On my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, I said it didn’t bother me that I had sent out a handful of queries in my effort to secure an agent and had received one or two not interesteds.
As of today, I’ve queried 50 agents, received 11 not interesteds, which leaves 39 agents unaccounted for, from whom I may not receive a response because although agencies usually indicate their expected response time, oftentimes they only respond when they’re interested. That leaves this Land of Limbo for agents on my spreadsheet who may have exceeded their indicated response time. Do I delete them from my spreadsheet? Do I give them another week/month before writing them off?
You see, searching for an agent is like looking for a job. The writer’s query letter is like the cover letter to ones resume. The resume is the writer’s manuscript. If the agent likes what they read in the query/if the employer likes what they read in the cover letter, they want to look further.
I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m giving up, I am not. I have at least 100 more queries to send before I even consider doing something different with my manuscript, e.g., self-publish? hybrid publisher? I’m well aware that agents receive 1000s of queries each year from writers just like me who believe they have something to say and have done the best they can to say it. Agents speak of their slush piles from which every once and awhile they discover the next best-selling author. Paula Hawkins is one of those. She is a debut author. Her novel, The Girl on the Train, is Amazon-ranked at #2 as of today’s date and has been optioned for a movie by Dreamworks. Her agent, Lizzie Kremer of the David Higham literary agency, found Ms. Hawkins in her slush pile.
My hope is that some day, I’ll be the writer an agent discovers who brings her/him notoriety, and provides me with the satisfaction of having my book in print or digital for 1000s to read.
I’m not an impatient person, but I am a passionate one. I sincerely want my work in front of those who can be entertained, intrigued, and informed.
And I don’t write for the hell of it. I write because I can’t not write, and although not at all impatient regarding this process, I did appreciate these words of encouragement that I stumbled upon in my non-fiction reading this morning:
It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Now I have to go and send queries to three more agents before I call it a day. Wish me luck … please?
Read the following to learn a bit about my novel: REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO