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Author Topic: How to requery  (Read 1634 times)
Hairaplenty
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« on: May 07, 2018, 06:49:03 AM »

If you want to requery an agent after a major revision, how do you word that?    Huh?
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mgmystery
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 08:05:34 AM »

Do you still have the agent's response to the original query? I'd remind her what she liked about it and explain that you've made significant changes and hope she'd take the time for another look. Also, if you revise quickly, I'd wait at least 3 months since the time you sent the first query. Some agents don't consider R&Rs that took less than six months.
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Hannah
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 02:07:35 PM »

If you want to requery an agent after a major revision, how do you word that?    Huh?

What's the situation? Did the agent show interest previously and how much time has passed? I have also read agents prefer you to wait at least 6 months before requerying them with a revised project (and if they didn't show any interest, some don't want to see the same projects again at all - depends on the agent). For wording, something along the lines of saying you queried them on x date before and have significantly revised it would work (more personalized if they've shown interest before).
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Tabris
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 07:18:30 PM »

If the agent never saw the original manuscript and only rejected the query, I think you can just requery. You probably changed the title too, right?

If the agent had started reading, I'd say something like, "After receiving professional feedback, I've revised the manuscript so it's 20,000 words shorter, the conflict is very much in the forefront, the main character is no longer a goatherd, and the characters of John, Gary, and Alex have been combined into one. Would you be interested in taking a second look?"
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Hairaplenty
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 08:23:12 AM »

Helpful feedback, everyone! Thank you!    embarrassed2
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jldelozier
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 11:27:27 AM »

I posted this under the "Agent" header as well, but I saw this blog post today, and I think it answers your question clearly:

https://blog.nathanbransford.com/2018/04/when-to-follow-up-with-a-literary-agent
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RockWhitehouse
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 06:24:15 PM »

I'm struggling with this right now.

Since my first queries to my highest priority agents back in early March, I've cut 18K words, had the query and synopsis professionally redone, and reworked the opening pages.

Based on new feedback from here I'm reworking the opening again. Not really changing the core events, just telling them differently from fewer points of view.

So far the title isn't changed. Will it really make any difference if they just rejected it at the query letter stage? I do suspect the title might be too obscure, but titles aren't supposed to matter, right?

Another complicating factor is that I see this as book one of three. It's stands as is but in my mind is just the first part of the story.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Hannah
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 06:46:09 PM »

I'm struggling with this right now.

Since my first queries to my highest priority agents back in early March, I've cut 18K words, had the query and synopsis professionally redone, and reworked the opening pages.

Based on new feedback from here I'm reworking the opening again. Not really changing the core events, just telling them differently from fewer points of view.

So far the title isn't changed. Will it really make any difference if they just rejected it at the query letter stage? I do suspect the title might be too obscure, but titles aren't supposed to matter, right?

Another complicating factor is that I see this as book one of three. It's stands as is but in my mind is just the first part of the story.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


I think the issue with having the same title is that the agent might see that and think, didn't I already reject this? You're best off being upfront about having previously queried the agent and that you have made significant revisions. That being said, I wouldn't requery the agents you already queried with this in March right now as it's only been 3 months.
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mgmystery
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 07:45:07 AM »

Cutting 18k is a major revision  clap I think that alone lets agents know you've done more than changing around a few sentences. Titles technically aren't supposed to matter in that they can easily be changed before publication, but many agents like you to have the title in your subject line and admit a good one can grab their attention. As long as the title stands on its own, I'd say it has series potential in the query and see what happens.
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RockWhitehouse
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 08:04:45 AM »

Yes at 138K it was a little fat. I was able to carve out a non-critical sub-plot, dropped a couple concepts that were introduced but didn't really go anywhere. and eliminated some tangential scenes that I really liked but were not part of the main story.

I do have 'series potential' in the query letter.

If 90 days isn't enough, I am wondering how long I need to wait.

I'm already working on the second book but I'd like to get to some kind of closure (either find an agent or put it up on KDP) sometime soon.
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Tabris
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 09:29:05 AM »

Since you changed that much already, perhaps the title ought to change too..?  You could always change it back at some later point in the game. The first thing my first publisher did, before I had even agreed to let them publish me at all, was change MY name and change the book's title.  eek
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Hannah
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 12:02:44 PM »


If 90 days isn't enough, I am wondering how long I need to wait.

I'm already working on the second book but I'd like to get to some kind of closure (either find an agent or put it up on KDP) sometime soon.


In my agent research, I've come across 6 months to requery with a revision a few times. But there are no set rules! And each agent has their own preferences. I wouldn't feel comfortable querying the same agents after only 3 months, but you might feel differently. How about sending it to different agents for  now?
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RockWhitehouse
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 12:39:16 PM »

Thanks Tabris and Hannah.

I'm still have queries pending to about 20 agents now, with some of them reaching their nothing-means-no expiration date pretty soon.

I think another hack at a new set of 10 with the new opening and maybe some corresponding tweaks to the query is worth a try.

But I confess I don't want this to go on forever with no resolution.
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Hannah
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 01:10:16 PM »

This writing business sure does take a lot of patience and perseverance. But if you only started querying in March, and later than that with your revised material, that's not long at all! It can take 2-3 months just to hear back on a query, let alone a requested submission. And we learn along the way too and adjust, like you're already doing with your work. Buckle in for a long ride! It may not take long for you...but it could, so it's good to prepare for that.
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Tabris
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 02:53:19 PM »

Thinking about it more, would the changes you made to the manuscript be reflected in the query itself? If an agent rejected based on the query alone, and the overall story isn't much changed (only tightened, cleaned up, extra subplots removed, etc) then probably don't requery regardless. Now if your murder mystery has become a thriller, that's different. :-) But if the overall plot and characters are the same & the agent didn't see more than the first five pages, assume that ship has sailed.
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