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Ambitious
08-13-2011, 12:55 AM
If months or even years have passed and you've made improvements to a novel, can you query the same agent with the same novel, or don't they like that?

thothguard51
08-13-2011, 01:05 AM
Yes...

But don't expect different results. While the novel may have seen improvments, there is still a lot of other factors to consider...

Ambitious
08-13-2011, 01:10 AM
Yes...

But don't expect different results. While the novel may have seen improvments, there is still a lot of other factors to consider...

Willing to explain what these factors are? I'll find it helpful.

Corinne Duyvis
08-13-2011, 03:03 AM
Even if your novel is better, it could be that the market isn't right for that kind of novel, or it's just not to the agent's tastes, or it's too similar to something she already reps, etc.

Becca C.
08-13-2011, 04:52 AM
Or the agent remembers it and realizes that it's a repeat submission and rejects it because of that.

Filigree
08-13-2011, 06:25 AM
If it's been years, it's less likely the agent will remember you -- unless your query was stellar, or your query was monumentally annoying. Most agents get thousands of queries a year.

Take into account those other factors, do your research, and make sure that agent is still the best one to query first. My first agent from 20 years ago no longer reps epic fantasy, so I didn't even bother contacting him this round. Two agencies I previously ranked at 'dream agent' status have pulled some disquieting moves lately, so they're far lower on my list now.

This is going to be hard to take, but don't rely solely on your gut feelings about your revisions. Has the novel been beta-read or workshopped? When dealing with a big story written over many years, most of us tend to wear blinders about our work. Make sure it's ready to send out again.

booker c
08-13-2011, 06:30 AM
I was wondering about this, too. My book is non-fiction but I have completely changed the voice.:tongue

thothguard51
08-13-2011, 06:35 AM
Even if your novel is better, it could be that the market isn't right for that kind of novel, or it's just not to the agent's tastes, or it's too similar to something she already reps, etc.

What Corinne said.

joeyc
08-13-2011, 06:03 PM
Or the agent remembers it and realizes that it's a repeat submission and rejects it because of that.

What are the odds of this, however?

I tried to send queries for my first novel out. Nothing but form rejections. (From the sound of it, I should have received at least one partial. Since I didn't, I assumed I'm doing it wrong or there's something wrong.)

After I have betas and polish, I was going to try and shop it around again. (It will probably be three years by that point).

Fortunately though, I DO have another project in the works. Well, several, but one's close to being done.

PinkAmy
08-15-2011, 04:38 PM
What are the odds of this, however?

Pretty high. Agents have good memories for what they've read, it's their job.
You seem to really want people to say, go ahead, requery.

stray
08-15-2011, 05:08 PM
Hmmm.
If you got a form rejection from an agent then it makes little sense to resubmit the same novel with changes to that agent. However, if you recieved a personal rejection that indicated that the agent liked the idea or the writing but passed then by all means resubmit, if you have taken on board the reasons that they passed on it in the first place and can demonstrate improvements in your query/ writing.

Katrina S. Forest
08-15-2011, 05:33 PM
What are the odds of this, however?

I tried to send queries for my first novel out. Nothing but form rejections. (From the sound of it, I should have received at least one partial. Since I didn't, I assumed I'm doing it wrong or there's something wrong.)

After I have betas and polish, I was going to try and shop it around again. (It will probably be three years by that point).

Fortunately though, I DO have another project in the works. Well, several, but one's close to being done.

I've read a lot of queries. Not nearly as much as an agent does even in a week, but I frequent QLH, and I've read through all 200+ queries on Query Shark.

I recently stumbled onto the blog of an AW member whose query I read a couple years ago. As soon as I read the blurb about the novel, I remembered it. The premise stuck in my head that well and I was really excited to see that the book will be out soon so I can read it.

Some agents are fine if there's been substantial changes (I saw one agent who said as much on her website), but others get annoyed (honestly, I've seen more agents who fall into this category.) So, it's a risk. At the very least, I would look through an agent's blog to see if they say anything one way or another and respect their wishes if they tell you that no is no.

Filigree
08-15-2011, 06:05 PM
I'm not taking the chance, personally. I queried too soon a couple of years ago, with a bad query. Flash forward through extensive rewriting on both mms and query, and two contest credentials for the former. Even with the new advantages, I'm still not going to requery 12 agents on my list. Do I think they'll remember me? Probably not. But they said 'no' the first time. They're not likely enough to love my novel in its current form, either, and I need an enthusiastic advocate.

Tromboli
08-15-2011, 07:41 PM
I know of one agent, at least, that even suggested that you just re-query her because she won't remember (I found this strange) but most, given that they don't say it's okay, very well may notice and definitely will mind.

I remember someone saying once that they did this (from a new email) and the agent actually told him that someone queried the same thing recently so he should be careful that someone wasn't stealing his work (the agent gave some suggestion about it, I forget, it was a while ago now)

I have one agency on my list that says you can re-query if there have been significant changes made after 6 months. Since I queried in march and have practically re-written the first 50 pages (and query) I am thinking about sending a query to another agent at the agency (its a "no from one is a no from all" agency.) I find it strange to re-query the same agent, honestly. At least if it was a form rejection. There are tons out there.
It's like doing your hair then trying get that same guy that rejected you months ago to go to prom with you. Chances are, you just aren't his type.

amyashley
08-15-2011, 07:54 PM
I re-queried several agents (I don't include this in my count) and I specified that it was a re-query and I'd made extensive revisions. Four months or so had passed between queries, so there was a good chance of agents remembering. I felt it professional courtesy to be honest about the re-query. I was also careful to check websites and blogs and not send a second query to anyone who had a policy against it.

I did get a few partials, but I don't remember if any turned into fulls. About half the rejections I received were personalized. I did send a 5 page sample with most of the queries, so I can't say if they personalized the rejections based on that or because it was a re-query. These were nicer responses but they made it clear not to query a third time. They also were somewhat more specific about why they were rejecting.

You can query even if an agency says not to. They aren't going to send a virus to blow up your computer. It isn't a very wise thing to make a poor name for yourself however, and it's never good to try to be sneaky about your business practices.

Hoping a agent won't notice it's the same book they rejected before? That's sneaky. Yes, you can do it, and maybe there's a chance in a million it might work, but it's not the best way to begin a business relationship that might last for years and years.

tko
08-19-2011, 06:48 AM
Tell me if I'm wrong. If you submitted your novel and it was rejected, why submit again? You just aren't going to make that many changes.

But suppose it was only a query that got rejected. We all know how much queries suck to prepare. You could have a good novel and a terrible query.

I'd think if you completely redid your query, new approach, waited 6 months, maybe polishing your novel as well, and resubmitted it would be OK.

Lucy
08-19-2011, 09:40 AM
There are hundreds of agents out there. There is no good reason to re-query the same agent unless invited to do so.

Marian Perera
08-19-2011, 01:55 PM
I queried an agent who never replied, so after about six or seven months I just sent another query. That time I got a full request.

This wasn't a "no reply means no" agent, though, so I was betting she just didn't get the first query.

havefaith22
08-19-2011, 06:27 PM
I think it depends on how different your book is and whether you change your query letter to match. I'm going down this same road myself next year. Having gotten rejections on partials two years ago for my MS, I'm in the process of completely re-writing it. It has the same general plot (which was liked by quite a few agents), but is infused with new characters, new scenes (incl. first chapter), and better writing quality. It also has a shiny new title. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to mention whether I previously submitted it or not due to the length between queries. I'm leaning toward not though. It's like, why advertise you were rejected if there's a good chance they may not remember anyway?

Tromboli
08-20-2011, 02:12 AM
Tell me if I'm wrong. If you submitted your novel and it was rejected, why submit again? You just aren't going to make that many changes.

But suppose it was only a query that got rejected. We all know how much queries suck to prepare. You could have a good novel and a terrible query.
.


The way I see it is if your query alone was rejected than the idea behind the novel, the genre, something in the basics of the novel, was rejected. Therefore I see it a little pointless to re-query (Unless the first query was truly dreadful and is now wonderful but even then it's hard to tell)

If you were rejected on the MS, it was probably something more specific. The writing, the characters, the pacing etc. That stuff you can change. You can make better. (and yes, you can change the ms A LOT. I personally practically re-wrote my first 50 pages). So if the agent seemed enthusiastic about the novel on the pitch, they might want to see a new version. If they form rejected you on a query I wouldn't re-send.

Just my opinion. :)

AshRose
08-23-2011, 06:52 AM
Piggybacking on this...what are the thoughts about querying the same agency but different agent? I know that a query is potentially passed on to other agents, but is this written in stone? I've just finished writing about 70 letters after my first round of rejection and I realized I put one of those agencies on the list but with a different agent. Should I bother? It's a snail mail query so a little more involved than email.

Witch_turtle
08-23-2011, 07:12 AM
I'm glad this thread is here as I've been wondering something similar.

My first round of queries was a year ago. I didn't send that many out, but realized I wasn't quite happy with the novel and ended up rewriting the first half of it. One agent said my query really intrigued her but my opening pages didn't...now I have new, way better opening pages and I really want to query her again. It's a bit nerve wracking, though, so I haven't decided yet...

havefaith22
08-25-2011, 04:18 PM
Witch_turtle, I say go for it!

DeadlyAccurate
08-25-2011, 07:58 PM
What are the odds of this, however?

I had an agent offer on a book 4 1/2 years ago. Then I left the agent I'd chosen instead after 3 1/2 years (last year). I requeried that other agent. Different book but same protagonist. She remembered the heroine within two sentences of the query.

They have better memories than you think.

But let's face it, if you try it, the worst that's going to happen is you get another rejection.

quicklime
08-25-2011, 08:31 PM
well, the worst is they will remember you and you will have increased the odds of future rejections, for other works.

Witch_turtle
08-25-2011, 08:52 PM
:D Thanks Dreamer

Quicklime/others who said something similar: True, chances are if the agent didn't like your project the first time they won't like it a second time, but wouldn't a professional agent base their decision on a new project solely on the concept and execution of that project alone, rather than think "This person once qeuried me twice for the same novel, automatic reject"? I suppose if you were really annoying about requerying they might decide they didn't want to work with you as a person, but as long as you're professional why wouldn't they be objective?

CaoPaux
08-25-2011, 09:29 PM
Here's one agent's take on if/when to re-query: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/08/when-to-re-query-an-agent/

quicklime
08-25-2011, 10:02 PM
:D Thanks Dreamer

Quicklime/others who said something similar: True, chances are if the agent didn't like your project the first time they won't like it a second time, but wouldn't a professional agent base their decision on a new project solely on the concept and execution of that project alone, rather than think "This person once qeuried me twice for the same novel, automatic reject"? I suppose if you were really annoying about requerying they might decide they didn't want to work with you as a person, but as long as you're professional why wouldn't they be objective?



They ARE being objective, but they have two primary variables to consider:

1. Does this story have a market?

2. Am I going to get on with the author, or become fucking miserable because they are pretentious, stubborn, lazy, or whatever else?

The re-querying MAY (and also may NOT) be a big red flag for the second question.

DeadlyAccurate
08-25-2011, 10:55 PM
2. Am I going to get on with the author, or become fucking miserable because they are pretentious, stubborn, lazy, or whatever else?

The re-querying MAY (and also may NOT) be a big red flag for the second question.

I honestly can't see any reasonable agent thinking a second query is a red flag. You could just as easily have forgotten that you queried the agent in the first place*.

Now, querying the same query for days or weeks on end? Yeah, you're probably going to get blacklisted for real**.

*I was about to query an agent until I checked through my emails and realized that she'd read a WIP version of my latest MS (at her request, while trying to decide whether to offer rep on a previous MS). She wasn't interested in the heroine then, so I saw no reason to query her after the book was finished. But if I hadn't checked my emails, I could've easily made that mistake.

**Last year a number of agents were reporting a writer who kept querying the same query letter, every single day, to numerous agents, threatening to not stop until someone signed him/her. Even blocking the email address didn't work. They just got new ones.

quicklime
08-25-2011, 11:38 PM
while everyone is human, that in itself may leave them less than impressed.....and you're assuming they will presume you forgot; they might instead decide you're needy, you refuse to take no for an answer, you believe the best way to do busines is to badger people, etc....


I'm not saying any of these are certainties, but they are possibilities.

thelastwordsmith
08-25-2011, 11:47 PM
If it's just the query (No MS request) that got rejected, I don't think a new query would hurt.

How do you know the actual agent read your query? Could have been some intern that copied and pasted your rejection. What are the odds of them still being with that same agency after a year or more?

I'm probably wrong, but I wouldn't bet on most of the big agents out there reading every query they get. If the query was bad, it probably never got past the "temporary" interns.