Nathan Bransford, Author

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Re: Re-querying Redux

This is something I have touched on in a previous post, but since it is among the most-asked topics of all, I thought I would revisit it and make it a bit more comprehensive. Here it is. Re: re-querying reimagined, revisited, renovated. Re.

When is it okay to re-query the same agent? When is okay to query someone else at the same agency?

Here's a (hopefully) comprehensive list of scenarios (and please bear in mind that these are just my opinions and others may feel differently):

If the agent passed on your query: Do not re-query with the same project, even if you've revised your query and/or manuscript. The agent has made their decision.

If the agent passed on your partial or full: If the agent specifically asked for revisions they are expecting they will hear from you again (and please check out this post for more about those expectations). If they didn't specifically ask for revisions, most agents will be open to hearing from you again about the same project if they provided specific advice and you took said advice. Whether they will ask to see the revised manuscript again is decided on a case by case basis. UPDATE: And as Jessica writes, definitely remind them that they had seen an earlier version.

Querying an agent who previously passed on your work with a new project: If the agent previously passed your query for a previous project, especially if it was a form rejection, I wouldn't mention the previous query. If the agent requested a partial or full but ultimately passed, definitely mention this to them when you query for your new project.

But whatever you do, wait three to six months after receiving a rejection from an agent before querying them with a new project. There's really nothing worse than passing on a project and then getting an immediate e-mail back about a different one. I just passed on one work, am I really going to be predisposed to saying yes to the one that comes five minutes later?

Querying different agents at the same agency with the same project: Do not query two agents at one agency simultaneously. If you receive a rejection from one agent, it is usually okay to query another agent at the same agency, but check their guidelines. If they don't specify otherwise you may query another agent after receiving a rejection from one, but wait at least three months. You never know if agents share assistants, and you don't want them to think you're papering the world with queries.

And whatever you do, do not e-mail an agent back and ask them to refer you to someone else or ask for query tips. If your query wasn't quite right for me but I can think of someone else, I'm going to refer your query anyway. And no agent I know has time for personalized query tips.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I missed anything in the comments section.


JohnO said...

How bizarre. You and Jessica Faust post on the same topic, on the same day.

Annalee said...

Are mail management systems used at all in agent-land?

I use one for my work (which is not publishing-related), and it's always been useful when I've got a letter in front of me to be able to see the entire correspondence history with that person, and have nifty statistics like turnaround time and volume of correspondence on particular issues tracked automatically.

No reason for asking; I'm just curious.

Nathan Bransford said...


I called Jinx on Jessica, so she owes me a coke.

Although since she technically posted first I guess I owe her a coke.

Justus M. Bowman said...

"If the agent passed on your query: Do not re-query with the same project, even if you've revised your query and/or manuscript."

This one surprised me.

BookEnds, LLC said...

That's hysterical! Great minds I guess. Great though, different agents, different perspectives.

I'll be happy to buy the coke, maybe a Jack and coke?


lynnrush said...

Great info, Nathan.


WindyA said...

Thanks for the advice. Good clarity around what to do with multiple projects and past rejections.

Mandy said...

I think re-querying after just your query was rejected might be subjective. I had a horrible query letter that was being shot down a lot. Once I restructured the letter and made some major changes, I re-queried some of the agents who had rejected me and received requests for additional material based on my re-query. So I really feel like it depends on the individual agent.

Laura Martone said...

I appreciate the advice, Nathan - although I agree with Mandy that the "rules" might vary from agent to agent.

On a personal note, the suggested waiting times can sure add up. No wonder my college professors told us writing majors that getting a novel published would be highly unlikely.

But you can't give up, right? The most successful writers I know believe that perseverance and a thick skin will pay off in the end... wish I was a crocodile.

Nathan Bransford said...


What I will say in the comments section but not the main post is that if you really truly believe in good faith that you have drastically improved your query and would like to try again, they're probably not going to notice that you did so, and unless they personalized their response to you I wouldn't mention that it's a re-query.

However, I beg that people don't abuse this because if everyone kept re-querying my life would be insane.

pilot said...

Great post Nat. You don’t just give some basic rules of approaching with a re…. but also a few suggestions regarding politeness. One question though, you’re targeting an agent (because, after research, you feel he’s the right one for your work), your query must be at least decent (for you’ve got a high percentage of requests from others), your writing is more than just adequate (for beta-readers and free-lance editors say they love it)…. So, how do you get by the assistant?

Luisa Perkins said...

This is so helpful; thanks, as always, for your generosity.

LorelieLong said...

This is just idle curiosity, because my mind wanders like this, so feel free to ignore if needed. :D

What if you write in two genres, and have a completed project for both. At an agency are two agents, each of whom works in one of your two genres. Could you query each of them with the separate projects at the same time?

Nathan Bransford said...


You get by the assistant by writing a good query so they'll pass it on to their boss.


I recommend that people focus on querying one project at a time anyway.

Bane of Anubis said...

I would never think of re-querying for the same project (that got form rejected), but it sounds like some people do that - something I can empathize with b/c most of us are fretting over the effectiveness/quality of our queries.

Personally, it's hard to get a sense of the query. I'll write it, think it's great, then hate it the next day. I'll send one version out to one agent and then a different one to another - if I find success with one, I think "maybe that one's better" and then it won't find traction again - probably b/c as all you agents seem to emphasize, there's a bit of subjectivity involved.

I'd also never considered re-querying for partials/fulls that were ultimately passed up. Gosh, now I might have to go back and look at some old projects to see if they're worth re-visiting.

Thanks for the guidelines (i.e., things we can follow and know we're doing right). The next time I query you, I'm gonna make sure I use block formatting, CAPS, etc...

Stephanie Faris said...

Thanks for the advice. I know I've annoyed editors at publishing houses probably by firing back another query a month or two after they rejected the last one. I'm not sure how they feel about that but the response time from publishing houses is sometimes ridiculously long so of course I'm going to have something else ready to send them after they've held my other query for six months!

Heidi said...

Nathan - you mentioned not asking an agent for referrals, which I completely get, but here is my dilemma.

I queried a highly reputable agent who requested my full. She read and responded in a very gracious email that she "was very impressed with this manuscript...the quality of writing is far superior to most of that which crosses my desk," and that she felt very connected to the characters and the story. HOWEVER she didn't feel she had the right contacts to submit to, and so regretfully passed.

My dilemma? She also said, "If there's anything else I can do to help in your search for representation, please do let me know."

If she knew agents who would have those contacts, wouldn't she have referred me? Do I ask for other agents she thinks might know a good fit or assume she would have told me already? What else could she do to help me? It seemed like an amazing offer which, in the end, I really don't know what to do with other than post on my wall.

Rick Daley said...

Thanks Nathan, this is an awesome post!

Anonymous said...

"If the agent passed on your query: Do not re-query with the same project, even if you've revised your query and/or manuscript."

I know more than one person who (after a few months has passed) requeried the same project with a substantially better query, and gotten an agent out of it. (And some very good agents.)

Honestly, I would ignore Nathan's advice. Don't do it more than once to an agent, don't do it if the changes are only cosmetic, but FOR INSTANCE, if your first query was something like, "This is a book about love and death and hope, and it's kind of a crime story!" and the second query is an incisive piece of work focuses on the conflict, requery. Cosmetic changes only--no requerying. Massive revision and restructuring--go ahead.

Just use good judgment.

(And now I see that Nathan says the same thing in the comments trail.)

Just keep this in mind, Nathan: People who don't have good judgment aren't going to be following your rules anyway. :)

I'm sure that makes you feel so much better!

Deniz Bevan said...

"If the agent passed on your query: Do not re-query with the same project, even if you've revised your query and/or manuscript."
Even if they were part of Be An Agent For a Day and you told them to feel free to submit their query after the contest was over? :-)

pilot said...

Nat, let’s assume the query is good. You’ve sent two dozens out and got ten requests. So, it must be working. But there are those few agents (the ones you would really like to represent your work) to whom you can’t get it…. assistants are fast on form-rejecting.
Well…. now that I think of it, I never queried you…. That’s an idea. LOL

Nathan Bransford said...


The agent may have just been polite, or they may have genuinely wanted to help. But keep in mind when you're querying that the worst they can do is say no. If they come out and say "let me know what I can do to help you" it's okay to come back and say, "Well, actually..." The worst they can do is say no, they're not going to blacklist you or anything.

Nathan Bransford said...


Then it's okay.

Nathan Bransford said...


It's just that I don't want to hear again from most queries I pass on, but if you're the type of person who reads the comment thread on my blog, then I trust your judgment. Hence, one policy for the front page, another for the comments section.

Mira said...

Exposition!! Yea. And very helpful exposition, at that. Thanks, Nathan. This is really useful. I appreciate that you laid out all the scenarious. As always, it's very clear and reasonable and to the point.

I also like that I am now a special person with a special policy.

But I really want to warn you, Nathan, against trusting my judgement. Don't do that.

No matter how many times I read the comments.

Bane of Anubis said...

Here's a question for others:

Do any of you send queries to non-preferred agents before sending out to your preferred agents?

(I do - to test the waters of my query so I don't completely hamstring myself with preferred agent/s)

Mira said...

You can trust everyone else's judgement, tho.

I just like to do things differently. I was thinking of sky writing my query across the Golden Gate.

Laura Martone said...

Bane -

I wish I had thought to do that. I sent letters to my preferred agents first - and then completely revised my query. Oops.

Laura Martone said...

Nathan -

I know you've touched on this in previous blogs, but how crucial is the personal touch in a query? For instance, while it makes sense for a writer to mention that he/she is a reader of your blog, what should you do if you have no real connection to an agent? I mean, say, you're both from New Orleans, do you mention that fact if it relates to the setting of the novel - or would it be better to just keep it professional and pretend you have no connection?

Malanie said...

Thank you for the clarification.

Malanie said...

LOL Mira, I love it. Reminds me of the college grad that couldn't find a job and stood at a street corner (downtown Oklahoma City) and handed out his resume to all the business men. He made the news and landed a job!

Bane of Anubis said...

Melanie, someone did that here in Portland, too - a recent MBA grad - I'm not sure what happened to her - although I wouldn't have hired her (b/c her signs were handwritten and not altogether professional looking - so Mira, if you do skywrite your query, no hearts over i's or smiley faces in the o's)

Renee Collins said...

Very helpful post, Nathan. I have a quick question, if that's alright.

A very reputable agent has had my partial for eight months now. As per the guidelines on her agency's website, I send a polite status check after 3 months. Then another two months later. Okay, so I get it, she's not interested in the book. I've moved on. :)

My question is, I am nearly ready to query a new novel and I would still love to work with that agent. Do I query her anyway, even though she's never technically rejected my other book? If I do query her, what should I say?

Nathan Bransford said...


Totally up to you.

Bane of Anubis said...

Renee, just out of curiosity, why would you want to work with this agent if she's left you high and dry on a previous submission?

csmith said...

Thanks for this Nathan, in the hazy far future when I have something actually READY for submission, I will bear this sterling advice in mind.

Kristi said...

I would think that if agents saw a re-query on the same ms (aside from the exceptions mentioned in the comments), they might doubt that you had anything else written.

Related to other comments as far as whether to query top-tier agents first or last - when I start the process, I plan on starting at the top and working my way down (after having my query critiqued by published authors in my critique group of course). Why wouldn't you try for the best?

I'm still several months out from that whole process, so Nathan, this gives you plenty of time to expand your business to the wonderful world of PB's. :)

Charlie said...

Excellent advice Nathan. I’m planning on treating the querying process as having one shot to make it. The manuscript will be as polished as it could be and the query flawless.

Shall I skip the glitter confetti?

Suzanne said...

Nathan, what if your assistant passed on the original rejected query?

Nathan Bransford said...


I don't have an assistant.

Bane of Anubis said...

Nathan, I think Mira's gonna volunteer for the job if she hasn't already :)

Anonymous said...

Did I notice a few differences in opinion between Jessica's post and yours? Maybe I missed something, but I thought the gist of Jessica's post was to explain to the agent that you are, indeed, re-pitching so they don't get confused. She even gave an example of how to do this, after you've revised your query/ms. And your post says don't re-query at all because the agent will always remember you and won't change his/her mind. And if you do, even with another project, don't bother to mention that you've already queried once.

Again, maybe I missed someting.

Laura Martone said...

I know this is slightly off-topic - it would have been better suited for Monday's "open thread" - but I'm relatively new to the query process and learning as I go how to polish my query for maximum effect. After sending it out to five of my preferred agents, I revamped it (using Nathan's and others' general advice on this helpful blog) - but I'm still puzzling over the matter of personalization. How necessary is it for the query to be personalized for a specific agent? Any tips would be most appreciated. Thanks to all you awesome (and at times, hilarious) bloggers!

Mira said...


Do you know about the author who held a big funeral for her book? It was turned down 16 times, and she organized a big ceremony for it. It was in the news. I didn't follow the story, so I never found out if all the publicity helped her sell the book.

Here's the URL to the article:

Bane - Don't be silly. I'm not putting little hearts over the i's in my sky writing. Way too expensive after I shell out for the Marching Band and water show.

Mira said...


I'll be your assistant.

You don't have to pay me.

Heck, I'll pay you.

Nathan Bransford said...


I don't know Jessica's exact feeling about all of these scenarios, but my understanding of the question she was answering was that the person was asking about re-querying agents who had either seen partials or who had been separately encouraging, in which case it's okay to re-query, and I agree that in those instances it's best to give the agent a heads-up that they've seen it before.

So I'm not sure that we disagree.

Malanie said...

ROFL, Bane! Hearts and smiley faces, that is hilarious!

Malanie said...

Mira, no I did not hear of that! Wow!

Nathan, give Mira a chance! Have you seen her blog? She would make quite an assistant, and she is willing to pay you!

Mira, if Nathan says no you can pay me to be my nanny! ;-)

Hilabeans said...

Oh, I want to volunteer too!

I'd make an awesome assistant, but if Mira's going to pay you, I totally understand if you pick her.

Thanks for the excellent post!


PS - Did you watch the Bachelorette?

Marilyn Peake said...


Thanks for posting a summary of your query policies. I realize I’ve learned a lot from your blog this past year. How to write queries used to be a complete mystery to me. Today, as I read through your list, I found myself saying, "Yup, knew that." Thanks for your very informative blog!

Anonymous said...

I remember a post by Miss Snark (RIP Miss Snark!) where she basically said break the rules what do you have to lose. I have to say I took this to heart and re-queried agents who rejected my initial query--with a query that had a different tone but it was the same book, same title (I realized that I was missing the mark with my query) ...Anyway, I got several requests that way. (keep in mind I did not include pages)

I also snail queried agents who never responded by email and got most of my outstandings answered.

Nathan Bransford said...

I have to say, while I'm sympathetic to not getting a query right the first time, all this talk of re-querying with the same project is making me shudder a little, and I think it's at least a part of the reason agents are increasingly moving to "respond if interested" policies.

It's a real struggle to keep up with the queries I'm getting already. I really don't want people to plan on getting a second chance with their query or to use us as a sounding board to bounce around query ideas and styles.

Val Serdy said...

Thanks so much for this great info. And here I was about to type up your comments from SCBWI-WWA's talk about "sparkling query letters." Maybe I'll just point everyone here instead!

So, here's my question: if you read someone's first five pages at a conference like last weekend's, does that count as a query? And so then do all the re-querying rules apply?

Val (who promises not to requery until significant work has been done with her "voice"!)

Renee Collins said...

Nathan-Thanks. Though the indecisive part of me was really hoping that you would tell me exactly what to do. :)

Bane-I've asked myself the same question. Ultimately, I'm not scratching this agent off the list because all of my research indicates that she is great to work with and a nice person.

I don't know what happened with my partial--maybe it got lost in the shuffle, maybe she just didn't like it. Whatever the reason, I'm not going to let wounded pride stop me from a possible chance to work with a fantastic agent.

Etiquette Bitch said...

nathan-this does help, thanks.

what if your "source" is essentially the same, but the book is totally different format. ie, i wrote and pitched a memoir, it got rejected, but now, it's not a memoir -- it's a how-to book with only tiny nuggets from the memoir. is that worth mentioning, or just pitch it as a new work?

Beth said...

Out of curiosity, I queried an agent for my first book and received a form rejection. About six months later, I queried her about my second book. In the rejection, she thanked me for querying again, briefly mentioning my first book. Do agents keep track of query letters? I was really surprised she remembered.

lotusgirl said...

This was a very helpful post. It's nice to know the time frames and etiquette. I would have thought if the project was completely redone it would be okay to requery the same agent.

PurpleClover said...

Thanks for the information. I have requeried agents in the past but always with separate projects and usually a good six months to a year passed between projects. Glad to see that is acceptable.

Does your agency bounce queries off each other to make a decision in team meetings or is each person wholly responsible to decide who they bring on?

Anita Saxena said...

Thank you for spelling out "re-querying" etiquette so well. I know it can vary agent to agent, but these seem to be some good logical rules that I can put up there with "don't put your elbows on the table in formal company."
Thank you : )

Nett Robbens said...

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for the advice! Quick question: Is it okay (or wise) to re query an agent who was disappointed with a partial, which underwent major revisions months after the original query, and is now a contest finalist? (They weren’t thrilled with the characters or writing.) Or is it safe to just move on and query another project?


Nathan Bransford said...


I'd use your gut instinct on that one. In general it's probably best to stick to the ones who were very encouraging even if they passed, but it's up to you.

Nathan Bransford said...


In general it's up to the individual agents.

Nett Robbens said...

Thanks again Nathan, I appreciate your counsel!


PurpleClover said...


I was only asking because I know of at least one agency that says it is unacceptable to requery with another agent in the same agency because they discuss prospects at team meetings each week. But in that case it would be obvious who was simultaneously querying intra-agency (that's probably not even a real word).

I think it was a smaller agency anyhow. Plus, like you said earlier, each agent has a different preference. I was just curious how your agency did it.

carly said...

Bane asked earlier if anyone begins their query process with non-preferred agents to test the waters.
I've made a list of the agents I plan to query and then rated each on a scale of 1-10, based on preference and fit. I'm starting to query my "7"s and "8"s. Then, after considering their feedback, will revise and move on to the "9"s and "10"s. Only time will tell, but it seems like a good system in theory!

Minnie said...

Good stuff. All good stuff.

And wow! 503 comments from yesterday. Is that a record? must be a wicked fast reader in order to get through all of this, especially without an assistant. I'm so impressed. But I beg of you, don't take Mira up on her offer. I'd like to blacklist her comments from your page. A little bit goes a looooong way. :)

Jarucia said...


This is nearly verbatim what you told a questioner at the recent SCBWI conference during your Sunday session.

Though it isn't 'technically' part of re-querying, but can fall under that umbrella, you and others mentioned the potential pitfalls of 'querying' an editor before querying an agent.

If the editor says 'no', then (as appears to be the case with most houses) the whole publishing house says 'NO' period.

So, if the author moves on to querying an agent, they should disclose any editors they've queried and heard rejections from so the agent knows of any bridges already burned.

I thought this a VERY interesting bit of information.

allegory19 said...

Thanks for all the info - and not just Nathan - there are some really great questions courtesy of fellow readers. Thanks guys!

Hahaha Minnie@3:35 - sorry Mira, but I thought the same thing today. Maybe not blacklist, but still...

Nathan Bransford said...


Very good point -- I'll try and blog about that soon.

Laurel said...

Back off, Minnie. Mira has a fan club.

Nathan seems plenty assertive. If she gets out of hand, he takes her to the woodshed.

Ian, PC, Jo, can I get a little help here?

Nathan Bransford said...

Let's not turn this into a battle. If anyone has any concerns about someone's comments on the blog (or mine for that matter), as always please feel free to e-mail me directly. But please let's deal with it that way rather than getting into a spat.

Mira said...

Hi Minnie,

Yes, I've been thinking the same thing the last couple of days. I think there's too much 'me' on this blog. Definitely.

I'm trying to cut back . It's hard - it's abit addictive, and when people address me, I don't want to ignore them.

But I think you're right.

On the other hand, please be nice to me about it. I'm just another writer like you, although one who can get carried away.

Mira said...

P.C. - thanks for the support, that's sweet and means alot.

But I think everyone needs to be comfortable here. This is Nathan's blog, not mine.

Minnie's right. I'm taking up too much elbow room. I really have been thinking about this all week. So, I'm glad she said something. Allegory, too.

People come here to chat with and get to know Nathan. I'm too active.

And see, here's another post of mine. :-)

It's not a big deal, really. I'll just post less. It's not like I'm leaving.

Bane of Anubis said...

Carly, sounds like my kind of process... And, for those who think that there's such a thing as a perfect query letter, I say "bollocks!" (though there may be a perfect letter for certain agents (e.g., "I'm Cormac McCarthy - represent me." End of Letter)

Mira said...

Oh, god, Laurel. I mean Laurel, thanks for the support. I mean it. Thanks.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I thought Nathan managed yesterday's anti-thread perfectly. Everything that stayed was in keeping with the 'education and information sharing' aims of the blog.

Useful information as usual, Nathan.

Laurel said...

I like Nathan's suggestion that we pretend we're grown ups and email each other directly. Most of us post through blogger and you can get through to each other that way-just click the name of the poster. No reason to make anyone embarrassed or uncomfortable in a public forum.

Thanks, Nathan. Sorry for going off topic.

Anonymous said...

Nathan's blog has several regulars that are part of his blog's appeal. Without his regulars... it wouldn't be the same.

I find Mira and many others to be funny and entertaining.

If someone doesn't want to read what someone else is saying, they can skip them.

Mira said...

Well, I'm going to post less, but not right now. :-)

Laurel, you're great. Thanks.

In the last week, I have received some of the best compliments about my writing I've ever had in my life. Compliments that were better than I ever expected to receive.

I'm good.

But for today - it's probably BETTER that it came out publically. I think Minnie is speaking what some other people may have been thinking too, and it's better if it's out in the open.

That way I can agree, and we can move on.

Pattie Garner said...

Wow Nathan, I feel like this post was just for me. Thanks!! :) But you are still my favorite!!

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Mira - 'back away' from the backing away ... with out 'the humour' and 'the clever' the rest is a lot of 'thank you's'.
However, if things got dull I guess I'd get more work done.

Thanks Nathan for the informative post.

Anonymous said...


I followed the link you provided to a previous post regarding exclusives in the case of an author agreeing to do revisions suggested by an agent. You believe it should be exclusive because the agent is spending considerable time on the project. Ahem, so is the author - with no guarantee of representation. It gets very complicated when you've already done simultaneous submissions.

So if another agent has the full, it's not fair to let that agent waste time reading it when you're embarking on revisions. And then to make the scenario more complicated, another agent with the partial has just requested the full & makes recommendations that also make sense to you. So what is an author to do? Turn down the other 2 agents even though there is no guarantee of representation?

This very scenario happened to me. I could find no precedent for how to handle it, but I'm a business woman and used my experience w/hiring contractors to guide me. Agent 1 and I had an understanding there were no promises on either side. So I informed the other agents that I was doing revisions. All knew the MS was a simultaneous submission. As far as I'm concerned, I acted professionally and kept my options open at the same time.

At any rate, the scenario I described might make an interesting blog post. ;-)

Nathan Bransford said...


There's no way to cover every eventuality in a blog post. The most important thing when dealing with a situation like that is just to be very up front with everyone where everything stands.

Mira said...


Who said anything about giving up the humor and the clever? I just said less.

Of course, I said I'd try to post less. I didn't say it would actually happen.

It's not happening right now.

I'm not good with the self-discipline stuff.

Alps said...

Thanks for laying all this out so clearly. Good post.

PurpleClover said...

Not looking to spatt - but since my name was brought up I feel I owe it to Mira to at least say she doesn't bother me. ;)

Of course I'm just as guilty of rambling (especially as the weekend nears and I become a blabbering fool where everyone is my best friend). Nathan indulges us occasionally going off topic so I must thank him for being patient with us! It is important, I think, to keep it professional. Nathan does a pretty good job at making sure it stays that way and if he ever has to correct someone it seems to be for the last time (for them at least).

Sometimes we just get giddy and talkative. I feel I must apologize as well as I've done it myself (including now - we are off-topic ...sorry Nathan)!

Anyways, Mira - I have no idea how old you are but you are like a little sister to me. Cute, funny, and sometimes annoying. But in an endearing way. ;)


Jen C said...

As someone mentioned above, it's the regulars here that make this blog kinda special.

Mira, I love your comments, and I feel like it's the easiest thing in the world to just skip past someone's comments if you don't really care for them.

Would I rather read a bunch of thank you's, as someone so eloquently put it (can't be bothered scrolling down to give credit, sorry!) or would I rather read about the Ostrich Pickle Conspiracy? Hmmmm.... Tough call... very tough call...

allegory19 said...

Cheers to Mira - excellent attitude! Thanks!

KathyF said...


Please keep posting. Half the time, I read the comments just to see what you said.

Otherwise, I'd just scan them quickly to read Nathan's responses.


index.php said...

Hello Nathan,

I have a question about a hypothetical case that I'd like to be in someday:

Say I have my eye on an agent but they rejected my query. Later, I submit directly to a publisher and they're interested. Now that my project is a stronger commodity Should/could I re-query the agent with the new information?

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minnie said...

Oh geez, Mira, SORRY! I didn't mean to bash the comments personally. Only the frequency. I'm very new here. Sorry to Nathan, too. This is just the kindof stuff I hate about blog comments, personal conversations. So I'll shut up and just go back to reading. Just my luck to leave a comment for the first time and it's controversial! Figures.

Have a good weekend everybody. Signing out.

Mira said...

Minnie, it's cool. I think you forgot I'd be reading what you said. But you started a good conversation.

Don't go.

But anyway, now that I'm done talking about how IMPORTANT I am - whether I post or don't post, let's get back on topic.

Nathan, I have a very important question for you.


How effective is this in a query letter? I'm asking because I'm going to send you a query letter next week, and I'm trying to expand my options.

Would blackmail give me that edge?

Just wondering.

If it would, I also need you to tell me something so I can blackmail you.

Of course, I could just threaten to post more. That might work.

Ha. ha. Couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So, what if you were represented by an agent at a big-name agency that shall remain nameless. ; ) You and the agent parted ways a couple of years ago. Would it be considered strange/inappropriate to query another agent at that same agency (with a different project, of course)? And should I mention my former agent by name in the query?

Many thanks for your time!

Mira said...

Boy, that post above really made it sound like I think I'm all that.

Well, I do, but I don't need to advertise it.

Nathan, it's your blog, it's your call.

Boy, for someone who wasn't going to talk, I sure talked alot tonight.

Think it's time for bed.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thanks for the information, Nathan. I always thought that if an agent rejected your partial or full manuscript, you'd burned your bridges with that agent and couldn't re-query on that or any other project.

Nathan Bransford said...


Yes, it's okay to re-query the agency, but I would definitely mention that you were previously represented there (and who it was) to avoid awkwardness all around.

Patrick Rodgers said...

I can understand why some might re-query if not entirely condone it. If there is an agent that you are just dieing to work with for any number of reasons and then to have them send a form rejection it may entice you try to get them as your agent later on.

Take for example Nathan for many readers of this blog and aspiring writers he may be someone you just really want as an agent. I think that you can almost feel a connection to Nathan because of the blog. He's not some faceless agent you got out of a book like Writer's Market or from Jeff Herman. There is a connection here and that is hard to resist.

The first agent I will be querying is Nathan for many reasons (I think I am still a month or two away from querying though, editing is kicking my ass). The first being the connection his blog gives me as a writer. Secondly because he takes email queries and answers them so very promptly. If you are going to get a NO might as well get it in 24 hours instead of having to wait 2-3 months.

So if I get a NO, maybe I can hope my winning personality will win him over on this blog and he will be like that is one funny bloke why did I ever tell him no when I re-guery ;)

PurpleClover said...

Patrick -

I think it is only fair to query blogging agents first since they are the ones that have put us in the best position for querying. All their advice has helped me improve by leaps and bounds so I think they should get first dibs. ;)

Good on ya mate! (Sorry I just had to after reading your "bloke" reference! I'm not even sure that was the right

Anonymous said...

What if you send a partial (when publisher requested a complete ms)with questions before finalizing your story and after six to seven months, still no rejection - even after sending two reminders to request status of your project? When is the right time to make the call?

Jo said...

All very useful stuff to know especially re-querying an agent with a different project as that is what I will be doing in a few months.

Anonymous said...

I was the anon @ 12:50 PM

Just wanted to say thanks for answering.

Anonymous said...

Hey this blog is fantastic. I'm currently about to start the process of querying and have a problem/question. Printing copies of manuscripts is pretty pricey and printed mine, then realised there's something I need to add to one part. I've read that it's okay to just print the changed pages, and if the page numbers don't line up anymore, have, for example, page 124a, 124b etc. What's that like from the perspective of a prospective agent? Would it give the impression of a cheapskate/amateur or is that fine? Thanks.

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