PDA

View Full Version : Querying an Agent for the second time (Different MS)



Dhewco
11-07-2014, 03:22 AM
Hi,


A few years back, I queried Kristin Nelson with a YA fantasy project I had. I've changed computers many times since then and in the process I've lost the email response. I remember vaguely that she thought the project was interesting, but was not right for her. I'd like to send her a query for a new project...in a few months when I've finished and sent the ms through a few edits.

My question is this: Is there some etiquette in the submission process that I need to follow? She probably won't remember since it's been at least six years or so, but I shouldn't bring up the previous query, should I? The two stories don't have similarities. One's a dystopian apocalypse and the previous one is a YA fantasy.

mayqueen
11-07-2014, 03:45 AM
The only times I would mention a previous query is 1) if it resulted in a full or partial request or 2) if the new query is for a rewritten version of the old MS.

Sorry to be a downer, but it sounds like her response might have been a form rejection.

Witch_turtle
11-07-2014, 03:55 AM
Do you remember if the rejection was personalized? Did it reference specific aspects of your query/pages? If so, it would probably be a good idea to mention that you queried her previously with your project (insert title here). It it was a form rejection, I wouldn't mention anything.

That being said, I recently saw an agent on Twitter insisting that writers should always mention if they've queried before. It didn't matter whether you sent the new query 5 minutes or 6 months after the first one being rejected, because chances are the agent will remember you and that it's "weird" if you don't acknowledge your prior query. This completely contradicts the advice I usually see on AW, which is that agents probably won't remember you and there's no need to mention a previous query/project unless the agent actually showed interest in it. Which seems a lot more logical to me.

Would love some thoughts on this.

Dhewco
11-07-2014, 04:47 AM
It could have been a form rejection, goodness knows I've gotten plenty of them. But, for a reason I don't really recall, I remember this agent fondly. I seem to remember a passage about keeping her in mind for future projects, but I'm just not sure.

Of course, I was rebounding after finding out the my then-current agent wasn't competent/capable (she also charged a 60 dollar postage fee). It could be that her form rejection was positive and I hung on that. LOL, I just don't know. One vote for no and another for yes...hmmm, I have time to think about this.

ETA: Thanks for the responses so far. Your time is valuable and I appreciate it.

mellymel
11-07-2014, 05:25 AM
My vote is no. If she did not specifically request you query her with future projects (usually they offer this when they really like something/s specific about your writing/work, but the topic/subject matter was not right for her or the market at that time), and it's been six years, just query her like you would any other agent.

I had an agent who requested a full but ultimately rejected it. A year later, I queried her again with another project (not just her, I queried a bunch of agents), but didn't mention anything about her requesting before. If she had said in the first full rejection, "Please feel free to query me with any future projects," THEN I would have mentioned something. In your particular situation, with so many years having passed, and the fact she didn't request a full or an R&R or invite you to send her future projects, I'd say to just query her like you've never queried her before.

HTH


ETA: "This projects sounds interesting, but it's just not for me" definitely sounds form. Sorry. :(

Dhewco
11-07-2014, 05:32 AM
I really wish I could find the reply e-mail. It was sent to an aol account I no longer have (well, it could still be there, but I haven't used it in ages).

Quickbread
11-07-2014, 06:50 AM
Since it was just a query, I would also say no. And I would err on the side of simply querying the agent fresh.

But to mellymel, I would definitely remind an agent in a query if they requested another full from you. It's a missed opportunity to not mention that because it separates you out from the slush right away. It tells the agent they clicked enough with your writing/premise before to ask for pages before.

Thedrellum
11-08-2014, 12:24 AM
Agreeing with Quickbread here: if an agent requested a full, then I would definitely mention it, especially if they had positive things to say about the manuscript.

But in your case, I fall in line with the rest: it sounds like a standard form rejection.

Dhewco
11-08-2014, 12:41 AM
Do agents ask to 'keep in mind for future projects' on form rejections? (Like I said, this is a vague recollection and may be from another agent. I'm just not sure.) I know I've gotten that on past rejections, I am just not sure which agent said it.

Dhewco
11-08-2014, 12:49 AM
Well, good news...of a sort. I found the post query email requesting thirty pages (way back in 2005, wow...I'm old, lol.). I can't find the rejection, though. She probably sent it snail mail, since it was pages.

What do you think now, should I mention it?

Becca C.
11-08-2014, 01:29 AM
Well, good news...of a sort. I found the post query email requesting thirty pages (way back in 2005, wow...I'm old, lol.). I can't find the rejection, though. She probably sent it snail mail, since it was pages.

What do you think now, should I mention it?

I would say no -- that's almost a decade ago. Too long ago to matter, IMO.

mellymel
11-08-2014, 04:02 AM
Since it was just a query, I would also say no. And I would err on the side of simply querying the agent fresh.

But to mellymel, I would definitely remind an agent in a query if they requested another full from you. It's a missed opportunity to not mention that because it separates you out from the slush right away. It tells the agent they clicked enough with your writing/premise before to ask for pages before.

Hmm...interesting. I have one agent who has requested twice from me before but rejected my fulls with form Rs (well, form for a requested full). Nothing really personalized, just a not for me, or couldn't connect or didn't fall in love the way I need to for me to offer rep.. :( I guess I thought maybe it was against my best interest to say, Hey, you've requested from me twice as it feels like a reminder that there's something about me or my work that she doesn't care for. It's obvious she likes my premises from my query but something about my writing or delivery of the story hasn't jived with her yet. I don't know. Maybe I will try it with my next novel.

kobold
11-09-2014, 04:28 AM
If unsure, I would follow the advice of someone who has secured representation, i.e. Becca C. above: if it's almost a decade ago, re-begin the process. Back to the drawing board, all that.