Thursday, January 12, 2017

Doing Revisions For Just One Editor/Agent? Necessary?

NOTE - Let me first say that this question deals with those authors who are still in search for that first contract with an editor or an agent.

You have been furiously sending out projects to editors and agents. You have this great story and you are looking forward to getting it published. Out of the blue, one of the editors or agents writes back with revision comments. They are passing on the project, but then follow up with the statement, "...however, if you would be interested in sending us a revised project, we look forward to reading it." Now what?
While this sounds like a great opportunity, I would encourage authors to stop and consider a few things before making those changes. 

Yes, we all want to see those revision comments, but it is important to remember that this business is extremely subjective. What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for another person. This means that those comments and revision notes are designed "just" for that one person. In simple terms, your story as it stands now may work well with those other editors and agents you have not heard from yet. 

It is also important to consider the time that it will take to make those revisions. That time you will be spending to make the changes just for this one person is time that will be taken away from other projects you may have going. This is going to be a gamble and there are no promises. In fact, most of the time, when editors and agents offer the chance to revise the project, there is also a comment that says there are not promises that the project will be accepted, even after the changes. 

But, there is a reverse side to this. If you are certain that story is going to work for that editor or agent, AND you are committed enough to that editor or agent, it may be worth the time and effort. If that editor or agent took the time to come up with the revision notes, then maybe they saw enough in the project and the time will be worth it. 

I think the key thing to consider here is this is a gamble. It is easy to say you are willing to take that gamble, but understand, it is just for one person. Those changes you make in that story may now be something that will never work for those other editors and agents, should this single person pass. 

The short and sweet of this is to stop and think.  

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