It's no secret I am on a quest to have my book published. Heck, it's part of my blog's subtitle. As a writer, I always enjoy reading about the publishing journeys of others. And I receive many positive responses when I write about my own. So, I thought it was time to share an update.
I've only been looking for a literary agent since April. That's not really a long time; it just feels like it. In my initial round I sent out 15 queries. I received nine rejections. On a positive note (because I always look for the positive in everything, that's just my nature), only a few of them were form letters. The majority were personal and very complimentary of my work.
Agents referred to my book as "compelling, interesting, intriguing, thoughtful and worthy." One said there was "much to admire in your project." But in the end, they all said it was not the right fit for them. And it did take the sting out, just a little bit.
Five agents did not respond to my query. Their policies clearly state they only respond when they are interested, so I count those five as rejections. I did not follow up with them. I suppose there is a chance they did not receive my query, but given the fact that they have stated their policy upfront, I don't really think they would appreciate hearing from me again.
One agent asked to review the full book proposal (I write nonfiction, in case you were not aware). I happily sent it off. Once her publicly-stated normal response time had passed (8 weeks), I followed up. At which point she told me she is "on the fence." I asked if there was any further information I could provide to assist her in making her decision. She said, "Thanks, but no." That was a few weeks ago, and there has been nothing further.
A number of people have told me I should view her response as positive. I really don't. To be honest, I expect her ultimate response will be no. I could be wrong. I would be pleasantly surprised if she were to make an offer of representation. I'd be open to working with her. But I'm not exactly sitting here holding my breath waiting for it to happen. And, I would hope to find an agent who is as passionate about my book as I am. I think it works best that way.
I sent out 15 new queries two weeks ago. So far, I have received four rejections. Once again, all very nice, personal and complimentary. Which is starting to not feel so good after all. One agent has referred me to another in her agency. She felt it was a better fit for the other agent. I'm told that is a very positive thing, too. And of course I have followed up on the referral.
The journey to publication is often long and always arduous. It is not for the faint of heart. Many times, I wonder why I have volunteered for this torment. But I am committed, and I am not backing down. There is still a lot more news to come. And I'm hoping some of it will be good...