1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Agent Question: Is This Saleable?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by lostinwebspace, Jul 28, 2011.

    Hello everyone,

    A few years ago, I had the chance to participate in an agent speed interview session. What this is is every author gets four agents to sit with for a period of ten minutes each. During these ten minutes, we sell our goods.

    The good thing is you get face time with an agent. The bad thing is that most agents will tell you to send them the first X pages or chapters of your work, but only because they don't want to say "no" face to face. I got three out of four chances to send and, of those three, two rejections (and one act of silence). One rejection seemed promising.

    I know that agents are incredibly busy people. They have a chance to do nothing but read author's pitches or sample chapters. So if you get anything other than a form letter, you're almost there. I got an actual typed letter (not a form letter), expressing this:

    This is quite obviously something he took the time to write, and so I felt very encouraged that I got a personalized response, even if it was a rejection. My question is this: Should I resend this to the same agent? I know that he rejected it already once, but I've learned a lot about writing and have polished my manuscript. He might change his mind... I hope.

    Or should I move on? I originally received this letter in 2007, so four years and some change have passed. He most likely won't remember me. If I should move on, does this mean the work saleable enough to shop around? I have no other writing credits I can boast about, so I'm not sure if I'll get past the query letter phase.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You could always send him a letter or email stating that you previously submitted, what was said in return, and that you've done a lot of editing and polishing. Then ask if he'd like to see it again.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd go with Steerpike's reponse, but I'd like to second your statement that it's a great sign when the agent takes extra time to write you an individual letter.

    Because he mentioned voice, you might want to look at your MC's voice from an objective point of view: does your MC sound unfriendly, bland, inconsistent etc? If so, you might want to consider tweaking it a bit, but take these words with caution and only change the voice if YOU don't like it. Do NOT drastically alter your work just because it's not one person's cup of tea!

    Because you made lots of revisions, I'd try him again, but of course, ask before sending your work in. Tell him what kinds of revisions you made: be specific but also snappy and succinct.

    Also, keep in mind that he still could have just been saying no politely. There are many more agents in the sea....look for them, too.
     
  4. Blue_Lotus
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    Blue_Lotus Senior Member

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    I was talking to an agent on twitter earlier today and she was telling me about the 2000 email that she had after just 4 days off...
    2k and those are just the ones that had been submitted properly, she was not counting the ones that were mailed in or hand delivered to the office, or even the ones that were Emailed in but did not follow her format wishes... she had managed to pile through 362 of the Properly submited Emails in 7 hrs time... you do the math.
    They are serisouly bogged down that or shes just uber popular? My advice is to be extreamly mindfull of their time when asking about re submitting. Just my two cents.
     
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  5. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes the possibility that the agent was just being polite is there, but so is the possibility he actually saw potential. If you've done extensive rewriting to the book, and hopefully an even more extensive reworking of the first few pages, then you could just try querying again. Keep it brief and snappy, and you shouldn't be wasting too much of his time.

    And like others have said, there are plenty more agents out there.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with the posts recommending that you ask if you may submit the work... the worst he can say is 'no' and you can't get a 'yes' if you don't ask...
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I could paper my loo with identically-worded rejections. This doesn't make what the agent said wrong, though. There is an element of personal which comes into championing a writer and you could get lucky with someone else.
     
  8. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'm going ahead with resending it. Is there a site or a book that explains specifically how to put together a query in which you're re-querying the same agent? I suppose I can tack on a paragraph that says "You might remember me from my proposal four years ago... blah blah blah," but I'd like to get some guidance on that.
     

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