So it's no secret that when I first started querying my current project, it wasn't going well. Agents who I thought were a shoe-in for requests kept shutting me down with form rejections, and the first time I entered my query/first 250 in a contest, my entry got completely ignored.
When my first ten or fifteen queries didn't result in any requests, I had a sinking feeling that I needed to revise my letter, and stat.
At the same time, I realized my first 250 could probably use a little work, too. So I did an experiment and chopped a good 4 pages off my opening before entering Brenda Drake's Pitch Madness contest - and was floored when 5 different agents bid on my entry, including 2 who had already rejected my query.
So I got to thinking - what if I were to re-query some of the agents who'd previously passed, but using my revised letter and my new opening?
I know agents are divided on this topic. Some say they welcome a re-query as long as you've made significant improvements.
Others say that revisions don't matter - that if they rejected once, they'll probably reject again, and that the onus is on the author to get it right the first time.
Well, I chose to ingore that second group of people. I'm a little stubborn, and I refused to believe that agents remember every single query they reject. I was positive that my letter and/or my opening had been the problem in the first go-round, and with my spit-polished versions, I could reclaim any chances they'd cost me.
So, a few months after my initial wave of rejections, I re-queried about six or seven of the agents who'd passed. I didn't tell them it was a re-query, I just sent the letter as if it were the first time.
Now just as a disclaimer, I did not land my agent through a re-query.
But out of those six or seven agents, three who'd previously rejected came back with a request for material. One of them I had to decline, because it arrived about 4 hours after I'd accepted my offer of rep.
Honestly, what I'm trying to say here is never deny yourself a second chance. The general consensus may be that re-queries are a no-no, but I believe agents will take notice of a query that shines rather than hold a grudge against - or even remember - its dull predecesor.
What about you, peeps? What are your experiences/thoughts on re-querying agents who initially passed?