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MaCain
10-11-2012, 04:08 AM
At the time I began querying, I felt that my manuscript was complete. I had a full request that first day. After having a look, the agent referred me to another agent who also requested my full and in the mean time, yet another agent requested a partial (then passed). During all of this, I was also entered in the SFRWA Heart-to-heart contest.

Even though I didn't make finals, I got a lot of really great feedback from the contest scoresheet. I took the constructive criticism into mind and made a revision. I feel I fixed all those little issues. The story hasn't changed but one of the characters has been strengthened in the beginning where I was told she was weak. And there were a bit of POV switches that I cleaned up.

My question is... The agent who currently has my full has told me it's going to be awhile before she'll get to read it. Should I send her another e-mail, telling her I made revisions and ask her to look at the new version? Is this inappropriate? If I do send her a message, what do I say?

mayqueen
10-11-2012, 04:18 AM
I sent two agents who were reading my full a revised version after I had received an R&R. I think it's acceptable, as long as you only do it once and you have a VERY good reason.

Check out this helpful post here (http://agencygatekeeper.blogspot.com/2010/07/heres-my-revision-will-you-read-it-how.html).

NicolaD
10-11-2012, 04:48 AM
Whoa, there. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. If two agents have requested the full already, obviously you have a lot going for you (with all due respect to the contest judges.) IF they come back and give you an R, and the reasons are similar to what the judges said, THEN I'd think about revisions. Good luck! :)

Sage
10-11-2012, 05:07 AM
Whoa, there. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. If two agents have requested the full already, obviously you have a lot going for you (with all due respect to the contest judges.) IF they come back and give you an R, and the reasons are similar to what the judges said, THEN I'd think about revisions. Good luck! :)
I think this depends. If the revisions seem right to the author, there's no reason not to do them to see if it makes for a better book. That's not ruining your chances by any stretch of the imagination. The agents still have the original. Then when the revision is finished before the agent is done, the author can see which version he or she thinks is better. If the revision seems better, contacting the agent about the revision is totally fine. If not, what did the author lose except some free time?

Having an excellent query does not mean that the book doesn't need work.

NicolaD
10-11-2012, 07:17 AM
Never said that it did! :) Just saying the agents who have requested the work might feel quite differently to the contest judges regarding 'issues' and the revising might be unnecessary.

Of course it's up to the author and what he/she is happy to change.

Susan Littlefield
10-11-2012, 07:41 AM
If you have full manuscripts out to agents I would leave it alone. If those agents reject, then you can make the changes and then send out more queries. If they don't reject, they will have changes of their own for you. They may or may not be the same changes you are making now.

leahzero
10-11-2012, 04:32 PM
I think this depends. If the revisions seem right to the author, there's no reason not to do them to see if it makes for a better book.

This.

Every agent is going to have a different opinion about what needs work and what doesn't. And agents are just people. One might not really "get" the book and might point you in the wrong direction. They're experienced professionals, but you're not completely beholden to them. Part of being a good writer is learning to become a good editor--picking the most useful feedback and implementing it.

If you've done significant revising and think the book is significantly stronger, then go ahead and send them the updated version.

Significant is the key word here. Are the changes really worth potentially inconveniencing these agents? I know that every time I change a line of dialogue, I feel like the book is "significantly" different, but it's just because I'm so close to it. Can you step back and say, this version is very different and much stronger than the first version I sent?

From what you detailed in the OP, it doesn't sound like the changes are significant enough to warrant this, so I wouldn't really recommend sending an updated version. It probably won't hurt if you do it politely, but it just doesn't seem like it's warranted.

MaCain
10-11-2012, 05:18 PM
Thanks to everyone. I'm still debating. I guess I'd really hate for her to read it and pass based on the same issues as all the rest.

As I haven't made my mind up... more opinions are welcome!

Helen Zimmermann
10-11-2012, 05:56 PM
My question is... The agent who currently has my full has told me it's going to be awhile before she'll get to read it. Should I send her another e-mail, telling her I made revisions and ask her to look at the new version? Is this inappropriate? If I do send her a message, what do I say?

It's more than okay. You definitely want her to read the best version of your work. Just tell her exactly what you posted here...that you made some revisions based on feedback from a contest entry. And just attach it to the email, don't wait to hear back and then send. Good luck!

MaCain
10-11-2012, 06:47 PM
I decided to go ahead and send a revised version. This was my e-mail:

Dear (Agent),

A day or two after you requested my full manuscript, I received a scoresheet from a contest I had entered. Of the five professionals who judged my first fifteen pages, four of them had a similar insightful comment regarding one of my main characters. Another agent gave me the same feedback that same week. I couldn't resist sitting down and seeing if I was able to put this advice to use. I'm extremely pleased with my revision.

I appreciate the offer to read my original manuscript. I've attached the revised version in case you're interested, but of course I know how busy you are. If this complicates your job, just disregard this. No matter which version you chose to read, I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you (I promise this won't happen again),
Mary

WeaselFire
10-11-2012, 07:04 PM
Perfect letter.

Personally, I have an issue with the concept of revising after it goes to an agent, that kind of indicates it wasn't ready to go in the first place. But these situations do happen. I would think that any R&R request would be a legitimate reason to revise for that one agent and possibly for currently interested agents, but I still think too many agents have differing opinions of what they can sell.

Good luck and let us know when the movie is coming out. :)

Jeff

retlaw
10-11-2012, 07:49 PM
I am sitting here thinking, "You guys are kidding, right?"

You submitted your work, soooo... you should never make another change? You're kidding, rt? If not, I have to say that I am in complete disagreement.

How can you make the diamond too bright? :)

I've thought that I've been "done", like, a DOZEN times. But - each time I've been glad for the changes & I know that they made my book stronger and gave it excellence in every scene and on every page.

Have confidence in your choices.

I'm not saying don't ever take outside advice, but that's not what's happening here. It isn't that you're rejecting the agent's advice. If you think your current work could be better than it was, then who would know better than you about your work?

Best of luck.

Old Hack
10-11-2012, 07:57 PM
The concern isn't that one shouldn't make one's work the best it should be; merely that revision is best carried out prior to submitting to an agent.

WeaselFire
10-11-2012, 10:53 PM
Hack said it well.

Jeff

Susan Littlefield
10-11-2012, 11:39 PM
I concur with Weasel that Hack said it very well.

Old Hack
10-11-2012, 11:54 PM
I think we should all listen to what Weasel and Susan say.

What? WHAT?

mayqueen
10-12-2012, 12:15 AM
Perfect letter. And of course we'll never ever be happy and always be making changes. But the idea is to have the book as good as possible before the agent sees it. I think contests/querying agents does give you new insight and may warrant changes, though. You just have to consider if you want to risk it with sending a revision. A single revision. That's all you get.

MaCain
10-12-2012, 01:01 AM
I totally agree with a manuscript being complete before querying. The only reason I was querying and submitting to contest was because I felt it was complete. But when you get the same feedback from multiple sources... it's hard to ignore. Since the agent in question is one I'd really like representation from, I wanted to save my work from receiving a pass based on the same criticism. In any light... the agent e-mail me back promptly saying that she hadn't gotten around to reading my material yet and would be happy to see read the new version.

It worked out well.

I also received a reply from an e-mail query today from an agent who wants me to send my first fifty pages and synopsis via mail... any feelings about this? I admit I am an all around electronic person and haven't sent off any snail mail queries. Any advice on this?

Old Hack
10-12-2012, 09:31 AM
If the agent has asked for you to send a paper copy to her, then either send it or don't. It's up to you. I would, if I liked that particular agent. And you must like that particular agent or you wouldn't have submitted your query to her.

Susan Littlefield
10-12-2012, 06:26 PM
When you send her manuscript, follow any guidelines provided.

MaCain
10-12-2012, 06:40 PM
Her website is very basic. I didn't find much other than her mailing address.

I've written a cover letter, and reformatted the synopsis and first fifty pages. I changed my font to courier new, as I read somewhere that was standard. Personally I have trouble reading this font without my eyes bleeding. Anyone know anything about this? Changing the font from courier new from times turned the 50 pages into 65, so I had to take out 15 pages... ugh.

Sage
10-12-2012, 07:34 PM
Unless the agent specifies otherwise, I always assume CN. The 15 pages won't make a difference in her requesting a full or not. She'll have made up her mind long before page 50

MokoBunny
12-07-2012, 05:14 AM
I actually had a similar question to the OP but regarding a synopsis. Say you get a request for pages and a synopsis and after you send them out you go back and revise your synopsis. Should you send an updated synopsis or let it go since the agent already has your pages?

quicklime
12-07-2012, 05:20 AM
i think if you revise once, and resub, you lose a little, LITTLE bit of credibility. That may very well balance out, or more, in improvements, so I"m not at all opposed to revising.


The thing to be careful of is that the "credibility loss" is a thing that can snowball--send three revisions, and you are starting to look much, much worse.

if you think one revision helps, by all means do so....but make sure you're really done then, and not going to send a new batch of changes next week or month. After that first one, I think they start hurting you more and more.

BradCarsten
12-07-2012, 03:57 PM
The concern isn't that one shouldn't make one's work the best it should be; merely that revision is best carried out prior to submitting to an agent.


Hack said it well.

Jeff


I concur with Weasel that Hack said it very well.


Yeah, Susan got it right when she concurred with wheasel that Hack said it well

Rowan
12-07-2012, 05:47 PM
Something else to keep in mind: if an agent rejects your manuscript, there's nothing wrong with asking if s/he'd consider a R&R, especially if they rejected with input.

Best of luck to you! :)

Jamesaritchie
12-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Don't do it. It makes a terrible impression, and tells the agent all sorts of things about you, none of them good. Don't even read your manuscript after you start questing. If you do, you'll find something else to change with every read.

Start the querying, and then get to work on a new novel. Bury yourself in it, and forget all about the other one.

Corinne Duyvis
12-07-2012, 09:24 PM
I've done this, and so have various friends of mine. Never once has the agent reacted negatively, and nine times out of ten, they're happy to have the revision. It's not any extra work for them to read file X instead of file Y.

I mean, once you sign with an agent, they'll probably have suggestions for you, and once they sell your novel, the editor will have further suggestions still. People understand your book is not going to be perfect. You have to make it as perfect as possible before you query, absolutely, but if excellent, spot-on feedback happens to come in after you've started querying... Such is life.

However, I'll second those who've said that you only get that option once. You don't want to inundate an agent with "try this one! no wait, this one! actually I caught a typo on page five, so here's another one!" but you're not doing that.

The Otter
12-08-2012, 01:40 AM
I think it depends on the agent. Some might think it's flaky for an author to come back and say, "wait, I have a new version, read this instead." Others wouldn't be bothered and might be glad to have the newest version (and if they haven't started reading the old version yet, it's no additional hassle on their part.) And if the new version is indeed better, well, then your chances of acceptance have just been improved.

In general, though, it's probably better to wait for a response and then--if it's a rejection--ask if they'd consider a revision. If they like the overall concept of the book, they will probably say yes.

I'm kind of in this same position. I'm waiting for a response from an agent who has an older version of my full. I'm now doing revisions (based on comments from another agent), which I'm hoping will make the story much stronger. But I'm going to wait until I get a response from them. If they accept as is, great. If they reject, hopefully they'll be open to a R&R.