Decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse

Miss Snark:

Last spring I was rejected by two agents who requested partials of my mystery manuscript. Since then, I have revised the manuscript and then had it reviewed by my critique group. Is it appropriate to re-query these same agents, indicating I have revised the book and request to resubmit, or is this a bad idea?

Well, they aren't going to arrest you but you might find yourself being fired on by the cluegun.

There are a lot of agents who handle mystery. Give the rest a shot before you go back to people who've already said no.

When I say no to partials, if I want to see revisions, redrafts or retrofitted turbo charged syntax, I'll say so. Unless you heard something very close to "query me again if you revise", move along.


Torrey Meeks said...

Yeah but what if it's a really good revision?

What if the agent just doesn't know what a smokin' hot writer you really are and with a second exposure to your new dipped-in-lead suspenseful eco-thriller tale wrapped around the tight plot engine of a period romantic mystery that friends and family have go so far as to call, "A titallating, nail biting comedy of manners in Victorian England," they'll understand how much you rule?

I mean seriously.

Kimber An said...

Actually, this seems to be an individual thing. I've asked around. Some agents do welcome re-submits. If the agents in question have a blog, read the archives. Some of them do answer reader's questions on their blog. Ask a client, if you can. But, also, like Miss Snark said, there are lots of agents. Throw a wide net.

Demon Hunter said...

This is tough for genre fiction; especially fantasy mixed with horror. The pool is small. What to do, what to do! This is why I have been polishing my manuscript for what seems like forever. Not-too-long-though.

Anonymous said...

Licking my wounds from a partiall mss. rejection. My first non out and out "no". It sux but I sent three more queries yesterday. As Stephen Colbert would say, "Movin' on..."

Anonymous said...

This is what I did and it worked well:

I sent the agents a brief email saying: I've revised. I think it's better and [this is why]. Would you like to take another look?

About half said yes. Others said no thanks. And a couple didn't respond.

They're still people. Just being brief, honest and straightforward is oftentimes the best approach.

ORION said...

And sometimes you have to fool them. Sneak up behind them with a net. Change your name. Change your premise. Change your title.
Reinvent yourself!

Anonymous said...

Orion is being witty, I'm sure--but really, if you have revised extensively, and it has been a long period of time since you queried, I would change the title and resubmit without a mention (on just the queries) and with regards to the agents who'd read partials, I'd try what anonymous said --tell them you've revised and why it's better. It's worth a shot.

Twill said...

Last spring is a year. Right now, when those agents read your name, there is something familiar about it. When they read your story, there is something familiar about it.

If your style has changed, and your execution is improved, the chances are pretty good they will think - I've seen this before by someone else - but this is much better.

Then the question will be, (1) is it good enough? (2) Does it seem old hat because they've seen it before?

I'd say, query freshly without referring to the old version. If they ask for partial or full, remind them in the cover that they've seen a prior version when you send the ms.

Anonymous said...

But do I dare to eat a peach?

Killer Yapp said...

The poodles come and go,
talking of Vincent D'onofrio

Just Me said...

I think when agents say "I'd read this,if only it were..." they're really (tactfully) trying to say "No, uuummm, no, not really at all..."

I don't think "revise this" is at all what they're talking about...

They're trying to say "This isn't; it won't; it's not" - and trying to point you in another direction.

It's another nice 'no'. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued by the phrase "mystery manuscript." That sounds exotic. Is that anything like "Woman of Mystery," "Mystery Shopper," or "Mystery Food Critic"?

For God's sake, don't tell me it is the same thing as "Mystery Agent." I don't know if my poor heart could take it.