Q&A – Can I Re-Pitch to the same Agent?

A writer friend of mine reached out with a tricky question:

“… Since I sent them my query, the story has gone through a lot of changes-including the POV. I changed it to the first person, which I think it really makes the story sound stronger. I also tightened the story up a lot which I think this will improve my query. With all that being said, I wanted your opinion on whether it’s okay to re-pitch the same agents in a couple of months with my new version of the story? I was going to write back to the agent who sent me the letter yesterday and ask if it would be ok if I submit her my changes, but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do and I was just wondering your thoughts? This might be a good topic to cover on your site (Is it ok to re-pitch the same agent?) :)”

 

This is a hard question. Let’s start with the positive. You have accomplished a lot already:

  • You finished a manuscript!
  • You pitched an Agent!!
  • You learned something from the experience!!!
  • You are editing your manuscript based on what you learned!!!!

Fantastic. Those are important steps that every writer must go through. For anyone who has finished a manuscript and actually pitched it, Bravo! It takes real work to build up enough confidence to get to that point. You should be proud of the effort.

When you have come that far and been rejected, it hurts. It hurts more because the higher we climb the further we fall. There is no way around it. Rejection hurts.

Still, you haven’t fallen all the way back to the blank page. You aren’t starting from scratch. In fact you’ve only just stumbled, AND you’ve learned from the experience.

So what about the question at hand? Can I Re-Pitch the same Agent? Here are my thoughts:

1. If you are Re-Pitching the same book, just rewritten, I would advise against it. Even if they were really on the fence and suggested rewrites, I wouldn’t waste my energy re-pitching the same Agent again until you’ve pitched some new Agents.
2. Perhaps there is a different Agent from the same Agency who you want to pitch. You can have at it, but remember the Agents will certainly talk. You may even want to note it in your pitch. Most agencies have a rule that a rejection from one of the agents is a rejection from the whole agency. If that is the case, move on to a different Agent.
3. If you are coming to the table with a totally new project that you think might be a better fit, go for it.  You may wind up talking about the old project as well. I would recommend talk about how you have rewritten it based on their comments. Just remember that they may well remember you from your last pitch and that impression, good or bad will stick with you.
All in all, I wouldn’t bother pitching the same Agent again until I was on to a new project. My suggestion is to move on.
For perspective, there are 2,315 Agents listed on the Publisher’s Marketplace Directory. If you’ve been rejected by one, keep looking there is almost certainly one who is a better fit. Remember, an Agent isn’t just looking for a book, they are looking for a Writer.
Keep writing!

As a reminder I’m just a writer like you. I am not an attorney or agent. If you have had a different experience with this type of situation, please share it. It is all about writers helping writers.  

Thanks for the question! I hope that helps. If anyone has a follow up, feel free to leave it in the comments below or reach out to me via twitter or email.

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