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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now It Gets Real

Most of you probably don't know this, but two weeks ago I mailed my first query letter to a prospective agent, regarding representation for The Serenity Solution. This came after a month of getting my manuscript as ready for submission as I possibly could, and another 2-3 weeks of searching for agents who I thought would be a good fit for representing the novel.

Yesterday, I got the response back from the agent. It was a form rejection. Basically, "Thanks for your query, but your project doesn't interest us at this time. Good luck in the future." On the surface, it seems like it would be pretty depressing, but I'm choosing to look at the positive aspects of it.

First, by daring to send a query, I put myself ahead of the vast majority of writers out there. I got over the fear of rejection and I let someone else see what I can do. This is one of the first steps in the transformation from "writer" to "author." I'll never sell a book if I don't let anyone see it.

Second, it's keeping me grounded in reality. Sure, it would be great if I got an agent for my first book thanks to my first query letter. But then that could give me unrealistic expectations for the long road to publication ahead.

Finally, it's helping me to learn more. Not necessarily about what I did wrong, if I did anything wrong to begin with (a single form rejection by itself usually doesn't give you much information to go off of), but it is forcing me to explore other options. Mainly, I wrote a second query letter, changing up my approach to better fit the new agency that I'm querying. The more I do this, the easier it will hopefully be in the future.

People have told me they're sorry I got a rejection letter. As much as I appreciate their sympathy, I'm not sorry I got one. Every author has gotten at least one. Most have gotten many, many more. I look at it as part of building my experience. Plus, if I ever need to start a fire and I run out of kindling, the paper will be handy...

Today, I queried another agency, this time by email. Hopefully, I won't have to wait two weeks to get a response back, but we'll see. Of course, I'll keep updating this blog on the process, whether I move forward or have to go back to square one.


  1. You should keep it to frame and hang on your wall when you do get the book published. Besides, aren't you supposed to be putting out fires, not starting them?

  2. I am considering submitting a short story of mine to a publishing company but I am not sure. It is completed, but already uploaded on Fiction Press. This can be easily fixed but I've also commissioned pictures and a mini comic so...I'm debating on writing something else original and having that submitted instead (although I really like that short. Oh well.

  3. Well, I'm sure there are ways to do it. Certainly the whole rights negotiating process would be more complicated. At that point, you might want to consider consulting a literary attorney (an attorney that knows the publishing business). But I bet you could still do it.