Thursday, August 14, 2014
We keep records, by Terry Burns
Every so often an author sends a project over again even though I have rejected it, hoping to sneak it by. I just respond by telling them when I wrote back passing on it.
Because I keep records.
Most agents and editors keep records. They know when something was submitted, what it was, the size and genre, and they know what disposition was made of it.
That doesn't mean a project will not get a second look, but that will likely NOT happen if an author just re-submits as if it were the first time.
I will never submit a project to an editor a second time without asking permission to do so. And if I do ask permission to do so there has to be a reason that I'm asking. Perhaps the work has been heavily edited and worked on and is much different. That's probably the best reason.
Or perhaps the author has reason to believe that the agent or editor's situation has changed. "Two years ago you passed on my mystery entitled XXXXXXXX because you already had too many similar projects on your plate. I have done significant work on it since then and I am writing to see if your situation has changed and if you might give it a second look."
The market might have changed. "Earlier you passed on my project because the market was just not buying this type of book. I notice comparable titles THIS BOOK and THAT BOOK have published and I have reason to believe the market has changed. May I send you a proposal to give the project a second look?"
In each case, a query or a proposal is not sent, but merely a short note asking for permission to do so. Failing to do so is likely to make the agent or editor think you are just trying to slip something by and in all probability will just get a response that we have already handled it.
Because we keep records.