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Writer Asks: Should I re-submit my manuscript?

Leonicka Valcius: Writer Asks: Should I re-submit my manuscript?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Writer Asks: Should I re-submit my manuscript?

I recently submit my manuscript to you but have since edited it. Is it okay to send the updated version for consideration instead?

I would want to know why there have been changes in such a short amount of time. Are they small changes (like a spelling variant)?  If so, they are unlikely to sway the reader one way or another—no need to re-send the manuscript. If changes are major, I’ll begin to think the manuscript wasn’t ready when you queried the agency. Does that mean it’s also not ready for the agency to sell?

I am of the opinion that a novelist should not seek representation until the book is done.  By done I mean thoroughly edited, completely polished, and in the best shape you think you can make it. Of course you might get feedback from agents and editors that will make you want to revise and that’s great. But don’t start the submission process until you are confident you are submitting your best work. After all you wouldn’t want the agent or editor to pass on the manuscript based on something you were planning to fix anyway.

So, to answer the question, I’d say no. You have no idea how far into the agency’s process your manuscript is, or what they currently think of it—they might give you feedback that will help you revise. Bide your time, make all the revisions you need to make, then (if the agency policy allows it) re-submit the new manuscript.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if a writer re-submits. Does that look bad?
Some writers are part of an online community of people who read and critique their work. There are times when a writer has already submitted their manuscript to an agent, but then get feedback weeks after having sent in their MS to that online community. After getting feedback, they realize their revised work is much better.

Regardless, is re-submitting almost damnation?

June 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long does it take an agent to read an MS they requested, especially if it was a full MS request?
How long do you take?

June 2, 2012 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Leonicka said...

It definitely depends on the agent, but if they accepted the revised version (or their submission guidelines say they allow them) then you can assume they won't hold it against you.

Good luck!

June 2, 2012 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Leonicka said...

It can take a while and depends on many factors. Keep in mind that an agent's clients take precedence over manuscript submissions. So if there is a particularly busy week for the clients all reading goes on the backburner. Most agents list their response time (usually 4 - 6 weeks) so check their guidelines. The oldest MS on my to-read list right now was submitted 5 weeks ago.

Hope that helps!

June 2, 2012 at 8:33 PM  

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