August 9, 2010

The quest

          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...

14 comments:

  1. I got my fingers crossed for you.

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  2. Thank you for sharing the journey with us. It's interesting.

    And Godspeed in your endeavors.

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  3. Keep at it...it'll happen. Good luck.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. It IS interesting to hear other writers' experiences. I was shopping around a book proposal a few years ago & I also got mostly nice, personal, and complimentary rejections from agents & editors. The main message seemed to be: if you want to publish nonfiction, you need a platform. The bigger & more impressive, the better. So that's what I'm working on!

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  5. @ Muffintopmommy - Don't worry, I won't!

    @ Kelly - Thanks, girl!

    @ Stacey - I always do find it interesting when others share, so I do the same. And thanks for the good wishes.

    @ Jeannie - Thank you!

    @ Mom2Miles - Yep, platform, platform, platform. Only one agent has actually said that was why she rejected me, but I'm sure it has to do with a lot of the others. What's maddening is that I know my book will sell. Every woman who reads excerpts from it wants to know how soon she can buy the book. Who cares if I'm famous? Oh, publishers do! LOL

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  6. Thank you for this post. I hope to be right where you are one day soon. And I love to your book concept. I can really relate.

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  7. Hang in there! Finding the right agent can be time-consuming and heartbreaking, but it definitely pays off in the end.

    Back when I was agent hunting, I used to send out two new queries for every rejection I got. I ended up getting offers of representation from four different agents, so there must have been some method to my madness.

    Super huge good luck to you!

    Tawna

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  8. Keep calm and carry on! It will come.

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  9. Hang in there on the agent quest! I know how it feels. I'm on the hunt myself, but I think I actually have one who will sign me soon.

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  10. @ Angie - Great to connect with you! I'll look forward to following your journey as well!

    @ Mungee's Ma - Thanks, girl! I know you are!

    @ Tawna - It is excellent advice, and I was really good about following it initially. Need to get back at it!

    @ Jennifer - I try to keep a positive attitude. Not always easy.

    @ Miss Kitty - I like that advice! ;)

    @ Kristen - That's awesome! Congratulations!

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  11. Yes, keep going! I had queried about 60 or so agents before I finally found mine. It took a loooooong time, and I admit that I took a three month break in there somewhere. It'll happen for you. :)

    -Mercedes

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I value your input, and appreciate your taking the time to not only read, but also comment on this post! Thank you! Please come back often and keep the discussion going...

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