View Full Version : Live and Learn

02-26-2013, 10:09 PM
I'm pretty new to querying, doing it in small batches. I currently have two fulls out, one for a month and one for 2 weeks. In the interim of the one out longer, I received some unexpected feedback from a pitch contest where winners were paired with agented authors as mentors. I was chosen as an alternate, and my mentor generously gave me feedback anyway, which I didn't expect. She indicated some scenes needed trimming, and I've since cut about 2000 words from the MS and mildly changed a couple other things which I thought could be improved on that latest revision pass.

Of course I think I already know the answer to my question, but I will ask it anyway. Should I refrain from asking the first agent if she hasn't read the MS yet, would she want the new version? She was an editor for years with a big publisher prior to agenting, so that's why I'm particularly irritated at myself for possibly blowing this. The second agent has a mostly trimmed version that I'm okay with.



02-26-2013, 11:49 PM
You could say that based on agent feedback you received, you made some edits and, if they haven't yet had a chance to read the work, would they be interested in the updated version? I don't think most will be annoyed, though some might question why you sent out something that wasn't "ready." In this case I think there's more forgiveness, since it's because of professional recommendations versus "oopsie, I needed one more pass."

That's what I've heard, anyway. I'll be interested in what others say, since I'm considering it myself after some agent feedback on a full. I've got four others reading pages who I'd love to provide the updated MS to.

02-27-2013, 12:27 AM
Thanks, Amy. I hear what you're saying. But part of me also thinks it's sort of advertising to them that the MS wasn't good enough for another agent. Although in my case it's an author mentor, I still don't know if it would be a turn-off. But yikes, if I'm going to do it, I had better do it soon.

02-27-2013, 01:11 AM
I've done this, following the advice of this (http://agencygatekeeper.blogspot.com/2010/07/heres-my-revision-will-you-read-it-how.html)wonderful post. I think it's fine to send revisions as though as 1) you do it once, 2) you do it understanding the agent may not have time, and 3) you do the revisions for a very good reason. And agent feedback from a contest is one reason.

02-27-2013, 01:18 AM
Generally speaking, it's a horrible idea, and very few agents and editors want anything to do with a revision until and unless they ask for one. I can't tell you how annoying such a revision is. But under the right circumstances, asking is usually okay. Yours, I think, are the right circumstances.

02-27-2013, 04:11 AM
Thanks for the link, mayqueen! That makes me feel much better about asking the folks reading if they want the revision. It's also a great template for how to do it with class.

And yeah, c.e., I know what you mean about advertising it. I'm already a teeny bit paranoid since the one that gave me the feedback is bffs with another who has a partial, lol. What if X told Y that it developed issues 150 pages past what I sent them? (not going to happen of course, I know that. But the things that go through our minds....)

02-27-2013, 09:06 PM
If it's minor things, like trimming and rewording, I don't think I would bother, but that's just my gut reaction. If there was some major plot revision or cleaning up some bit that got left in by mistake or something, then I might consider it.

02-27-2013, 10:17 PM
Yup, I wouldn't send out the new version unless it made revisions to the plot or characters, thus changing the story in a significant way.

02-27-2013, 11:10 PM
My 2c worth:

The agent is either going to love or not love your story/voice, not sure whether a small trim and minor word changes is worth exchanging the ms for. If the agent loves your ms enough, they will work with you on any amendments.

Like with any feedback, if it really resonates with you, go for it, but just remember the total subjectiveness of the industry. What one person suggests, another may take or leave it and another loathe.

Best of luck with your agent hunt, c.e.lawson. :)

02-27-2013, 11:59 PM
I agree with what y'all are saying about not sending for minor revisions. Mine was a serious plot overhaul.

02-28-2013, 03:34 AM
mayqueen -- that was a very helpful link you posted. Thanks for that and your thoughts.

wampuscat -- thank you. Mine is really just trimming extra words and little redundancies, with one scene decheesified :). I really wish I'd done that BEFORE sending, but as the title of this post says...

Phael -- I hear you. No plot changes or significant overhaul here. Thanks.

NicolaD -- thanks so much for the advice and good wishes. I agree with you and will refrain from sending the MS.

Good luck, Amy!

03-01-2013, 10:41 PM
I'm going through this right now. Two agents have passed on my book, one with a very complimentary rejection that detailed a few points of execution she would have wished to have seen on my part. Basic stuff like move up this plot point closer to beginning of book, use this element more, etc. She loved the concept and thought it had great merit. But . . . she passed. So. And I've been working very hard on another book with another one in toe, so I let the first book sit for awhile. A few agents still have it, and I just kind of expect their rejections to roll in. But then another big agent asked for it yesterday. I decided that I'd send it out as is because, honestly, I don't want to drive myself nuts over the whole thing.

But I'm also in a fatalistic mood right now and fully expect it to get rejected. Maybe I've given up for the moment. Who knows . . . All my agent dreams keep melting like styrofoam dipped in nail polish remover.

03-02-2013, 12:17 AM
Hi folkchick,

We need to talk. :) I'm PMing you.

03-02-2013, 01:59 AM
Good luck, Amy!

Thanks, c.e. I actually bit the bullet and sent the email to an agent who had a partial. For him, the major edits only affected the synopsis (all the changes were 200+ pages in). He was really nice about it, and said it was fine. So now I'm encouraged that I can try it with the ones reading my full. For them the changes will be significant.

Folkchick: Hang in there. Querying is tough. Don't let it keep you from reaching for those agents, or writing more.

03-02-2013, 05:09 PM
Folkchick: Hang in there. Querying is tough. Don't let it keep you from reaching for those agents, or writing more.

Thanks so much, amshilling. I appreciate that!!