View Full Version : Re-querying etiquette

04-08-2009, 01:52 AM
In October, I queried my one finished novel to about two dozen agents. Although the main character is 14, I was not entirely sure it read like a YA novel, but I felt I had to make a decision before querying, so I wrote a query characterizing it as a 90,000-word YA novel. (I realize now that this is a bit long for YA.)

After a lot of form rejections, a couple of non-form rejections, and one partial request that netted a personal rejection, I embarked on a substantial rewrite. Substantial = cutting out the first six chapters and writing 25,000 new words to put the action on page one instead of in chapter seven (the personal rejection I received said "your opening chapters are all backstory"). I also don't think anymore that it is a YA novel, despite the protagonist's age. Now, the basic plot is the same. But if I wrote a query letter now, I'd emphasize different parts of the storyline and I'd call it a straight post-apocalyptic novel (and the length is more in line with the norm, then)/

So, the question is - is it ever appropriate to re-query agents who sent you a form rejection for the same project, if you've substantially reworked the book? And if so, should I mention any of this in the new query?

04-08-2009, 02:01 AM
Change the title, don't mention the previous query.
Chances are no-one will notice, it was last year's intern who rejected it anyway

04-09-2009, 06:18 PM
If you're going to requery the agents who sent you the more personal rejections, I might mention it -- thank them for their insights, and mention that you've substantially reworked the manuscript and feel it is a much stronger fit for the type of work they represent. While there may be agents who get irked that you're requerying, if I were an agent I'd be far more irritated at a writer who resends a work without mentioning it -- I'd probably assume they'd not reworked it, and therefore they'd just get the same form rejection.

Just my thoughts!