Making Changes

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

Sometimes authors are faced with the decision to keep a query letter or project as is or to revise. Most authors feel pretty confident about the direction of a project when the project is sent out. It has gone through revisions and most of the time has received some sort of critique before submission. So how do you evaluate when you should do a revision? Here are a few tips.

Revise your query/project when:

  1. Your query letter isn’t getting any attention. Either your query is written poorly or your project doesn’t have a unique angle or hook. If both your query and idea are strong and unique, you’ll get some requests for proposals.
  2. You are getting proposal requests and your proposal gets detailed feedback from one or more agents/editors. Take what they have to say into account and revise and resubmit. Agents and editors are not going to take the time to give detailed feedback on every project they see. Something about your idea is special if they are taking the time to send revision advice.
  3. Your proposal is requested from your query letter, but then it is rejected over and over again without feedback. This means something in your query letter is sparking interest, but your proposal isn’t presenting it in the way the editors/agents were expecting. Take some time to explore where the disconnect is and revise the proposal accordingly.

Do not revise after a single rejection or even a few rejections. Not every editor/agent is looking for the same thing. Your project might be an excellent fit for one agent and isn’t interesting at all to another. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the right person to champion your project. Be willing to revise, but not too eager to do so.

Have you ever experienced one of the examples in 1,2 or 3? Did you choose to revise? Why or why not?

Is there another scenario that would cause you to revise your project?