Sometimes when I talk to authors, instead of making an offer, I ask for an R&R, or a revise and resubmit. Sometimes I just send them a good amount of feedback and say that if they do revise, I’d love to see it, which is also an R&R.
I know some agents do these a lot, some agents never do them. I do them….very rarely.
So why would i ask for an R&R?
- If I think the genre should be different. This often happens when the book is presented as YA and women’s fiction or as romantic suspense and I see it more as a thriller. In this case, I want to see how to it done.
- If the writing is great, but the voice is off. This can happen when I really, really love something, but the voice is really uneven, without it being plot-related. In this case, it is going to be an edit that will go through several rounds and be a lot of work, so I want to see how the writer edits and if we would work well together.
- If I really see the potential of a project Sometimes, a book just isn’t there yet. There is a major plot issue, the writing isn’t strong enough, characters aren’t well-defined enough,etc. But there are times that happens and I can see what I think needs to be done for it to become great. In those cases, I’ll write a long email with suggestions and let them know if they do a major revision, i’d love to take another look.
I don’t do R&Rs that often because they can be frustrating. Agents put in a lot of time talking to the author or writing up editorial notes, then it goes out to a lot of agents and sometimes the agent who did the R&R doesn’t get the book. On the other hand, sometimes the R&R doesn’t work, but as an agent you can feel really bad having to pass on something you asked for.