Still, it stings.
I would love to find out what it is about my query and book that are not appealing to agents. I've had nothing but great responses by beta-readers. I've had an aquisitions editor tell me my first chapter was really good, but her (large!) publishing house doesn't put out YA fantasy. But since rejections come as form letters, or "if you have not heard from us in x number of weeks, assume we are not interested," I have no idea what the problem is.
My research has shown that:
- agents and editors look strictly at your writing, regardless of publishing history and platform
- agents and editors look at your publishing history and platform, so even great writing gets passed over because the author hasn't invested in marketing themselves ahead of time
- agents and editors are always on the lookout for new talent
- agents and editors have fully-stocked schedules and no room for new clients (according to their form rejections, that is)
- conferences are the only way to get the attention of an agent or editor
- conferences only marginally increase your chances and are more for honing your skills
Confused as I am?
Add to this the fact that everything hinges on my query letter. A one-page letter that is supposed to sum up my book, me, my publishing history, my marketing plan, my target audience...and in such a way that an agent or editor says, "Wow! I must read this author's manuscript!"
I know I'm not the only one having these issues. I have writer friends who are completely losing it over writing their queries, too. There are gobs of online articles devoted to queries, chapters of writing books, classes at conferences...so obviously it is an issue.
Where am I going with this? Nowhere, really. Just venting.
So, I'll focus on the positive--it's finally raining!