The Successful Failure — My Oxymoronic Publishing Journey — Part 3
After my first rejection, I admit to spending a couple of days licking the wounds, and trying to convince myself I wasn’t a total foolish failure. Then I decided to get back to work.
I first secured the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents. This was supposed to be the bible for finding a literary agent. I studied as much as I could study about writing a good query letter, and how to go about finding the perfect agent for representation.
Over the next six months, I studied the Guide, and sent out ninety-six query letters. Mind you, these weren’t just generic letters. I had studied the list of literary agencies, pulled up the website for each, studied the bio’s of all the agents in each agency, and then picked the one I thought would most likely be interested in my novel.
For those queries sent, here are my stats:
- Received 3 positive comments (One liked the writing, but said it wasn’t right for their list, one gave me positive feedback but said it wasn’t salable).
- Received 52 rejections (although instead of typing “rejection” on my spreadsheet, I preferred to use the euphemistic term “not interested.” It was easier on the soul).
- I got no response from the rest (except for the sprinkling of emails that bounced back because of bad addresses).
Six months of heartbreak.
Here is what I learned:
- Don’t assume getting an agent is a slam-dunk. Believe me — it’s not. There are many variables involved in the process. (And I know they say it’s not personal, but it is to us.)
- Toughen up that body armor. You will most likely need it.
- Don’t quit.
More to come….
Originally published at klromo.com on May 17, 2017.