View Full Version : Request-induced dilemma

09-11-2009, 05:36 PM
A little background - I queried an agent on a project waaaaay back on July 1st with the two chapters she requests in the body of the email. Since then I have had a bunch of full and partial requests that came back as Rs but with really helpful feedback. So I kind of shelved the project because I knew it needed work but I wanted to take my time and come back to it with fresh perspective. Now, obviously, I want to step up that timeline. Because I want to send it off to this agent even better than it was when those other ones passed.

Here's the problem: I started looking over the ms last night and I think the rewrites are going to be pretty extensive. As in, it will take more than a day or two...probably closer to a week or two. This agent is obviously a very busy lady if it takes two months to respond positively to a query. So I doubt she is sitting around biting her nails in anticipation of my manuscript. But I was thinking about sending an email that said something like, "Thank you for your interest! Based on feedback I received during the querying process, I am currently working on some revisions to the manuscript. Would it be alright if I sent it over once those are complete?"

But then I kind of open the door for her to say, "No, don't bother!" And I don't want to do that. Is there a better way to phrase such an email or should I skip it altogether? I dont want to be unprofessional and not respond to her request in a timely manner but I also don't want her to think I queried an unfinished project or anything like that. And, knowing what I know now, I really dont want to send it as-is.

09-11-2009, 06:36 PM
Well, you definitely need to respond. You can of course tell the truth--you've had some feedback that is helping you improve your novel, would she like you to send it when you've complete those revisions?

Or you could tell a slightly more alluring lie--you've got a full exclusive out with an agent and so can't send it immediately. Would she like you to send when that full expires?

Now, I've never lied to an agent--no, really, I haven't--nor do I necessarily encourage it. I'm just saying, those are two options.

09-11-2009, 06:53 PM
Hah. The whole, "It's out on exclusive" excuse crossed my mind but I don't think I could do it. The karma makes me nervous.

It also makes me nervous to write back and suggest that my book wasn't perfection to begin with but I guess there are worse things.

09-13-2009, 09:08 AM
Does the agent accept snail mail subs? If so, I would revise and drop it in the mail (maybe send an e-mail thank you and I'll get it out to you as soon as possible). If you can mail it within a week or so it's still normal response time. No explanation necessary.

I would avoid the whole "I'm still revising" thing if possible without lying.

09-16-2009, 10:47 PM
If you can get the revised MS out within two weeks, that should be quick enough. I'm sure the agent has other things to occupy her in the meantime.