1.14.2006

Have I seen you here before?

Dear Miss Snark,

I am an unpublished unknown, but would rather not stay that way. I finished my first novel about two years ago and submitted my first round of queries to about a half dozen agents I thought were the best choices for my genre. One of those agents requested additional chapters but did not go on to ask for the manuscript. After more rejections I shelved the book for a time then spent about a year doing a thorough re-write, except for the first chapter which needed it less and is essentially unchanged.


I am ready to send out queries again and want to re-submit this to the agent who was interested before. Per his guidelines, the query will include only the first few pages of the mss. Question is this, which has less chance of failure: telling him I submitted this before and have re-written, or assuming he has read so much in the last two years that he won't remember reading it and then toss it without knowing the rest has been overhauled?

Thanks for any advise.


Always happy to apply the vise.

Tell him. If you DON'T tell him, and there's a vague bell going off that says "I've seen this before" you stand a pretty good shot at being thought NOT fresh and origianl cause of course "I've seen this before and didn't like it much then". This is particularly true since you haven't changed the first chapter much.

And you want to widen your pool of queries. 6 isn't anywhere near enough. 60 is a better number.

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