Taking a break from work and school related deadlines to answer another publishing question! Mel asks:
If I sent my manuscript to an agent about a year ago (who requested a full) , but since then have significantly revised it, would you suggest resubmitting it?
Definitely! Just make sure to be up front about it in your query letter and mention it’s the book they’d seen before, only significantly revised, and mention some of the big changes. They may say thanks but no thanks and not want to see the new version, but it’s worth a try. A year is plenty of time for you to have given your manuscript an overhaul and for this to not come across as pushy or annoying.
Now, if this agent in question has had your full sitting around for a year and hasn’t responded at all, then that feels a bit more iffy. That might not be the case here, but I want to address it anyway, for anyone who might be in that situation. Not that you can’t resend your manuscript here (you can, just mention that since they hadn’t responded to the full, maybe they haven’t had a chance to read it yet and would they like to see the new and improved version?), but a year is a long time with no communication. I would do more research on them and find out if this is a typical wait time and how responsive the agent is with their clients.
I say this because I had a bad experience with my first agent. She’d requested a full of one of my manuscripts, by phone, and then never responded. Six months later I contacted her because I had a new book (Renegade X) and asked if she’d like to take a look at it. She apparently had finished the first book I sent her and liked it, but wasn’t sure if she could sell it, and just never got around to telling me any of this. :/ I thought, “Hey, aspiring authors are supposed to be treated like afterthoughts… she’d be way more attentive if I was her client.” Well, I did eventually become her client, but she didn’t become any more attentive. We never spoke on the phone again, and I never stopped feeling like an afterthought, though again I thought, “Once I make a sale, THEN I’ll be worthy of her time.”
Not true! For the record, if you’re a client, you’re always worthy of your agent’s time, whether you’ve had a sale or not.
But anyway, back to the story. This agent only got more aloof as my book gathered up rejections. Eventually she stopped talking to me all together and ignored my request for a status update on who had my manuscript. So I fired her! It was scary, but one of the best decisions of my life, and one that lead to a new, super amazing agent and a book contract.
So that’s my tale of caution on super slow responders. Some agents do have a lot of backlog, and emails can get buried and forgotten about. It happens. But a full is a big deal, and you should get a response, even if it turns out to be a form letter. But if an agent’s M.O. is to show their lack of enthusiasm by never contacting you again, I’d think long and hard about giving them another chance.