When authors tell you that the querying process is a waiting game, they’re not joking.
When I first started querying agents for my book, For the Birds, I was super choosy. I picked my dream agent, sent her the query letter I’d been working on for over a month, and then waited. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to land with an agent I was only slightly enthusiastic about, only to have my dream agent contact me later.
Months later, and no word from that dream agent. When authors tell you that the querying process is a waiting game, they’re not joking.
One author I know sent out twenty-eight query letters in one week. Another author queried for months, and now writes for Disney Press. Another has a contract with the very first agent she queried.
As for me, I have sent six query letters since July, and have received two rejections. I’m still in the baby stages, and will probably send a whole lot more letters (and receive a lot more rejections) before I find the one…if I find one.
And every day, I wonder if this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
Back when I made the decision that this book would be my traditional publishing experiment, I gave myself a six month window. If no one was interested within those six months, I’d pull the trad pub plug and stick with self-publishing. However, I feel like I’m only just now being the best advocate for my book. I’ve realized there are many agents out there who could be my dream agent. I am still poring over every agent’s profile to see if their preferences match up with a book like For the Birds, but my mind is much more open.
Still, there has to be a deadline. So I’m extending my six-month deadline to May. If I can’t find an agent by then, I’m taking that as a message from the Universe that self-publishing is where it’s at. And honestly, that’s not such a terrible thing.
But, as I said, I’m still in the baby stages. And anything can happen in six months!