do and don't

A proper way to re-query

As I typed in an email address for a reply (rejection, sadly), the address popped up in our system. Someone had replied to them before.

A quick search showed the same query six months prior to a different agent. But there were differences: they had edited the pages since then.

Before querying another agent hoping for a hit, this author attacked the problems which got them the first rejection.

One agent’s rejection doesn’t mean your book has problems — it may simply not be their cup of tea. But when your first round of queries doesn’t score anything, don’t query more agents hoping for a different answer. It’s time to take a look at the manuscript again.

When it’s polished, you’ll have lots of agents on the list left to query.


3 thoughts on “A proper way to re-query

  1. Agreed! When I finished with first round of query rejections for my 1st novel (which I had started reluctantly, but with the encouragement of a respected agent who read the opening pages), I wrote a 2nd novel, went back, reread the 1st one, and thought, “Crap, I’ve been querying THIS?!” Mind you, that wasn’t a rough draft. I’d been through about 6 drafts by that point. So I did a complete rewrite. Queried more, while revising the other novel. More rejections. I think I finally rewrote that 1st novel about 9-10 times before I called it quits. By that time, I’d written (and abandoned) 3 drafts of a second novel and written several drafts of a third novel. I didn’t think the first novel was bad, but the subject matter made it a hard sell, and I ended up using it as a learning experience. By that 10th rewrite, I was rewriting it for myself, to settle certain plot questions in my mind. I’m happier with it now. It’s still not a break-through novel, though!

    I have no idea why I write such long comments on your site . . .


    1. Haha, long comments are welcome! 🙂 It seems most authors hit their stride around books 3-5. The first 2 novels you write are lessons in the craft, but after that, you reached a certain level of experience and it becomes all about luck and finding the right agent. Speaking of which, good luck with book 3!


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