View Full Version : Re-Query?

03-31-2006, 08:11 AM
Since agents will reject a query because they're too busy or they don't feel the market is right or whatever, is there a reasonable waiting period before you query them again? Don't tell me, "There's plenty of agents out there. Go query someone else," because agents that handle a particular genre of fiction are not infinite in supply. At some point, especially with an average query letter rejection rate of 98%, you're going to run out.

James D. Macdonald
03-31-2006, 08:14 AM
Query them again when you have a new book.

03-31-2006, 07:32 PM
I agree. Unfortunately, agents enter your information into their system and if the same book title pops up with the author, it goes back in the trash. They won't remember the reason they rejected you in the first place, only that they did. The only time you can requery for the same project is if you SIGNIFICANTLY change the book and retitle it. If there are ANY agents left in your genre, I suggest you post your query and let the good people here hack it up and get it sublimely right before you take your last few chances. This advice comes from the pros and not just from some chick on AW. : )

Kasey Mackenzie
03-31-2006, 08:14 PM
I definitely recommend waiting until you have a new book to query the same agent. In that case it's definitely kosher to do so. I second scfirenice's opinion that it's only okay to re-query on the same project after major rewriting (not just small revisions) and it IS a good idea to change the title.

This is why it's so important to always be working on the next project while you're querying the previous one.

Julie Worth
03-31-2006, 08:18 PM
If you didnít send them material the first time, re-title it and reword your query completely. Give it a different thrust. Then post it here (in the Share Your Work area) and ask people for their brutal opinion. Only then send it out again, this time with the first three chapters. Three perfect chapters, because this is your last chance.

clara bow
03-31-2006, 09:13 PM
You might also have to play the waiting game as far as new agents are concerned. My own list expanded over the past three years just because I discovered that agencies had taken on fresh agents in who repped the genre of my manuscripts. Constantly be on the lookout for additions to agencies to learn about junior agents or associates who have been promoted. If you can query them directly (assuming there's a good match), then I think the likelihood increases that your book will be reconsidered. It sucks, but time and timing seems to be a significant factor in this game.

04-03-2006, 06:19 AM
Ok, thanks!

04-03-2006, 04:20 PM
I agree. Unfortunately, agents enter your information into their system and if the same book title pops up with the author, it goes back in the trash.

Is this actually true? We're constantly being told how terribly busy agents are, and yet they have time to be entering each and every query in a database against which they will check each and every new query for duplicates? Seems unlikely.

04-03-2006, 09:03 PM
It's not quite that bad. They do track names and titles to see if an author is submitting the same thing every month, multi-subbing, continually submitting inappropriate material, etc. I'd wait at least six months before resubmitting a particular book, on the assumption you've been polishing it the whole time.

The last thing you want to do is give an agent the impression you're trying to subvert their system or "trick" them into reading your ms. E.g., never label it requested material if it isn't.

04-04-2006, 12:47 AM
The larger agencies absolutely do enter your information into a database, that's why they have secretaries! See the interview with Donald Maas in WD about a year ago.

04-05-2006, 03:20 AM
I actually re-queried after re-vamping my query letter and my ms. After I re-queried the agent asked to read the full manuscript. She ultimely passed, but I did re-query.

04-05-2006, 06:38 PM
I have requeried after a full submittal. If I get to a point where they read and comment on the book, I usually ask if I can resubmit after the appropriate changes have been made. If I get a positive resonse, I resubmit.

Never positively, but one can hope and try.