If an agent already has rejected a query, is it ever wise to re-guery again, let’s say after two years?
The world can change a lot in that time, and a story that might not have been salable then, might be salable now. I’m thinking specifically of novels about China and things Chinoiserie as China has has been increasingly in the news and public awareness.
If the answer is yes, how would you go about re-querying: change the title, mention any revisions, or just query like it was the first time?
If the second book of the series is also ready, should that be mentioned too?
Once I've said no, that's usually the end of the line.
I don't say no to things cause they aren't topical; in fact I'm always looking for something that I haven't seen before (ie not topical, not in the news.)
If you want to get on my list of people I'm not happy to hear from again, change the title and fail to mention I've already seen this. Chances are, if you are a good writer, I'll remember you. And I'll wonder if you think I'm an idiot. I prefer my clients think I'm terrifying, not stupid.
Even if you don't change the tile, mention I've seen this before and you've done some some revising, I'm still not likely to pounce.
This is why you query the next agents on the list. Agents not on your list two years ago might now be looking for hot new thrillers about China.