When I’m writing a story, my only concern is the story. How do I show the action, what emotions are my characters feeling, and is there enough description to stir the imagination in my audience? Querying is another animal entirely.
Writing a query letter involves condensing the most important aspects of my novel into an easy to follow format that compels an agent to ask for more. It is not an easy task. I’ve been querying now for a few months, not every day, or even every week, but steadily enough to know I need to learn more.
I’ve taken classes, signed up for query support groups, read ebooks, and tried to put all that advice into practice. I did my homework, sent out my new and improved high quality query to agents looking for books like mine. Crickets. No reply IS a reply, and I’ve moved on through my list. Rejection hurts a bit, but I’m made of stronger stuff, so I carry on.
No answer at all is the worst. I can handle any variation of, “not being a good fit.” What drives me bonkers is not hearing anything. Publishing is a business, with a lot of moving parts. Agents are busy people, and I understand why most can’t afford the luxury of replying to every author who sends them a query. It doesn’t make it any easier, especially after I’ve invested enough time that I’m sure this is someone I could work with.
Most authors go through this process, some take longer than others to find an agent. I have no doubt that my manuscript will land on the right agent’s desk. My querying process is painful for me, and I avoid pain, so it’s taking me longer than I’d like. But I chose this path, and I’ll keep at it until I succeed. Peace be the journey.