I have recently completed what I consider the final edit on a story I have been working on for around 6 years.
I have written it. Rewritten it for plot. Revised for characters. Let beta readers sink their teeth into it, gotten their feedback, revised again. Then I sent it to a friend to copyedit and edit (you know who you are). Once she was done with it, I went through and revised again. I then took the story to my writer’s group, had them chop it up even more, and made more revisions to tighten it and punch it up even more. And then I read it through again and made even more revisions, taking out stiff sentences, unneeded words, and confusing descriptions. Thanks to all my beta readers and my “editor” and my critique group for helping me get this as freaking good as it is now. I have read the revised editions to my critique group, and they loved it.
I am ready to send it out for the one agent who can get as excited about this story as I was to write it. (you know how much I love agents. I think they are the best part of this business) I love this story, and the people who have read it so far do too. To be honest, this is probably the most polished work I have ever sent out. Now, to hook an agent.
Query time. BRING IT!
I wrote up a query letter, sent it to my editor to beat up. She did. Then I sent it to a best-selling author I know to beat up too. He did. Then I went back to the editor and we hammered out what I think is a pretty damn good query letter. I also have my one-page synopsis to send out.
So I am ready. I’ve done everything I can to make the work as tight as I can. I have polished it, and the query letter, and am doing the agent search. I got a list of 50 or so agents who rep what I write. I am in the process now of gathering their email addresses, query requirements, and what they’re looking for. I figure I’ll go 10 at a time.
What do I expect?
Well, I expect to receive 90-95% rejection. Simply because that’s the nature of the business. Will the rejections bother me? Honestly, no. Why? For a number of reasons.
- I am working on my next two books.
- I want an agent who loves my story as much as I do. If they don’t, I don’t want them anyway.
- Agents’ tastes are varied and I know this story isn’t for all of them. So there will be rejections.
- It’s part of the busines.
- I don’t need validation.
- I have ideas for about 9 other stories that I need to get written, so this is just one.
So to be honest, I will be too busy to care. I will copy my rejections into my query folder, and keep writing the next one. Will I allow myself some “dream time”? Sure. Maybe 10 minutes or so in the car. Other than that, nose to grindstone.
When I wrote my first book, I sent it out and invested all my mind and heart into that sucker. Boy, that was stupid. After three partials, and two fulls were requested, and then summarily rejected, I was in ruins. Not any more. Write the book, send it out, then start writing the next one and don’t even worry about the first one. If you’re not expecting to get rejected, you’re foolish.
As soon as I click “post” on this, I will be jumping back in. I actually am enjoying it this time. I’ve done all I can, and maybe there’s an agent out there who will see what I see in it. If not…there’s always the next book!