Attempting to get published in the traditional novel world is…*clawed hands of mutant frustration*…it seems frelling impossible. You work hard on your book. You find a critique group that helps you polish it. You write that horrific, dreaded, sounds-like-a-dried-up-recipe synopsis and try, try, try to perfect your pitch. You’ve got six different plot pitches to the same book that are all basically the same but completely different. And you’ve got the one pitch to sell you that just freakin’ sucks no matter how you spin it. But! It’s the best it’s going to get.
You’re quivering in your boots, or slippers, flip-flops…whatever you’re wearing. You’re feeling the fear.
And then…*cue music*…it’s time to send this puppy off!
If you’re one of the few, the proud and the slightly insane, you’ve done some research and you know that most agents like to feel special when you query them. They want to know that you’re not just sending out spam and regurgitating your query to them and dozens of others.
So you take the time. You research each one of them with great care and detail. Some of these agents have huge blogs to sift through and you do so that you don’t inadvertently make that one mistake that just instantly sets them off and dumps your query in the reject pile.
It takes about an hour, at least, for me to research each and every agent I query so that I can get those two little sentences that tell the agent that I’m serious. I’m here to stay. This is the career I’ve always wanted.
This. Is. What. I. Want. To. Do.
*clenched teeth* Dang it!
And then two days later. *sags in dejection* The rejections start flooding in. “Thank you for your query. We’re afraid your project does not seem right for our list, but thank you for thinking of us, and best of luck in your search for representation.” Or my absolute favorite.
Short, sweet and to the point. “Not for me. Thanks.” I loved that one.
Then you start thinking, OMG! There’s something wrong with my pitch. They hate me! They hate the book. The book’s not “hot”. Well, you already knew that. It’s different. Oh, no! It’s too different. *pulling out hair* Holy crap, Batman! Why’d you ever decide that you were good enough to enter into this frelling business?
*screams up to the heavens*
*beaming smile* Sound familiar? This is where I’m at right now…so…pep talk time.
Researching the agency you’re going to submit to is crucial. I don’t care if it takes 15 minutes or an hour. Do it. Don’t whine about it. Just do it! Repeat after me.
“This is a character building experience.” *nods* Apply. Rinse. Repeat as often as is needed.
Researching the person you’re going to submit to is also important. However, if you didn’t do a great deal of research, don’t pretend that you did. Just give him enough to know that you at least did the 15 minute Google Challenge on him. The idea here is that you’re not just selling your book or yourself. You have to do your research to ensure you’re not wasting either your time or his.
And…*deep shrug*…after about 25 rejections, take a good hard look at your book, your pitch, your synopsis and see if maybe you got something a little off.
1. How does your book fit into the market? Don’t think that the agent is going to make that happen for you. Uh, no.
2. Is your pitch bland? Does it have a strong coherent thought or is it all over the flippin’ place?
3. Does your synopsis have more than four characters introduced? *whispers* K.I.S.S. Trust me. It works!
However, until you get there. Don’t wig out. It could be that the agents you’re querying are already buried or have several projects that are similar to yours that they’re trying to sell and it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
Rejection happens to us all. Expect it. Put yourself out there and demand it! If you’re not being rejected, you’re not doing something right.
*stands with hands on hips and looks at self* So quit whining, Frankie, and get back out there!