Monday, October 3, 2016

The Plunge

God help me, but I did it. I started the querying process on my Great Depression novel. I had procrastinated for months, using one excuse after another. That it wasn’t ready, or the subject matter was too taboo, or that the prose was crappy. All of which may still be true, but how will I know that for a fact if I don’t test the waters? I had to start somewhere. Some literary agents give feedback when they reject a project, so one of them may help me without realizing it.

I’ve been in this boat before, so I know the routine. You send off your query letter and- depending on the agent – a proposal and then you have to wait for a response. Sometimes it is a couple of hours, a couple of days, or a couple of weeks to hear back. Others never reply. I think the record for longest wait was about eight months, which by that time I had forgotten that I had even contacted them. Then there are a few agents who have rejected me twice. As if getting one rejection from said agent wasn’t enough, they decided to send that rejection to me again.

I’ve certainly made my share of mistakes in the querying process. I’ve mistaken a man for a woman; misspelled a last name; got the date wrong; forgot to attach the proposal; used the wrong words; misread the guidelines…Been there, done that. I’d like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes, but no one is perfect. Inevitably I will embarrass myself. I’m sure if I am ever land a literary agent, I’ll continue to do silly things. It’s just the way I am. After all, nobody’s perfect.

Well, I’m curious to see what will happen. In the meantime I’ve written a number of short stories that need to be sent off too, and have many others in the works.

Until next time. 

(BTW- Its my 250th post! Whoopee!)

1 comment:

  1. Several things to remember, as you accumulate a stack of canned rejection letters (we can have a bonfire and burn them together; I now have 8).

    Their rejection does not mean your novel is "bad," poorly written, etc. It means:

    a) they aren't sure they can sell / market it right now
    b) the agent is not looking for that right now
    c) there is a glut in the market right now for that era
    d) it's too different from what's already out there

    Publishers are not big on taking chances.

    Agents do not accept what they cannot sell, even if they like it.

    Finally, rejection doesn't have to be the end of the story. If no one wants it, you've run it through editors and such, tightened it, had beta readers tell you what to fix, etc... there are Other Options now, particularly since you'll have to do a ton of marketing with a publishing house anyway. *sigh*