Publishing-Traditional

The Search for a Literary Agent

When I first started writing the query letter, I thought my brain would explode. How does one take a 100,000 word novel and chop it down to 250 words, not tell the ending, and tease the agent enough to make them request samples or the entire manuscript? Daunting–yes. Frustrating. Yes. Impossible. No. I started thinking about my favorite books and their dust jackets. How did the summary of those books capture my attention?

So I modeled my query letter after books in my genre and sent my queries out. I told myself not to expect too much. To not get my hopes up. Of the first twenty-five, all of the literary agents sent rejections. I sent out twenty-five more. All rejected. I decided that there must be something wrong with my query letter, so I made updates. I sent out more. Got more rejections. Updated my query letter again and again. And by the sixth update, agents began to bite.

My stats so far:
Total Queries Sent: 143
Total Rejections to Date: 135
Waiting on Responses: 8
Requests for a partial manuscript: 0
Requests for a full manuscript: 0

(Sigh) No luck so far with agents that had the full manuscript. Very generous and helpful comments, though. They liked my character–just didn’t love her. Oh well, (shrug) I’ll find one eventually.

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