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itsvictoria_b
03-23-2016, 12:03 AM
I have a manuscript that I've submitted to agents (and have had rejected), but I'm doing a complete overhaul on. The main thing most of them have told me was that there wasn't enough conflict between the characters, so I'm rewriting it to add the necessary conflict. Is it frowned upon to resubmit the same story even after extensive rewrites if the agents has already said no or can I resubmit it?

Kerosene
03-23-2016, 12:28 AM
If it was a form rejection, I wouldn't bother.

If you're requerying the agents with fixes that address their concerns, it would depend on the wording of their rejections. Most likely if they said, "Not enough of X" and you add X then it'll be fine. But if they didn't mention resubmitting revisions, they might not want to see them.

The problem I find with this issue is that you probably shouldn't be querying just yet if your story is getting rejections based on lack of conflict. Especially when multiple agents are telling you this. I can understand one agent asking for a small revision to fit their preference, but if many are saying similar things you might have overall storytelling problems that are holding the story up. And resubmitting might just bring up others and further burn you. I would suggest you put querying on hold until you know your story works well. Have you had beta-readers? If so, and still if not, I would suggest you work up your post count on the forums to 50 while you revise and put your work up in the Share Your Work section. First chapter or two to see how it goes, and then if it flies ask for beta-readers from it. You can also post your query up to see how it fares. I would suggest earning your posts in the Share Your Work section as you help others and learn a lot.

Cyia
03-23-2016, 12:35 AM
In most cases, no, but if "complete rewrite" means that the new MS will be significantly different from the original, AND a few months have passed between submissions, then I doubt they'll recognize you.

itsvictoria_b
03-23-2016, 12:49 AM
If it was a form rejection, I wouldn't bother.

If you're requerying the agents with fixes that address their concerns, it would depend on the wording of their rejections. Most likely if they said, "Not enough of X" and you add X then it'll be fine. But if they didn't mention resubmitting revisions, they might not want to see them.

The problem I find with this issue is that you probably shouldn't be querying just yet if your story is getting rejections based on lack of conflict. Especially when multiple agents are telling you this. I can understand one agent asking for a small revision to fit their preference, but if many are saying similar things you might have overall storytelling problems that are holding the story up. And resubmitting might just bring up others and further burn you. I would suggest you put querying on hold until you know your story works well. Have you had beta-readers? If so, and still if not, I would suggest you work up your post count on the forums to 50 while you revise and put your work up in the Share Your Work section. First chapter or two to see how it goes, and then if it flies ask for beta-readers from it. You can also post your query up to see how it fares. I would suggest earning your posts in the Share Your Work section as you help others and learn a lot.

I've had beta readers, but they didn't know how to look for that stuff. I'm new to this and was advised to find a CP, which is why I'm here. In regards to the rejections, these were after fulls were looked over. They told me that they liked the story, but they felt as if there wasn't enough conflict between the hero and heroine. My friend (who has an agent) suggested that I just do rewrites and resubmit it, but I don't know if it's even worth the effort if they won't look at it again. Again, this is all new to me, so I'm not even sure what to do at this point.

Aggy B.
03-23-2016, 01:03 AM
I would not simply resubmit it to agents that looked at and rejected the full (or even a partial) MS - that's poor form. You could send a follow-up to the rejections and ask if they are interested in seeing a revised MS. Be sure to mention that you are addressing Element X and Plot Issue T (whatever the specifics on your feedback were) in response to agent feedback and provide an approximate timeline on when you expect to have a fresh MS ready. (If they say "Yes, I want to see it," you don't want to rush any remaining revisions so providing a timeline not only tells them when they can expect to see it, but also keeps you from getting stressed about the fact they are waiting to see it.)

There is always a chance they will say "No, thank you," but then you are no worse off than you are now and you can query other agents. At this point, though, you should probably hold off on querying any new agents until you finish any revisions.

As far as whether or not it's worth it to revise: if you think the suggestions will make the book stronger, you should try and make that happen. Even if you don't immediately find someone to rep it, the next step would be to write something else and query that book. If you should get an offer on the second book (for instance) the agent will likely want to know what else you have been working on. You don't want to say "Well, I had another MS but it was crap." You want to be able to tell them "I have another MS that I've been revising. Would you like to see it?"

Best of luck! :)

itsvictoria_b
03-23-2016, 01:12 AM
I would not simply resubmit it to agents that looked at and rejected the full (or even a partial) MS - that's poor form. You could send a follow-up to the rejections and ask if they are interested in seeing a revised MS. Be sure to mention that you are addressing Element X and Plot Issue T (whatever the specifics on your feedback were) in response to agent feedback and provide an approximate timeline on when you expect to have a fresh MS ready. (If they say "Yes, I want to see it," you don't want to rush any remaining revisions so providing a timeline not only tells them when they can expect to see it, but also keeps you from getting stressed about the fact they are waiting to see it.)

There is always a chance they will say "No, thank you," but then you are no worse off than you are now and you can query other agents. At this point, though, you should probably hold off on querying any new agents until you finish any revisions.

As far as whether or not it's worth it to revise: if you think the suggestions will make the book stronger, you should try and make that happen. Even if you don't immediately find someone to rep it, the next step would be to write something else and query that book. If you should get an offer on the second book (for instance) the agent will likely want to know what else you have been working on. You don't want to say "Well, I had another MS but it was crap." You want to be able to tell them "I have another MS that I've been revising. Would you like to see it?"

Best of luck! :)

Yes, I had no plans to resubmit until it was completely ready. I wanted to have someone critique it and make it as best as it can be before I were to resubmit it, but I was just wondering if that was frowned upon to resubmit something or if it was best to just start fresh with something else. I think I may do extensive rewrites on that one and maybe submit to a couple of digital publishers in the future perhaps and start fresh with the query process. I'd started before I really learned about critique partners and such, so I was very clueless with everything that happens behind the scenes. But hey, you live and you learn! :)

Jamesaritchie
03-23-2016, 02:07 AM
I have a manuscript that I've submitted to agents (and have had rejected), but I'm doing a complete overhaul on. The main thing most of them have told me was that there wasn't enough conflict between the characters, so I'm rewriting it to add the necessary conflict. Is it frowned upon to resubmit the same story even after extensive rewrites if the agents has already said no or can I resubmit it?

If they simply rejected the query, then yes, you can resubmit. If they rejected a partial or a full, then you can say you've done a complete rewrite according to the critiques, and you can ask if they'd like to see it again.

Quickbread
03-23-2016, 04:26 AM
Just to give us some perspective, how many agents did you query? And how many actually requested the manuscript?

L. OBrien
03-23-2016, 06:22 AM
From the bit of research I've done into publishing, it seems like the agents who allow resubmissions will say so in their guidelines. When they do, it's usually only after a few months and only with substantial rewrites.

itsvictoria_b
03-23-2016, 06:39 AM
Just to give us some perspective, how many agents did you query? And how many actually requested the manuscript?

I've queried 17 and 5 requested partials or fulls.

Jamesaritchie
03-23-2016, 06:33 PM
I've queried 17 and 5 requested partials or fulls.

This means you have an above average query letter. But it also means a rewrite was probably necessary.

Rejection of a query has nothing to do with rejection of a manuscript. Twelve of these agents never even saw the manuscript. They simply didn't like what the query had to say, or how it said it.

But there is never any harm in asking an agent or editor if you can resubmit something. The agent or editor will not blacklist you for asking, will not come to your house and yell at you, and unless they're having a really bad day, probably won't even hire a hit man to come kill you. The worst thing that can happen is that the agent or editor will simply ignore the request. The second worst thing is that the agent or editor will simply reply with a "NO".

The best thing that can happen is that the agent or editor will reply with a "Sure. Send it in."

If you are not already doing so, send the first three to five pages with your queries. Doing so does no harm, and may get you a request that your query wouldn't. If you do get a no, then your first few pages weren't good enough in that agent or editor's opinion. This is valuable info.

Aggy B.
03-23-2016, 07:13 PM
I've queried 17 and 5 requested partials or fulls.

That's a pretty small pool, unless your MS is in a really really tight niche. Which is good, because that means that even if those five agents that did reject the MS (not just the query) say no, you still have a lot of folks to look at.

For those that rejected on the query letter, I would just requery them once your MS is as polished as you can make it, but make sure it's been a little while (6 months minimum, better if it's at least 12). Unless they specifically say "Don't query us with the same MS ever," then it's okay to try them again at a later date. (Their list may have changed, the market may have changed that they will want to look at something that previously seemed oversaturated.) Don't keep requerying though as that is a good way to irritate an agent.

(There is an author I see over at Querytracker who has been querying the same two books to the same list of agents for almost five years now. She send out the queries on a rotating basis, one every 3-6 months. Don't do that. But if you significantly rewrite your book, most agents are open to a new query (that hopefully reflects your changes). They won't be open to seeing the same query and same pages show up every spring and fall.)

Quickbread
03-23-2016, 08:43 PM
^^^ Ditto what Aggy said.

mayqueen
03-23-2016, 11:28 PM
What Aggy said. Also, this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?315914-Is-it-ok-to-re-query-an-agent) might be helpful.

You can re-query an agent with 1) a new manuscript or 2) with a significantly revised* previous manuscript if a) significant time has passed [> 6 mos; one year is probably better]** and b) you mention that you previously queried this work.

*Significant means you rewrote major pieces of the manuscript: overhauled the plot, changed from third to first, cut the word count in half, etc; it does not mean minor cosmetic work to the prose.
**These numbers are obviously not set in stone and I just made them up off the top of my head.

itsvictoria_b
03-25-2016, 06:26 AM
What Aggy said. Also, this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?315914-Is-it-ok-to-re-query-an-agent) might be helpful.

You can re-query an agent with 1) a new manuscript or 2) with a significantly revised* previous manuscript if a) significant time has passed [> 6 mos; one year is probably better]** and b) you mention that you previously queried this work.

*Significant means you rewrote major pieces of the manuscript: overhauled the plot, changed from third to first, cut the word count in half, etc; it does not mean minor cosmetic work to the prose.
**These numbers are obviously not set in stone and I just made them up off the top of my head.

It's going to be a complete overhaul. I'm not sure if dual POV is acceptable or if I'm better off writing in third person (which I haven't done in what feels like forever). I'm shifting the plot a good bit since the current plot doesn't leave room for the conflict I need to add. I know this time I want to go through proper beta readers as well as having a critique partner to help me see what's missing. I bypassed all of that the first time around and am now trying to do things the right way.

itsvictoria_b
03-25-2016, 06:45 AM
That's a pretty small pool, unless your MS is in a really really tight niche. Which is good, because that means that even if those five agents that did reject the MS (not just the query) say no, you still have a lot of folks to look at.

For those that rejected on the query letter, I would just requery them once your MS is as polished as you can make it, but make sure it's been a little while (6 months minimum, better if it's at least 12). Unless they specifically say "Don't query us with the same MS ever," then it's okay to try them again at a later date. (Their list may have changed, the market may have changed that they will want to look at something that previously seemed oversaturated.) Don't keep requerying though as that is a good way to irritate an agent.

(There is an author I see over at Querytracker who has been querying the same two books to the same list of agents for almost five years now. She send out the queries on a rotating basis, one every 3-6 months. Don't do that. But if you significantly rewrite your book, most agents are open to a new query (that hopefully reflects your changes). They won't be open to seeing the same query and same pages show up every spring and fall.)

I'll definitely keep this in mind! I'm pretty sure that once I finish the process to have it completely ready, I should be at the 6-month mark. If anything, I may just wait until the Pitch Wars contest or the Twitter pitch contests and enter those to see if I have any luck!

mayqueen
03-25-2016, 04:27 PM
I see no reason not to write up a new query then (or retool the old one) and try again. If the agent previously requested a partial or a full, I recommend mentioning that.

whiporee
03-28-2016, 11:25 PM
You can do whatever you want to do. They aren't special snowflakes, and there is no agent-wide blacklist.

They may not like it, but they've already said no so there's no harm. If they've already taken a look at the partial or full, tell them you appreciate their feedback and it it spurred you to rewrite it, and would they like to take another look.

popmuze
03-29-2016, 02:20 AM
When I get a no answer from a "no answer means no" agency, I'll wait a few months and resubmit, figuring maybe a different intern will read it this time.

Aggy B.
03-29-2016, 03:27 AM
You can do whatever you want to do. They aren't special snowflakes, and there is no agent-wide blacklist.

They may not like it, but they've already said no so there's no harm. If they've already taken a look at the partial or full, tell them you appreciate their feedback and it it spurred you to rewrite it, and would they like to take another look.

I would not go that far. Bad behavior can get you noticed in a negative way by agents. And they do talk to each other. FREX: A couple years ago, I saw a fellow who popped up on the QueryTracker comments section who was recommending that once folks sent in a query, they should follow up in a couple of days with "OFFER RECEIVED" to put pressure on the agents to request material and make an offer of the own. It was TERRIBLE advice for a number of reasons. (Some agents will simply pass even on material they might be interested in if they don't have the time to read it right then.) Not long after I saw multiple agents talking about a similar querier on their social media. All of them had had the same experience - they would receive a query, then within 24 hours they would receive a follow-up email claiming an offer had been made and giving them a deadline to respond. But when they tried to follow up on who had made the offer, the author wouldn't tell them. And when they started asking around, trying to figure out who it was, they realized they were getting queried and pressured by the same person. The response was not so much to "black-list" that author, but to warn all the agents they knew that that author was lying in order to try and force a quick response. And that in turn meant of lot of agents who simply rejected that author because they wouldn't enter into a business relationship with someone whose first action was to try and deceive them.

It is not in your best interest to requery agents who have made it clear they are not interested in seeing the MS again. In part, because this is a business relationship you are pursuing. It won't reflect well on you if you ignore what your (potential) business partner is asking for.

That said, it is okay to requery after a decent amount of time as long as you aren't being obnoxious about it.

whiporee
03-29-2016, 05:51 AM
t is not in your best interest to requery agents who have made it clear they are not interested in seeing the MS again. In part, because this is a business relationship you are pursuing. It won't reflect well on you if you ignore what your (potential) business partner is asking for.


But if they've already said no, then you don't have any relationship with them. You're talking about damaging a relationship that doesn't exist.

If an agent sees your name, recognizes your query from the first time, they might put you in their spam folder. If you re-query them with a different project, you might miss out on that opportunity because you go to spam. I guess that is a risk. But if you happen to re-tweak their interest, they aren't going to not read (or represent) you because you didn't follow their rules. At least none of the ones I've run into would do that.

And as for them talking, they do, but a re-query wouldn't be something that they would talk about. Most of those conversations involve threats and weird queries, not someone who tried a second time.

The worst thing about this process is that writers start thinking of agents as something more than they are. They're people whoa re looking for things to sell. They're people who try to sell the things they represent. They aren't a giant cabal controlling the entry way to literature any more than they are prospectors looking to help nurture and protect aspiring writers. They people who sell things looking for things to sell. Like anyone who sells things, they are often a lot more than that -- they can be mentors or friends or shoulders to cry on, too -- but mostly they are people who sell things who are looking for things to sell.

Following their rules -- whatever they are -- doesn't mean they are more likely to represent you, and ignoring them doesn't make them less likely. I take that back -- the one key rule is don't send attachments because they often don't read those. But if you send 20 and they asked for 10, they aren't going to pass on you because you sent more than they asked for. They may stop reading at 10, but they were going to do that anyway. If you send a synopsis when they asked for pages, they might not get to the synopsis, but if they like you're pages, they'll likely ask for more.

If you write a good, captivating query, you're likely to get your pages read. If your pages are good enough, you're likely to get a request for more. If they read the book, love it and think they can sell it, you're likely to get a phone call. And if the call goes well, you're likely to get an offer. It really is that simple. All of the rest of this is just ways to make ourselves crazy.

If you think your revisions substantially changed the book, you have nothing at all to lose by resubmitting. Nothing. I wouldn't do it if you haven't really changed the book, but if you have, why not?

I will add this one caveat. They HAVE already rejected you once. Asking/begging them to reconsider is not a great way to start the relationship from YOUR side, because you're putting too much importance on their approval. They said no the first time, while I don't think there's any reason not to ask for another chance, I'm not sure there's much reason TO ask, either.

Aggy B.
03-29-2016, 06:33 AM
My point is, they said no once. And yes, you might rewrite the MS and it would be something they love. But there is a chance that it's just not the right book for them no matter how well written.

At that point requerying is not only a waste of your time, but also their and could damage your ability to query them later (because of getting shoved into spam). Of course, you won't necessarily know until you requery and get a no a second time. And that probably won't kill your chances with an agent unless they have specifically said not to do that. But if you were to keep coming back with the same thing, you would most certainly damage your chances at that agency.

Like you said, there is no relationship so there is not a lot of incentive for someone to look at something they've seen before and didn't love (for whatever reason). Now, writing a new query will help with that, but again, you want to look professional, not stalkerish. (I saw someone on recently talk about "thinking outside the box" for writers. And they pointed out that in the business world, creativity is thinking outside the box. In the creative world, professionalism is thinking outside the box. That's why we don't send our MSs in carved in chocolate bars, but we might do that for a resume.) Basically, you won't hurt you to follow the rules/guidelines. It might hurt you not to, so consider how much you want to risk burning that bridge. And then do whatever you feel comfortable with.

blacbird
03-29-2016, 06:38 AM
No one will arrest you and throw you in jail. I'm pretty sure the Constitution protects you there.

Common sense is up to you.

caw

itsvictoria_b
03-29-2016, 09:38 AM
My point is, they said no once. And yes, you might rewrite the MS and it would be something they love. But there is a chance that it's just not the right book for them no matter how well written.

At that point requerying is not only a waste of your time, but also their and could damage your ability to query them later (because of getting shoved into spam). Of course, you won't necessarily know until you requery and get a no a second time. And that probably won't kill your chances with an agent unless they have specifically said not to do that. But if you were to keep coming back with the same thing, you would most certainly damage your chances at that agency.

Like you said, there is no relationship so there is not a lot of incentive for someone to look at something they've seen before and didn't love (for whatever reason). Now, writing a new query will help with that, but again, you want to look professional, not stalkerish. (I saw someone on recently talk about "thinking outside the box" for writers. And they pointed out that in the business world, creativity is thinking outside the box. In the creative world, professionalism is thinking outside the box. That's why we don't send our MSs in carved in chocolate bars, but we might do that for a resume.) Basically, you won't hurt you to follow the rules/guidelines. It might hurt you not to, so consider how much you want to risk burning that bridge. And then do whatever you feel comfortable with.

I totally get that. The agents who requested and read the full said that they loved the premise of the story, but it just wasn't enough conflict. So now I have to pretty much rip the entire book apart to add the hero's POV in order to give it the conflict it needs. I've been reading so many books/articles and am trying to go about this the right way to make sure it's 100% ready before I attempt to query it again or ask the previous agents to take another look. If all else fails, there are digital publishers or I can self publish it. :)

randi.lee
03-29-2016, 01:58 PM
I'll play devil's advocate here and disagree with the "no" votes. If it's been long enough and the changes are substantial enough, it couldn't hurt to resubmit.

As the owner of a small publishing company, I'm not opposed to receiving the same manuscript twice, so long as that manuscript has been noticeably worked on since I've first read it.