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Bartholomew
03-24-2009, 09:50 AM
Ok, so I have an MS that's made the rounds and gotten a good pile of rejection slips. I've revised it A LOT, and I think I've repaired a lot of critical errors. I want to resubmit it to some of the same agents, now that I think it is more suited to the market, but I'm reluctant to do so because I'd rather not incur their wrath.

Should I resubmit with an explanation that I've reworked the story? Or should I say nothing, and just assume that they won't remember my name against the thousands of others in the slush pile?

waylander
03-24-2009, 02:45 PM
Change the title and it is a good chance that no-one will spot it. After all, it was last year's intern that rejected it at many agencies

Danthia
03-24-2009, 07:02 PM
Some won't remember, others actually track that stuff. Changing the title helps, and I'd also suggest changing your query as well. Put a fresh face on it, and let it be the new novel you've worked on revising. People re-query all the time, so there's nothing wrong with it. As long as you have indeed revised the book and didn't just make a few edit tweaks.

Madisonwrites
03-24-2009, 09:52 PM
Yeah, Nathan Bransford says that he probably wouldn't remember if someone queried him the same thing twice. Remember, the worst that can happen that you'll get rejected by the same agent on the same story, so I say re-query, good luck, and happy writing! :D

ZeroMan
03-24-2009, 10:05 PM
I was wondering much the same thing.

I wrote a true crime book that originally clocked in at 55,000 words. I had heard that anything under 85K was often an automatic rejection, but two agents (out of the true crime field) said length wasn't an issue, so I sent in on its query rounds anyway.

It, too, piled up a lot of form rejections before one agent finally said the writing was fine but the length killed it. So I've rewriten it and expanded it out to the more suitable 85K.

Since the originial version was rejected by almost every decent agent within the genre, I sincerely hoped there was a chance to resubmit it. I'm not looking forward to changing the title, though. Choosing a title was pretty agonizing in the first place.

waylander
03-24-2009, 10:42 PM
Since the originial version was rejected by almost every decent agent within the genre, I sincerely hoped there was a chance to resubmit it. I'm not looking forward to changing the title, though. Choosing a title was pretty agonizing in the first place.

Chances are the publisher would change the title anyway

ZeroMan
03-24-2009, 10:49 PM
Chances are the publisher would change the title anyway

That's what I had heard and was even kind of counting on that fact.

But it would seem to me that a lousy title would hurt my chances with an agent just as a lousy title would hurt the chances of a reader picking up the book.

Working mostly with short stories, where slushpile readers might not make it past a dull opening paragraph, I envision agents (or their interns, more likely) wading through queries with their finger on the "reject" button.

Danthia
03-24-2009, 11:33 PM
Editorial Anon was just talking about titles on her blog this morning. Link is here. (http://editorialanonymous.blogspot.com/)

My agent asked for my book based on the title alone. Titles are certainly not something you want to blow off or treat haphazardly, but don't stress over them either. They're just one more opportunity to grab attention, and a good one will help you. A bad one won't necessarily hurt you (unless it's really bad) but if an agent is on the fence, it could shove you over it the wrong way. You never know what little thing will sway someone. For example, if they're worried your query sounds a little too much like something they've seen 100 times, but it has a small gem there that intrigues, a good title that show originality could put you into the "I'll give it a try" pile. An overused title could reinforce the agent's fear.

My title helped get my foot in the door, but the book still had to wow. And ironically, the title changed after I sold it. So ever great titles can change. There are far better things to worry about :) Titles are usually out of our hands anyway.

scope
03-25-2009, 01:28 AM
A good title helps, but it's all about the query letter, the market, and the manuscript. The best title ever with a poor query letter will go no where. No question we should try to come up with a title that will intrigue, interest, grab the attention....whatever, of the agent and/or editor, it's got to help, but agents and editors know that the publisher will ultimately choose the title.

Bartholomew
03-29-2009, 07:48 PM
Thanks, all!