If you read my last post, you’d know I, like many, am in the query trenches with my second novel, The Summer Before. I have a publisher, but I am trying to get that elusive agent deal, although my thoughts on this are evolving, like many other writers and authors. I sent out my query to a handful of agents, as most do at first, slowly dipping my feet in the pond to see if I get any bites before having a nuclear meltdown and revising the whole thing, query, and/or first pages if I get a good amount of rejections. They say you should get one request to see your work for every ten queries you send, so ten I sent to a mixture of the top agents I’d love to work with, and others that are new and hungry. You don’t want to send your first round to all of your tops. There needs to be room for revision. I also sent a variation of the query, one with an opening hook, and the other without, as I felt rebellious. It’s nail-biting, to say the least. I’d like to think I have a thicker skin now, with it being the second time around, but at least for me, it’s not. The only thing that is easier is that I am more realistic about the odds of getting picked up, and I’ve learned that I will be okay if I don’t. There are many publishing paths.
…So, I baited my hook, cast my rod, received a few rejections, and then the holy grail… a full request to see my manuscript. SWEET FANCY MOSES, I am thrilled! But as I find it a running theme in my life, there is a catch. This agent is among the few who want an exclusive, “first look.” I hadn’t experienced that in my last run at this, but I’m excited about the opportunity. No other agents have it yet, so why not? But… she wants 7-9 weeks to get back to me. Say what? This is a conundrum. How can I sit on my manuscript masterpiece, the next best thing in the literary world, and my perfectly polished query for this long? For those who don’t know, the publishing industry moves along at a snail’s pace. A book can take years from writing to publication, and I’m not getting any younger over here. What to do, what to do…
… So, I thought about it, pulled the plug, said yes, pressed send, and off it went. I felt like I had just entered a relationship with so much promise and, at the same time, risking it all, knowing there is a real chance of heartbreak because an agent has many suitors. I haven’t felt this way since my twenties, immersed in the dating world.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?