I queried a project that resulted in several requests for my full manuscript. Ultimately, the requesting agents passed, but several were generous in the rejection--they detailed their reasons, complimented my writing, and ended with an invitation to submit future projects if I didn't find representation through the current manuscript. I did not. Now, I have a new project and would like to query these same agents.
Barbara Poelle fielded a similar question in her recent Writers Digest column. She outline what the author should include in the body of the query, but didn't address the subject line. Is there etiquette for this? Or does it remain a standard Query: Project Name, Author Name?
One of the agents I want to revisit is currently closed to submissions, so I suspect any query sent to her would merely be deleted unless there is some clue in the subject line that she has asked to see subsequent work.
Or am I merely a poor deluded soul who didn't recognize a polite boilerplate statement to ease a rejection?
no no no, you are not deluded, you will have to try harder to be clueless, sorry.
If an agent asks to see the next work, that's something you want to keep track of.
Your question about the subject line is timely as well, given how many agents now read queries on their phones.
Here's how you do that:
Re: Query for TITLE (the next project from) AUTHOR
The FIRST line of your query is:
On DATE you were kind enough to say you'd like to see future work. This is the query for my next novel.
Then you begin your query as you normally.
Standard querying calls for starting the query with all the housekeeping stuff at the bottom, but this is the exception to that. Let the agent know right away that she's seen and liked your work.
I can track all my email conversations with queriers going back years so when I get a query like this, I look up the previous project and re-read my notes. There's a LOT more leeway for someone querying a project if I've already seen and liked previous work. Leeway means I'm much more likely to read something including all the pages even if I don't think it's a good fit.