View Full Version : Revise & Resubmit success rate?

02-16-2012, 07:32 PM
Hi guys,

I've often heard agents say that revise & resubmit requests rarely result in an offer of representation. Can anyone share their experiences? I'm waiting to hear back from an agent who seemed genuinely excited to read my revised draft, but I'm trying to make sure my expectations are realistic. Any stories either way would be much appreciated. Thanks!

02-16-2012, 07:57 PM
I don't have an agent; thus far I've only worked with epublishers so I don't know if my story is relevant.

But I have a 100% success rate when it comes to selling resubmitted (to the same editor who gave me the R&R) stories. So yeah, it does happen.

02-16-2012, 08:07 PM
I had 2 agent R&Rs that were both rejected on the resubmission. I had an editor R&R that was accepted. Now I'm about to resub another R&R to an editor on a critique I won. Nail biting commences.

02-16-2012, 08:20 PM
I am in that situation now with an agent who wants to see the revision if a particular publisher that has the full rejects the unrevised version.
Regardless of whether she offers representation, her suggestions have done wonders for the novel.
Now I wish I could pull it back from the publisher and replace it with the revised version. But the way this publisher's submissions processes works, I can't do that.
Good luck!
I'd love to hear (read) how it goes.

02-16-2012, 09:47 PM
I think it isn't necessarily that most are rejected as that while your odds are higher of getting an offer, there's still no guarantee. It's a great sign when someone is willing to work with you like that, though.

Personally my R&R resulted in representation. Well, that's not entirely true. I'd had two, and one was so off the wall with the request (would have changed everything I loved about the book) that I didn't do it, so obviously that one didn't go anywhere. But the one I agreed with worked out.

02-17-2012, 12:45 AM
Thanks for your feedback, everybody! I'll let you know what happens. I have ants in my pants waiting to hear back.

Corinne Duyvis
02-17-2012, 02:17 AM
I think a lot of it probably depends on the editor/agent. Some may hand out R&Rs when they see stuff they like but the rest isn't there yet, while others may only give out R&Rs when they're truly close to offering but not quite.

That said, I've never had an agent R&R, but the one short story R&R I've had ended up in a sale.

02-24-2012, 09:00 PM
When they requested an R&R, did they give you guidance in making changes? Did they tell you what they wanted you to change, what they wanted you to keep?

02-24-2012, 09:37 PM
Hi Laura,

Yes, the agent was very specific about what she liked about my novel (the entire first half) and what she didn't (the entire second half). She thought my momentum waned midway, that I needed more tension on every page through the second half, that I had a few awkward transitions and repetitive situations. And that my ending was too pat and neat. But she loved the writing itself, the concept and the characters. The best part was, I knew exactly what she was talking about and agreed with all her suggestions. So I believe my book is much stronger now, whether she decides to take it on or not. I just hope she agrees!

02-24-2012, 11:31 PM
My R&R resulted in an offer, which I accepted. My revisions were quite extensive since I had to change the "character" of my main character. The revision notes were very specific about what needed to be changed (what was wrong with the ms), but left it up to me to decide how to implement the changes. I ended up rewriting the first third of the novel, replacing scenes with entirely new ones in new settings in order to bring out a different personality in my main character. I also touched every scene the MC was in throughout the rest of the novel.

I think my agent was pleased with the fact that I didn't simply replace "MC was angry" with "MC was happy" in order to change my MC's personality, because she offered a contract when only half my revision work was done. This, more than anything, sealed our collaborative bond. She stuck her neck out for me by taking me on before my revisions were complete, and I will never forget that.

Even if she hadn't offered, her revision notes were so golden that I would have come away with a vastly improved story. So the work would have been worth it, offer, or no offer.

I hope you find my story helpful.

02-25-2012, 12:23 AM
Thank you, Brian, your story is definitely helpful! Sounds like you have a fantastic partner in your agent. That's so great. I made deep changes to my book too, so I hope this agent is pleased that I took her feedback seriously. Thanks again for sharing,

02-25-2012, 02:25 AM
So I believe my book is much stronger now, whether she decides to take it on or not. I just hope she agrees!

That's kind of my attitude. I created and R&R with my last rejection by asking the agent if she'd be willing to look at a revised manuscript. I don't have high hopes she'll sign me, but in the meantime, my book is becoming a much stronger manuscript with her feedback.

Win-win, I say.

03-04-2012, 09:50 AM
I had an agent work with me through revisions on two separate novels. In the end, the agent didn't take me on (although she did send me away with a referral). Even though I'm working on an entirely different novel now, I appreciate the time she took to invest in my writing--my skills grew a lot as a result. It doesn't always work out with that particular agent--but if the revision suggestions are spot on, the experience can get you closer to the right agent for you. (Or so I'm hoping!)

03-04-2012, 07:28 PM
I'm in the midst of an R & R right now. I'll let you know! ;)

03-04-2012, 10:20 PM
Thanks for your perspectives, JSSchley and litgirl. And good luck, Pisarz!

03-05-2012, 01:01 AM
I just submitted a R&R to an editor. *fingers crossed*

03-05-2012, 02:00 AM
Good luck! Be sure and update us here on the result!