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popmuze
02-15-2006, 10:59 PM
I know this has been answered for me before, but I guess I need to hear it again:
Let's say you've sent your entire novel as requested to an agent a week ago, and just last night had a major revelation about the first five pages (taking to heart some comments from AW critics) leading to a rewrite of those five pages.
Tell me again why I shouldn't quickly ship said agent these new five pages and tell him to replace the existing five pages he's already got.

erinbee
02-18-2006, 03:45 AM
Because you don't EVER want a prospective agent to think he hasn't seen absolutely the best of what you've got.

dantem42
02-20-2006, 07:35 AM
Because you don't EVER want a prospective agent to think he hasn't seen absolutely the best of what you've got.

I'd have to agree. The agent may worry that you're going to do this forty or fifty times before publication, and may take it as a sign that you haven't put this ms through enough editing. Which may be the case if you are still having revelations about the first five pages, which if you're anything like me you have already read about five or six hundred times.

popmuze
02-20-2006, 08:51 AM
I have thus far refrained from sending the new five pages.

Although I felt at the time that this draft was as finished as I could make it, I did this rewrite in response to a rejection letter in which an agent felt the opening was too slow.

Maybe I'll just approach a new agent with the rewrite.

The search/game goes on.

Branwyn
02-20-2006, 10:08 PM
I have thus far refrained from sending the new five pages.

Although I felt at the time that this draft was as finished as I could make it, I did this rewrite in response to a rejection letter in which an agent felt the opening was too slow.

Maybe I'll just approach a new agent with the rewrite.

The search/game goes on.

I did that myself. I emailed the agent and expressed that I inadvertantly sent the prior version and not the final, which only affected the first few pages. I apologized profusely and so far they have been very understanding.
I sent the first few pages in the body of an email and the agent was very agreeable to printing those few pages and adding it to the proposal when it arrived.

dantem42
02-21-2006, 09:23 AM
I have thus far refrained from sending the new five pages.

Although I felt at the time that this draft was as finished as I could make it, I did this rewrite in response to a rejection letter in which an agent felt the opening was too slow.

Maybe I'll just approach a new agent with the rewrite.

The search/game goes on.

This is still a little bit confusing, so a quick question. Most snail mail query packages (which I assume got you a request for a manuscript read from a couple of agents) include the query letter, probably a synopsis, and at least the first few pages of the manuscript. So usually the agent will have already looked over your first few pages of writing, and decided they merited a full read. A key question, then, is what the agent who rejected you was referring to as the "opening." It may be more an issue of the first twenty or thirty pages, not the first four or five pages. I can't speak for your situation, but if I am already getting requests for manuscript based on the beginning I have been sending, then I would think twice about making major changes. Maybe look onward a bit, have a good crit group take a look at it.

popmuze
02-21-2006, 07:52 PM
I have been having quite a bit of luck recently with an email query which states my background and credentials and a few lines about the book in question.

About half the agents I've sent this to have responded, usually the same day, with something like "send the book." Some have specified how much of a partial they wanted to see. One agent responded asking for the first 7-8 pages.

The last two agents who've read either the whole book or the first 100 pages said similar things: the beginning is too slow and they wanted to get more of a feeling for the narrator's motivations.

Figuring that the first five pages are the most important, I made a few changes based on those rejections.

Of course, I am a serial reviser, and will change anything at the drop of a suggestion.

dantem42
02-22-2006, 06:45 AM
I have been having quite a bit of luck recently with an email query which states my background and credentials and a few lines about the book in question.

About half the agents I've sent this to have responded, usually the same day, with something like "send the book." Some have specified how much of a partial they wanted to see. One agent responded asking for the first 7-8 pages.



Umm..yes, you would seem to be having quite a bit of luck. I have been doing email queries for my novel (in the thriller/suspense genre), and I run about one request for manuscript for every eleven or twelve queries.

Would you be kind enough to either post your query, or send it to me in PM? That kind of response rate is stunning, and I'd really like to see it.

Also, if you'd like, I would be glad to look over your first fifty or one hundred pages and give you some unvarnished feedback from my side.