What if your query letter is not quite on the mark, and you do not discover the problem until a particular agent you hold in high regard points it out? Would it be a faux pas to re-query with a revised letter? Or have you burned the proverbial bridge and watched the pieces go downriver?
That really is a sinking feeling isn't it?
It's happened to me.
I pitch editors and then think "oh crud, I shoulda said THIS, or that, or probably even THOSE"
But, no do-overs.
(and this is a big however)
There is no such thing as the Query Police.
So, what's the very very worst thing that could happen if you requery?
You MIGHT get a stern email in return that says "you queried me for this on X date and I responded."
Which is code for "get organized, you're not keeping good records."
So, what to do when you query on Monday, and Tuesday you see a blog post like this and then realize you failed to include a plot in your query, or an overarching theme in your memoir, or forgot to mention what the story was about. Basic errors that make me reach for the "sayonara snookums" button on my computer.
|sayonara snookums button|
First, you redraft your query as though your life depended on it.
You make double dog sure that you have plot on the page, or an overarching theme, or are very clear what the story is about.
|Make double dog sure you have your ducks in a row on the new query|
In other words, you aren't rushing, and you're getting beta reads and you're letting it sit overnight, and you're not just in a panic. You're focused. If you don't know the difference, take a breath, calm down and say "this will not be the end of me."
When your query is so much better you have to cringe when you think of the old version, then and ONLY then do you resend it. And you say "I realize I left out the plot/the overarching theme/what the story is about, and this revised query fixes that problem."
This won't help if you're writing a book I don't want to read, or don't think I can sell, but I always take at least another quick look at this kind of query.
Not all agents will, so yes in some cases you are sunk, BUT it's worth the time to revise and requery cause you're going to need that revision for future querying on this book anyway.
It's better to try and not get a nibble than miss a chance.
And if some sneering agent bitches about this on Twitter, tell 'em to suck it up and go sell something instead of complaining about the source of their income.