Writers often wonder if, after they’ve revised their manuscript, it’s okay to approach an agent who has their full to let them know there’s a newer, better, version available. Here’s what the BookEnds gang had to say about that during their Twitter chat.
Jessica Faust @BookEndsJessica
Personally, I don’t mind, but those changes better be extensive. It better be a different book.
Kim Lionetti @BookEndsKim
As long as doesn’t happen multiple times, it’s fine. But don’t bother unless they’re substantive changes.
Beth Campbell @Campbele_E
I don’t think it ever hurts. Worst I’ll say is no.
Jessica Alvarez @AgentJessicaA
What Beth said, though I typically would prefer to see a new book first.
Moe Ferrara @inthesestones
I’d only do it once. Coming back multiple times tells me your book wasn’t ready!
These answers are similar to what I’ve heard before. Basically, don’t query until you’re sure (or as sure as you can be) your manuscript is ready. If you suddenly realize you have a major flaw in the work and revise SUBSTANTIALLY, it’s okay to approach an agent to let her know. Some agents will accept the new version, but some will reject because they felt you weren’t ready and wasted their time. It’s a risk either way, right? If you don’t sub the new version, they might reject because of the flaws you have now fixed in the new copy. So, my suggestion is to only contact the agent with a revised version if it’s a major revision or if, like Jessica Faust said, it’s like a new book. Many agents are editorial, and if they like the voice and the story—in other words, if they believe in this project—they’ll help you fix whatever isn’t working. BUT, don’t take that to mean it’s okay to send them something that isn’t ready because they’ll help you fix it. Nope. It doesn’t work that way. The manuscript still has to be pretty close to ready for publication.
What are you waiting for? Get to work!
Have you ever contacted an agent with a revised version? What was the outcome?
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