Rules of Resubmissions or Re-Querying Agents
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: May 28 2020
You pulled the trigger too early. You finished your book, you were excited and proud, and you sent that query immediately. Too immediately. Now, months later you realize your mistake. You forgot to edit the book and you had no idea how to write a query. Now what? Are you allowed to query those same agents again or is your book dead?
Of all the things I write on, this is probably the most controversial. Every agent has a different opinion on whether re-querying is something you are able to do. Or whether they have any interest in seeing the same book twice.
At BookEnds you are allowed to re-query and resubmit, but only if your work or query has had a massive overhaul. We understand mistakes happen and that we all learn along the way. That being said, I suggest you only get a second chance, not a third and fourth.
Pitfalls of Re-Querying
The number one danger of re-querying is that you give the impression that you only have one book and that you aren’t as focused as you need to be. Most importantly, you give the impression you aren’t a career author.
I have authors in my QM (Query Manager) who have queried the same book four, five, or six times. This doesn’t give me confidence that they have another book, a career, or are learning from what they’re doing.
I have authors who have submitted three, four, or five books. Those are the authors giving me confidence. They are learning, growing and moving forward. I know from experience that it won’t be long before that author has exactly the book I want to see. That’s an author putting in the work, and that’s an author growing with their writing.
While we do accept re-queries, we believe the best authors are those who are learning from their mistakes and moving forward. Who have new ideas and fresh books. Those are the authors we can build a career with.
Thank you. This is all good to know. I have a YA book to submit but I am making sure I am ready. This helps.
Gosh, I don’t think I’d want to query a second time. As soon as this one goes on query I’ll be writing my next book. If the first doesn’t make the cut it can always be dragged out down the track when I do have an agent. Onwards and upwards 🙂
Thanks for this perspective! I know a few writers working on revisions and I’m sure this will be helpful.
I do have a question about this: “I have authors who have submitted three, four, or five books. Those are the authors giving me confidence. They are learning, growing and moving forward. I know from experience that it won’t be long before that author has exactly the book I want to see.”
If you/other agents see potential in a writer based on their query and/or manuscript, do you always take the time to tell them? Or do you still send out form rejections? If I queried an agent for five separate books and the agent never requested a manuscript or encouraged me to send future projects, I would assume they WEREN’T interested in my work and stop querying them.
I believe they do, especially if they see enough to make them want to see more in the future.
Hi there, this is kind of related. However, firstly just wanted to say a big thanks for all the topics covered in your You Tube channel. Not only are they extremely helpful and engaging, but they have de-mystified the process of agents and the world of publishing.
I recently submitted a query to one of your agents and was told that my book wasn’t the right fit for them and my query was rejected. In their reply they suggested that if I wished, I could submit the story to some of the other agents who cover the same genre. I have watched a lot of your You Tube channels and I understand that your query replies are forms/ standard responses. Firstly, I suppose I just wanted to know whether this is worth doing? Does the agent really think this, or are they just being encouraging and supportive to me as a new writer? That being said, should I submit a new piece of writing to that same agent, if infact they didn’t ask to see more work? Or should I just submit a new story to a different agent? Many Thanks.
The only way to know is to try.