Traditional Publishing — Revise and Resubmit

Most agent calls are offers of representation. A few, however, are what are called R&Rs, or “revise and resubmit.”

What is a Revise and Resubmit?

An R&R happens when an agent thinks they might make an offer if you made some changes to the manuscript. Usually this call (or email) discusses the manuscript, the proposed changes, and why the agent thinks the changes are necessary.

This type of email is a good thing. It means you’re getting close! Your manuscript just needs a little more work before the agent wants to commit.

What should you do?

  • Take a couple of days to think about the changes before you decide whether to revise. You may want to stick with the manuscript you have and continue querying other agents. If you think the agent’s suggestions are valid, you may want to put your querying on hold and revise the manuscript.
  • Take your time making the changes. You don’t have to have the changes back in a few days or a week or even two weeks. In fact, if you rush, the agent is likely to believe you didn’t put much thought or effort into the changes and reject.
  • When you resubmit, reply to the original email chain, but update the subject line.

And then the agent will offer representation?

A revise and resubmit does NOT guarantee the agent will take you on as a client. In fact, you may get an email asking for MORE changes! As frustrating as this is, realize that this sort of industry-insider feedback makes your manuscript better and more likely to sell even if this agent isn’t the one to do the selling.

If the agent doesn’t offer representation, keep querying! Although the agent is putting time into developing your manuscript, by not offering representation he is taking a risk that his efforts will pay off for a different agent.

revise and resubmit

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