In the theme of resubmitting, revisions, and repeats, a re-post of one of my favorite pairs of shoes I’ve featured on this blog. And so on to Lisa, who asks:
Hi! I’ve sent out a several queries for my novel and have received quite a few requests for partials but never, after sending these sample pages, do I get a request for a full. I’m reading between the lines and realize something needs to change in my pages. I’m taking a break from querying my next batch of agents to completely rework my novel, as there’s something clearly missing. I have not received any direct feedback from the agents who have read my pages, just polite rejections, but I wonder if, after revising, it makes sense to re-query those who passed on the pages before? How would I go about doing that? Should I mention in the new query that they have read the pages before but now they are revised? I wouldn’t do this over and over again. A one time thing and many months down the road from the original query.
Lisa, unless an agent you submitted to specifically asked to see a revision, I wouldn’t re-query. Especially if, as in your case, they didn’t provide any specific reasons for passing.
I know it’s tempting after you’ve fixed something to show it again to the people who thought it was broken before, but if I were you, I would try to avoid the temptation, and focus your agent search on people who haven’t already made a decision about this specific project.
Now, if you made revisions and then maybe set that book aside to work on a separate novel, and wanted to query that second book to the same agents who declined the first, that’s totally ok. In that case, personally, I even ask that you remind me I looked at chapters of one novel when querying me on a second. It reminds me that I saw something I liked in your writing at one time, and — hopefully — will nudge me to take a closer look at your next work.
Hope that helps!