Lets say you have sent out a certain number of queries and you're getting a rate of rejection that seems to beg a rewrite (even if its just of the first chapter). Not all agents whom you've queried have responded.
Is it acceptable to send follow up emails to the remaining queries telling those agents that you would like to withdraw your query before they've reviewed it? (1)
Would that be looked upon in a negative light? (2)
Would it make querying those agents again harder? (3)
I always want to see your best work. I'd rather you withdraw something if you've had a blinding realization that this isn't the best you can do.
This happens more than you think, and often with requested fulls. I actually have a file folder to store requested fulls that have been withdrawn pending revision and it's almost never empty.
And frankly, this is one of those things I'd rather help you avoid, instead of figuring out how to do correctly.
So, how do you figure out if your work is ready to be queried?
1. Did you let the book sit for at least a month, then go back and read with fresh eyes?
a. no--you're not ready. Do this, then go to 2.
b. yes, go to 2.
2. Have you read the book out loud to yourself?
a. no-you're not ready. Do this, then go to 3.
b. yes, go to 3.
3. Have you looked at each sentence in the book to make sure it is the leanest, most elegant sentence you can write?
a. no-you're not ready. Do this, then go to 4.
b. yes, go to 4
4. Have you asked beta readers, or critique partners to read the book?
a. no-you're not ready. Do this, then go to 5.
b. yes, go to 5.
5. Are the beta readers and/or critique partners enthusiastic about this project?
a. no-you're not ready. Time for a class or an evaluation from an agent at a conference.
b. yes, you're ready.
If you jump the gun, it won't kill you, but honestly you don't need extra rejections in your life. Making sure your work is really ready for the beady eyes of a mercenary agent isn't something you want to rush. And it's really not something you want to think "oh, it's good enough, let's just see what they say."