Lets be brutally honest. Have I read all the Writer’s Digest articles and endless guest Editor/Agent blog posts about editing, revising, re-editing, getting beta critiques, editing again, and just for a change, editing once more BEFORE you start sending out your fragile-winged query letters on breaths of hope for Agents to shoot down one by one?
Yes. Yes I have.
Did I follow that sage and undoubtedly accurate advice?
Nope. Sure didn’t.
In my defense, the high of finishing that LAST SENTENCE, of seeing in your mind’s eye the words “The End” followed by a big, fat, period . . . well that high can lead you to do silly things. Such as, to use a random example, sending out several query letters while AT THE SAME TIME frantically editing, revising, and making changes to my first finished manuscript. Sure I edited myself and had one beta reader look it over, but it now seems so incredibly badly written that I wonder why I had the gall to send out any queries at all.
In this, I’m pretty sure I’m following the well trod footpath of aspiring authors everywhere. I will guarantee you that 181 years ago Charles Dickens finished the last sentence of The Pickwick Papers, hollered and danced around a bit (not that I did that, of course) and immediately ran down the street to hand it to a publishing house in London. Without revising it. By now, rushing off to query before you’re 1,000% ready is practically a tradition, and I’m proud to continue it.
In that tradition then let’s start keeping score of query rejections with me, in-between googling creative writing articles and frantically trying to cram all of the new ideas into my manuscript where they, immediately, don’t fit and/or flow naturally. It’s traditional.
The Score so far:
Established Medium Size Agency: No reply. It’s only been 2 weeks, I’m holding onto hope with all my withered author’s heart but I fear it may be a #pass
Established Medium Size: No reply. It’s been almost 12 weeks, I’m assuming this means #pass
New Small Agency: Zero reply and it’s past their stated 4 week response time. #pass
Established Medium Size: No reply. Their stated reply window is 12 weeks and it’s only been 2, so until I’m forced to change it this one will be filed under #softyes #maybe #please?
Established Medium Size: No reply. Their response time is listed as 4 weeks and it’s only been 2 so this one is also a cautious #maybe
Romance Only Publisher: No reply. I sent this one yesterday, so full steam ahead to the #maybe
Big 5 Romance Imprint: No reply. This one went out today, so the bloom of hope I shelter for it has not even had a chance to see sunlight yet. I’m also listing this one as #maybe
See my next blog post for the one agency that replied. Yes! A reply already!