Mention Previous Partial?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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commando8
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Mention Previous Partial?

Post by commando8 » October 27th, 2010, 11:31 am

I received a request for a partial from a particular agency about a year ago. They passed on it (as did everyone else!). Now that I'm ready to start the query process again for that same novel, I'm just wondering what the etiquette is on mentioning a previous partial in your query. Good idea? Bad Idea?

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Truth and Fiction
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by Truth and Fiction » October 27th, 2010, 12:53 pm

So you're querying the same project they already rejected? My understanding was that you only get one shot -- if an agent rejects your query or partial, you shouldn't resubmit that same project later, even if it's heavily revised -- unless, of course, the agent has welcomed a revision.

If you have HEAVILY revised the piece (to the point where it's not recognizable), change the title and do not mention the last rejected partial. Of course, I think you should be querying new agents who haven't seen the project at all. Agents maintain info on who has submitted what, and this agent will be irritated if she discovers she already rejected this manuscript. Don't waste her time.

If you were querying for an entirely new manuscript, I still wouldn't mention a previous rejected partial, unless the rejecting agent encouraged you to send more work or query with your next book.


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maybegenius
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by maybegenius » October 29th, 2010, 12:53 pm

Agreed with Truth and Fiction.
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commando8
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by commando8 » October 29th, 2010, 4:53 pm

So the forum members say no, and the agent says yes! That kind of made me laugh.

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cheekychook
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by cheekychook » October 29th, 2010, 6:17 pm

commando8 wrote:So the forum members say no, and the agent says yes! That kind of made me laugh.
Listen to the agent!
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maybegenius
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by maybegenius » October 31st, 2010, 5:10 pm

LOL. I didn't notice Nathan had agreed XD Listening to the agent would probably be a good idea.
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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by Nathan Bransford » November 3rd, 2010, 6:35 pm

Ha - well, truthfully this is something that agents have varying opinions about. Personally I think it's good to remind the agent that they previously thought enough of your work to ask to see more, and agents know very well that people get better. Other agents I've heard feel like you shouldn't remind an agent that they have already passed on your work.

So ultimately it's up to you, but I personally think it's best to help the agent place you, because your name may be ringing a bell for them anyway, and you'll save them a search through their archives.

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Truth and Fiction
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by Truth and Fiction » November 4th, 2010, 1:29 pm

I think what gave me pause was it sounds like the original poster is querying the same project, to the same agent, again. I thought that was a no-no for most agents, even if the work has been revised, unless the agent asked to see a revision.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Mention Previous Partial?

Post by Nathan Bransford » November 7th, 2010, 12:50 pm

Truth and Fiction wrote:I think what gave me pause was it sounds like the original poster is querying the same project, to the same agent, again. I thought that was a no-no for most agents, even if the work has been revised, unless the agent asked to see a revision.
You're right, it is a no-no with most agents. Ultimately though, there's nothing really stopping someone from trying this route anyway, so if you are going to do that, my feeling is that you should be transparent that they previously considered the partial. When I was agenting I would sometimes consider revised partials even when I didn't specifically ask for a revision in advance, but I always appreciated when they included the past correspondence.

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