So, I’ve decided to jump back into the query game.
I took a very long break to gather my emotions and reconsider my manuscript. I also took the time to work on several new projects. I love the new novel I’m writing and I’m in a wonderful position where I don’t have to worry whether anyone else does.
Not so when it comes to my novel Spared. It turns out that as soon as you decide to seek publication, you will be in a constant state of worry as to whether or not someone will love your work, whether you’re looking for an agent, a publisher, or your book has hit the shelf. Which, I’ve learned, can be very stressful to your mental health.
I debated for a while whether to post about my query process. It seems like a very big secret I shouldn’t share. Several people who are much smarter and well-respected than I am have said it’s not wise to share the terrible secrets of the long journey of rejection, since it can deter agents from wanting to represent you. I cowered in fear, believing that if I revealed that I had indeed been rejected by an agent, I would never be able to find an agent. But, let’s be serious… Is there any one of you out there who believes I have never once been rejected? Come on.
So, I’ll just say it: I’ve been rejected.
Shocking, I know. (And because I have my pride and I’m still petrified to admit that, I’ll follow it by saying: BUT! BUT! I’ve also received requests and opportunities to resubmit. So, it’s not all one big terrible losing fest.)
Phew, now, that’s out of the way, I can tell you that I queried a small number of agents last May and took the entire summer to edit my manuscript based on that feedback. Then, I queried a small number of agents in September and took another month to make small edits (flesh out a B storyline that had fallen flat and revised the beginning to create a stronger hook.) I put the book aside and have not queried since then. To be honest, I was impatient, tired, and scared s***less to jump back in.
Not to mention that my manuscript is still out with agents who requested it during both of those rounds. Yes, my friends, that means people have had it since frickin’ May. And that is why I no longer refer to that month in 2010 as May. It’s known as frickin’ May.
The process so far has been long because I query a small number of agents at a time. And I query a small number of agents at a time because worrying about whether or not someone loves my work is exhausting.
As it turns out, my process so far has been excruciatingly slow and is really just stringing along the emotional exhaustion over a longer period of time. So, I’m jumping back in the game with a little less trepidation than in the past. You probably don’t particularly care, but I thought I should tell you.
So, how do you decide when to submit and when to hold back? Do you cast a wide net and see what bites? Or, are you like me? A scared little snail? This here’s a place where you can share them fears, so let ’em loose friends…