Agent Hunt,  Query Letter,  Writing Journey

Love Me A Query Letter…

I’m finishing up my editing and it’s time for a new agent hunt to begin. This will be my fifth time going through this. I don’t have an exact count of my lifetime rejections, but it’s around 85 (including agents who didn’t respond). Even if all goes well, I’ll still make it 100. I guess I should track down an official total and throw myself a party when I get to that number.

I thought this would be a good time to reflect on past querying experiences. ^_^

Book 1 – Sudden Fury (circa 2007 & 2008)
Since I only have two form replies, I can’t be for certain, but I think I sent out a whopping 3 queries. I couldn’t have been greener to the process. I sent out one. Got a rejection. Cried. Sent out two more (I think) 8 months later. Got another rejection and two weeks later queried my next project.

It’s fate? Stamped Unfixable: It was entertaining, but in truly horrible shape.

Book 2 – Dark was the Night (circa 2008)
Sent out 7 (I think). I have 7 rejections for that one. Now this is the fun part. Out of 7 rejections, I got 3 forms, 1 “not reading new material at this time,” and 3 REAL rejections. Silly me, I thought this was normal–to get a real rejection. (I actually thought those others were real at first, too. Well, except for the one that said “Dear Author.”) I found out with my next project that it’s not normal at all. I learned a lot this go around. I figured out how to write a synopsis, for one.

What happened after? Decided to move on: It was salvageable, but I didn’t think it was worth it. (Sad, I know, but it has a special place in my heart and if the mood strikes me one day, it’s number one on my list of old stuff to rewrite from scratch.)

Book 3 – From out of the Ashes (circa 2009)
Sent out 27 queries in batches of 5 and 7 and 3 over a 4 week period. Queried the agents who didn’t want a synopsis first because I didn’t want to write one. Lol! Got 25 form rejections…one came a year later. Only 2 no-replies that I know of. I could have forgotten someone, but that number looks right. I remember saying that I would stop at 21. Clearly I didn’t. I got so many rejections so fast, that this was actually the least upset I’ve ever been. Numbness will do that to a person.

Where is it now? Number two on my list of stuff to rewrite. I messed this story up by not trusting my instincts.

Now I know there’s a huge gap between querying here. Part of that was me being sad. I also moved across town so condo hunting took up a lot of my time. The other part was that the story I wrote in 2011 made it to the query letter stage but not the query submission stage. I freaked out over having to rewrite that story and that dragged things out for another year.

Book 4 – Eternal Nightfall/Stone of Darkness (circa 2012)
Um…sent out 50 queries, no preference to whether they wanted a synopsis or not. I had one ready to go before I finished editing. The first query version sent out in August got 20 forms out of 29 with 8 no responses. The second query version sent out in November got 11 forms out of 21 with 10 no responses. I also got one rejection from the Harper Voyager open call for submissions. I had submitted it as YA and it’s more in the NA realm, so I’m okay with that.

The only issue I really have with this story is that it’s part of a series. But that isn’t the problem insomuchas as the way I set it up. Each book has to be read in order or the reader will be lost. Possibly an error on my part. Still, the rejections hurt the most on this story because I was so involved in it and I love the characters so very much. On a side note: part of me was relieved I didn’t have to write the sequel. I didn’t want to. I know it sounds terrible. I’m not trying to diss my talents, but it was really too much for me to deal with all at once. I needed a break from it.

Book 5 – Chains of Destiny (circa 2013)
Originally planned to send out 50 queries, but on my last walk-through I talked myself into 3 more! If I get all forms again I’m quitting…for a month to cry. Actually, I hope that doesn’t happen, the plan is to hit the ground running with my new idea as soon as I press send on that first query. I figure if I keep throwing stories at them, eventually they have to look at one. Just a theory, but I have statistics on my side.

Wish me luck. ^_^

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