• Gina Denny

Requerying

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

If you have agent friends, or agency experience, or publishing experience, I’d love to hear your responses to this. I’m thoroughly confused, and I genuinely want answers.



When is it okay to requery?


Wait.


I want to be very clear up front: I would never requery an agent or editor unless I had significantly rewritten the manuscript, including the query and the synopsis, and let a significant amount of time pass. Six months, bare minimum. Probably more like a year. (I have not been querying long enough, nor have I racked up enough rejections for me to feel like this is an issue yet)


Now that I’ve cleared that up…


When is it okay to requery?


Lots of agents have interns or assistants who read their slush, and I would guess in these cases they don’t read… I dunno… seventy? eighty? percent of what comes through their inboxes. Those interns and assistants probably turn over at a very fast rate, as most entry-level positions tend to do. So, in all likelihood, the intern who sent me a form rejection without even passing it on to the agent last year probably doesn’t even work there anymore.


Trends change. Markets change. What felt old or stale last year, might be making a resurgence now. What felt weird and alien last year might feel just quirky enough to work today.


What about all the authors who queried for years with the same manuscript? Or who racked up hundreds of rejections on the same manuscript? Surely they requeried at least some of the people on their list?


When does it stop being “perseverance” and become “super annoying”? Or is a very tenacious author who keeps rewriting just actually a really annoying person?


One agent (who I have a lot of respect for, and I am not trying to insult her style or her methods) said that she is absolutely not a fan of the requery. At all. And she remembered someone who queried her (and got a form rejection, by the sounds of it) six years ago.  Six. Years.


Granted, I would have written about six more novels in that time, and I probably would have been querying one of those instead.


However.


Lots of people say they go back and rewrite their trunk novels. Is it impossible to requery those… ever???  And, truth be told, there are times I can’t even remember the substance of a book I read six years ago, much less the content of the back cover blurb. How do agents remember that long?


And if they do, is it really in my best interest to be all, “Hey you rejected this once, wanna have another gander?” Or is mentioning a significant rewrite sufficient? What if they don’t remember me, am I only making it worse by mentioning that I queried before?

I’m genuinely confused by this. Please help.


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