Well, I was about to write this with a hopeful tone, but then I received an official manuscript rejection, leaving me with exactly zero potential leads at the moment.
It’s my fault – sure, the baby has been a massive timesink, but I should have been throwing out more queries this fall. So, with all my queries either dead or stale… it’s time to reassess the situation.
Number of Agents Identified: 25*
That’s the work I’ve managed to do this fall. Twenty-five names of agents that I feel could be interested in reading my manuscript. Figure on maybe another ten that didn’t make the list because I don’t query multiple agents at the same agency at the same time (hence the asterisk.)
Number of Queries sent: 14
Well, six queries in what, three months? As usual, blame the baby.
Number of Rejections/Stale Queries: 14
As specified, by now all the unanswered queries can be considered rejections. One caveat: I’ll go through my list of stale queries and see if there are any that come with a guaranteed reply. Those will warrant a second try.
It’s probably worth mentioning that I received another personalized, “this-is-great-you’re-obviously-talented-but-it’s-not-for-me” reply, in addition to the positive side of the feedback from the manuscript rejection. Those are nice to get, but we’re looking for success here!
Number of Requests for the Manuscript: 2 – Both ultimately rejected
Also, while the feedback I got with the first rejection a year ago led me to do a revision that ended up making the book better… I’m not sure I can do anything with the feedback from rejection no. 2. Don’t get me wrong: it’s certainly something I will consider for my future writings, but applying it to Book the First would entail a full sentence-by-sentence rewrite. And I’m not sure I want to do that.
Hard Truth time: between all the queries I’ve sent, and the feedback I’ve received… I think getting an agent for Book the First is starting to look like a forlorn hope.
Sure, I can probably keep identifying new agents and sending queries forever, but at this point I need to start looking forward. And that means beginning to consider that traditional publishing is just not going to work for my first novel.
I’m not out of the race yet. I’ll take the time to prepare fifteen really good, personalized queries over the next month, then ship them out before the end of January. But if those don’t work, I’ll turn Book the First into an e-book and move on from there.