One thing I was not expecting was that, after sending off a partial and full manuscript, I’d be consumed by intense embarrassment at the idea of these agents reading my work.
I mean, that doesn’t make any sense. If you’re hoping to publish a book one day, of course people are going to read it. And yet.
So I’ve officially started the process, and I can already tell it’s going to be one hell of an emotional roller coaster. I’ve been researching agents and the querying process since the summer and let me tell you right now, anyone who is considering going through the same thing — do your research, good lord, do your research. I can only imagine how this would’ve gone if I hadn’t spent hours pouring over Query Shark or the resources in Absolute Write’s forums.
Actually, it probably wouldn’t have gone too differently from the way it’s been going. I decided to start small and aim for reach goals first — testing the waters, so I wouldn’t be quite as disappointed with rejections. And boy, were those rejections prompt. I sent out my first letters on the first of the month and I had my first rejection by the fourth, soon followed by another on the seventh.
I began to feel dejected. I’d prepared myself for the rejection letters, and honestly, I did not expect this particular project to sell or garner agent interest at all. But even knowing that the chances are slim, that it isn’t necessarily anything personal, and that the agents who’d rejected me were from fantastic agencies, probably saw hundreds if not thousands of queries a week, it still stung a bit. More than a bit! I did get a partial the next day, and went from feeling despairing about the fate of the project to elated in about five seconds flat, accompanied by an inhuman and probably slightly unearthly squeal.
Nothing will probably come of the partial, but honestly? I feel okay with that. I know now that I can come up with a story that at least warrants a second look and I know the process. If this book “isn’t the one,” I can do this again and it won’t be any less disappointing to get the rejections, but I know I have the courage to do it. For someone with a five year long stretch of writers’ block, that feels so damned great.
And if you are planning to query, seriously, I cannot recommend Absolute Write’s forums highly enough, especially Query Letter Hell. The resources, as well as the brutal critique, are so invaluable.