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View Full Version : Okay to include a revised ms when nudging an agent?



Procrastinista
06-21-2010, 11:12 AM
Six agents are currently considering my full ms. Two of them have suggested changes and requested that I revise my ms and resubmit it to them. I have done so. (Fortunately, their suggestions were similar, so I only had to revise once.)

When I nudge the other four agents, do you think it would be okay to attach my revised ms? (All six agents have had my ms from four to six months.)

On the one hand, if I attach the revised ms, an agent might wonder why I hadn't submitted my best work in the first place. Also, receiving the revised ms would be a turn off if an agent had already read a portion of my previous version.

On the other hand, my revised ms is definitely a notch better. In particular, chapter 1 is stronger. I suspect that when an agent has held onto a work for six months, it's usually the case that they haven't read a word yet (true?). So, why not make available to them the best version I've got?

I realize this question is a set up for getting scolded. Why did I submit something that wasn't my best work? Well, I thought it was my best work. I belong to three crit groups who've all read my chapters multiple times. I've attended conferences, read books on writing, and so on. But not uncommon, the two agents offered valid criticism not voiced by anyone else.

Ryan_Sullivan
06-21-2010, 01:22 PM
Scold!--not really...well, not about what you said you would be scolded for, at least.

Generally speaking, it's kind of courtesy thing that if an agent asks you to revise and resubmit, you work with only them.

That said, don't send revisions to the other 4. If they want revisions. They will ask, and you can move forward at that point. Also, it's best to deal with these 2 agents, and see what happens before nudging the others or moving forward with them. Agents don't like to fight over work, nor do they like to put effort in reading fulls/giving feedback/re-reading if the writer isn't serious about working with them. So, follow up with these two, then you can worry about the others--and not nudging will hopefully give you the time you need to see what the others say.

shaldna
06-21-2010, 03:33 PM
If you include a revised MS when nudging an agent the first reaction would be 'why did I waste my time reading this version then?'

myrmidon
06-21-2010, 07:56 PM
I don't know Ryan...I mean no agents are offering as yet, and if she didn't agree to work exclusively with any one I'm not sure Procrastinista has really done anything wrong. Yes, it's risky, but so is picking one agent at this point in the race.

I think being upfront and honest is important - especially with the two agents that have been in direct communication with her (and in some ways it could benefit her if they know she has other interest)...but I'm not sure she's really made a mistake here unless she's agreed to work exclusively with one.

As for the actual original question, I say leave it alone. If any of the additional agents get in touch with you and open up a dialogue you can explain the situation and certainly offer the new pages. That happened to me, and in my case the agent that was reading was not too far in and asked me to please send the new draft. I think they wanted it because they weren't that far in (maybe 40 pages?) and because they knew they were in competition with another agent that had interest and so they wanted to read the most up to date materials so they could make the best most informed decision...but I suspect every agent is different. Unless the changes are HUGE I would leave it alone unless you get contacted, and then handle it case by case.

cate townsend
06-21-2010, 09:09 PM
As for the actual original question, I say leave it alone. If any of the additional agents get in touch with you and open up a dialogue you can explain the situation and certainly offer the new pages. Unless the changes are HUGE I would leave it alone unless you get contacted, and then handle it case by case.

I agree with this.

Also, about something being your best work, you'll learn that nothing is ever your best work. There will always be things you want to change. Once a manuscript sits for a while and you go back to it you will see so many things about it that can be improved. I've said this a dozen times on these boards: there's no such thing as a finished work, only a deadline.

Good luck with the fulls!

defyalllogic
06-21-2010, 10:42 PM
If you include a revised MS when nudging an agent the first reaction would be 'why did I waste my time reading this version then?'

that's what i would think about anything. beta reading. work, here at the 9-to-5. a hairdresser being asked how much longer and can you also do a trim. a builder being given revised specs for some improved way of doing things now that he's halfway through and balancing a work load,

honestly that would piss me off to the point of, even if it was good i wouldn't want to work with you. but that's just me.

maybe if i came back with an offer and you mentioned that you have a revised version and listed the things you revised i'd be glad to hear them and agree or disagree....

but again, that just anti-social me.

Procrastinista
06-21-2010, 11:04 PM
If you include a revised MS when nudging an agent the first reaction would be 'why did I waste my time reading this version then?'

Sure, that would be an agent's reaction if she has actually started reading. I guess the main point is I have no idea. Even if I've been waiting six months, it could be the agent hasn't touched the ms; it could be the agent is one page short of reading the whole thing. I've heard that some agents read portions of a full ms each month, gradually reaching the end (if they like what they've read so far). however, I would think that most agents would wait six months, not reading a single word, and then read the whole enchilada in a couple of days. si?

So, attaching the revised ms is a risk, and probably not one worth taking. Although my revised ms is a notch better, the improvement probably doesn't warrant the risk.

Thanks everyone for your feedback, and I welcome any more insights!

shaldna
06-22-2010, 12:24 PM
usually, however, there's no way to tell really. everyone works differently.

Personally I wouldn't send the revised version unless you recieve an offer or an invitation to resubmit after revision.

Annarkie
06-29-2010, 02:39 AM
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this thread! I'm in the same boat and I think I'll heed the wonderful advice here.