I'm about to begin querying my first novel and I was just wondering what an R and R is. I keep hearing the term, and I feel like it's a good thing, but I'm not entirely sure what it means.
Can you help?
Like all industries, publishing has its own lingo and this is an example of it. R and R stands for revise and resubmit and yes, it's a good thing. Not the best thing - that would be an offer of representation - but better than a flat rejection.
An R and R means the agent you queried liked something about your query and pages. Maybe the premise, maybe the voice, maybe the style. They don't feel like the book is ready yet, but are willing to let you have a go at getting it there.
Usually the agent will give you some feedback about what they think needs to be done to get the book to the point they might represent it. How detailed this feedback is can vary.
The best thing to do when you receive an R and R is to think about what the agent is asking before you dive in and start making changes. If the suggestions don't resonate with you or you feel like making those changes will change the book into something that doesn't feel like your book, you don't have to make them. You can always thank the agent for her feedback and decline to go in that direction.
If the feedback does resonate with you, take your time over the revisions. As well as looking for a book they can sell, the agent also wants to know how well you can revise, so don't rush to get it back. Any agent worth her salt knows that revising well takes time and if you fire back a new draft in a week's time, they are unlikely to be impressed.
Hopefully that leaves you feeling better informed. Good luck with your querying!