Is it ever OK to query an agent who passed with the same manuscript?

Posted: March 6, 2018 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

75941352

Well … no.

That is, with the same manuscript.

But you wouldn’t do that, right?  You’ve gotten feedback. You’ve sought the services of an editor. You’ve revised and rewritten and rearranged and polished your manuscript so that it is no longer the same one you queried.  Because if you haven’t done those things, or most of them, you are wasting your time and that of your prospective agent.  Meaning that you’ve not just burned that bridge, but pissed on the ashes.

However, there is a protocol for re-querying.

First of all, if you sent in a query letter with pages and got a pass, it’s probably not a good idea to query the same novel, no matter how much you’ve revised it.  Because the agent passed on the concept.  It most likely won’t interest them a second time.  If you only queried with a letter and NO pages, you might try again with a new query letter, assuming you’ve improved it a lot.  But this is as likely to annoy the agent as impress them.

The best-case scenario for re-querying is when the agent requested a partial, or better yet, the full manuscript.  This means they liked the concept and enjoyed your sample enough to want to read more.  And if they went to the trouble to pursue your story, they most likely gave you some constructive feedback when they passed.  If they did, this an excellent sign, because the key to re-querying is that you address the agent’s concerns.  This is like painting the bridge with fire retardant.  Here are some important tips:

  • DO wait at least six months before re-querying (unsolicited)
  • DO follow the advice of the agent if she asks you to query again
  • DO mention in your re-query that you have queried before; remind the agent of your past interaction
  • DO state in your re-query what you have done with the manuscript and what changes you have made; show that a re-read is worth the agent’s time

It turns out there are second chances in the querying trenches, under the right circumstances.  If you’ve been querying for a while with the same manuscript and you’ve recently made major revisions, lightning can strike twice. Words of advice:

Make it count!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s