Author Topic: Agent Gave Feedback to Partial but Passed - Should I Follow Up w/Edited Draft?  (Read 349 times)

Offline ZLyon

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An agent gave me feedback on a requested partial manuscript (which I greatly appreciated!) but ended the email saying they were stepping aside and wish me luck. I later made major editorial changes based on that feedback. Would it be inappropriate to follow up saying that I made significant changes based on their feedback and asking if they would like to see the updated manuscript? Or should I just be grateful for the feedback and move on?

I don't want to overstep any boundaries or seem unprofessional or like I'm harassing them/not taking no for an answer so maybe I should just forget it and move on. That being said, they reiterated how much they liked the concept/premise so maybe they'd want to see a new manuscript that addresses the areas they identified. Not sure if following up would be unprofessional or if they'd be receptive to it. Obviously it's tough when your dream agent requests a partial but then passes, so maybe I'm just clinging to hope that isn't actually there.

Would love some objective feedback from anyone who might know how an agent would feel about this. Many thanks!

Offline Tabris

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If you made major changes based on the feedback, then I think it's acceptable to ask. Beginning with, "I understand you didn't frame it as a revise/resubmit, but--" then outline the changes in detail and ask if the agent would like to see the changed manuscript.

Since the feedback was on a partial, make sure you carried any changes all the way through the manuscript. If they said the pace was slow in the first three chapters, check your pacing all the way through. If they said there were too many characters, pare down ALL the characters. Etc.

Offline 217mom

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While many might tell you that you have nothing to lose by trying, let me share what happened with my first agent. She would kindly give feedback as she passed on requested manuscripts, and then get more emails from the grateful writers. She tried putting on her agency site that passing means NO and to only query with new material, but to no avail. As she put it to all her clients when she finally closed all doors to new subs, "writers are so grateful to get any feedback they think this is an invitation, and I am overwhelmed."
I'm no longer with that agency and now am happily agented elsewhere, which is unrelated to any of this. But noted that my first agent continues to be closed to new submissions. So maybe there is something to lose. Not you personally, but for others.

This is what I would do if I were in your situation: continue to query to others while writing something new. When you have something new to query this thoughtful and helpful agent, if you are still not agented, do so. You could then mention her helpfulness in the past and that you took this agent's suggestions. See then if you really "rang her bell" so to speak and something comes of that.

No matter what you do, good luck and kudos not only for getting such personal guidance from a professional, but for following it and making the manuscript stronger. It's all good.  :clap:

Offline ZLyon

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Thank you so much Tabris and 217mom! Both of these replies were exactly the sort of informed advice I was hoping to receive. Part of me wants to immediately follow up, of course, but I'm actually currently editing a new novel anyway. So I think I'll just wait until I query this new one and mention my appreciation for her feedback on the previous novel and that I made major changes based on that feedback that I feel really improved the manuscript. I like the impression this gives off. Plus it also shows that I'm continuing to produce new work, open to feedback, and focused on improving.

Thank you both again for the advice and the kudos! Greatly appreciated! Writing feels a bit like a lonely wasteland sometimes (this is the first time I've ever posted on any type of forum, though, so maybe some of that feeling is self-imposed) and both your responses are very welcome support and guidance. Best wishes.