that your rewrite may spark some interest. If you really feel you have made a great enough change in your novel by all means query.
I think the danger is really that you spend so much time tinkering and focusing on a few agents that you may miss the big picture and setting projects aside to percolate and move on to your next project.

05-23-2008, 01:41 AM
I think it's probably okay to re-query once you've made major revisions. However, you might also want to change the title. I've done that and I'm starting to re-query all the agents who rejected me in the past and am getting more positive (less negative?) responses.

05-23-2008, 05:55 AM
Southern girl 29-

I have a story for you. I wrote my first MS this past July and thought I had a masterpiece...a masterpiece that was written like manure – totally written like crap. Add to this, I made every mistake in the book. I didn't know how things worked. Like I actually sent her edits after I'd sent her the MS...and more than one time. Yeah, I was an idiot. It was no surprise when I got the rejection.See, based on my query, I got a request for the full, got a nice rejection... "unauthentic kid" was her approach. (I write middle grade). And she was being more than kind.

I spent six months honing my craft, and polishing up the MS, until I couldn't edit anymore. Anyway, to make a long story short, I approached her again in a very polite and well crafted query. Her response? Nice to hear from you. I'd love to take a look at the first fifty pages...


Note: I also included the first ten pages, even though it wasn't part of her submission policy, to prove that I'd made TITANIC improvements. You know, since she was familiar with the premise of the story and all. It definitely didn't hurt my case.

ANOTHER NOTE: When she requested the pages, I made no apologies for my past mistakes. DON'T EVER APOLOGIZE. Rephrase it. Well, I thanked her for her continued interest...

P.S: When I first submitted the MS was 80,000 words...cut it to 59,000. (Who needs adults in an MG novel? Right?)

P.P.S.: The synopsis portion of my query was completely re-written by me...and shred apart, put back together by AW'ers. (Thanks, Jim, ruler of query hell).

Now, this was just a few weeks ago and I'm still waiting for a response...but, it worked for me, so why not for you? So, Orion, sorry, I have to disagree with you. It is not a waste of time.

Go for it, southern girl. And if you'd like to see the letter I wrote..see below my sig line.


Dear Ms. Agent:

Having spent six months on edits, re-writes, honing my craft, reading every popular MG novel out there, getting input from middle grade readers, attending conferences, and “finding my voice”, I am respectfully resubmitting my manuscript, formerly known as ANIMALA: THE TALE OF TWO TASK MASTERS.

And you'll soon find out that it isn't only the title that has changed...

A fantastical tale about two “normal” kids (nope, their parents aren’t Greek Gods, nor, wizards), SURVIVAL OF THE WEIRDEST (The DNA of Dylan O'Leary, Humanity, and Other Freaks of Nature) is finally complete at 59,000-words.

She isn’t taken seriously. She thinks normal is boring. And she, Dylan O’Leary, spends most of her time with her head in the clouds. But all that changes when a red bird smacks her on the forehead and demands that she jump into Lake Michigan during a very unexpected earthquake. When Dylan emerges, she’s more than shocked to find herself on the strange islands of Alchera, where animals live and behave like humans…and where the strange hybrid creatures and dinosaurs are not figments of her imagination. Good thing her brainiac best friend, Jake Sharp, is along for the ride because life has just become wildly weird.

Seems that Dylan and Jake’s unique ability to communicate with animals has been switched on. Guess all it takes a good knock to the head. And it’s because of their newly found gifts that Alchera’s freakish fauna have summoned the pair from Chicago to thwart the plans of the notoriously evil B.E.G., a greedy group of criminals that will do anything to make a buck – including threatening the lives of every creature on our planet.

Talk about pressure! Now Dylan and Jake must quickly adapt to their bizarre surroundings, escape the claws of a hungry pterodactyl, evade the threats of nasty fishermen, and set off into the Indian Ocean on the task-of-all-tasks to save creature-kind from B.E.G. But can they survive their dangerous mission…and still make it home in time to start seventh grade?

I am still a creative director from the world of advertising who isn’t a stranger to criticism, promoting my work, or all the varying licensing opportunities that exist – all requirements for any aspiring novelist. SURVIVAL OF THE WEIRDEST, which has series potential, is my first novel, but not my last. I am currently working on a second concept tentatively titled MAVERICK MERCURY THE MAGNIFICENT: KING OF THE MUTANTS. Additionally, I have written three screenplays, all of which I will be submitting to varying competitions and I run my own blog. Yes, all this while still holding down that "pesky day job."

Because you are familiar with the story, I am taking the liberty of posting the first chapter below my signature line. I just can't help but to think that we would be a great fit. (And it was you who inspired me to change my voice). Like me, YOUR AGENCY thinks about the big picture and the commercial potential…and makes it happen. Finally, on a personal note, when I first queried you six months ago, I only submitted the MS to four others. You have the most dubious honor of being the only agent that I am re-querying.

Thank you once again for your time and consideration.

My sincerest regards,

contact info

05-23-2008, 07:35 AM
Hear the word USUALLY please. I talk to many authors that say go forward - write another novel - revise previous novels - It sounds like you put a lot of effort and time rewriting and revising - that is always a good thing - let us know if you get an offer.

05-23-2008, 06:41 PM
Thanks everyone. Samantha, Jim actually read my book for me and helped me through it. He's wonderful. Most of the changes were suggested by him. Thanks again.

05-23-2008, 10:16 PM
Yeah, Jim pretty much rocks. That was really nice of him to go over your MS! And Orion, it is true about starting another novel too, at least that was the case for me. My second MS actually helped me fine tune the first.

Good luck, SG29, and keep us posted!

06-06-2008, 12:12 AM
I queried a revised book to an agent who'd read a partial a couple months prior and rejected it. She never asked me to do so, but what was the worst that could've happened? She rejected it again?

She now has the partial of the newly revised book.

With submitting to agents, you really need to put yourself out there, and sometimes that means going outside of yourself and being more assertive / obnoxious than you normally would. All for the love of your craft! :)