My newborn is 3 months! Alhamdulilah. We survived! In January, my toddler turns 2, and in June inshaAllah, my preschooler will turn 5. One day, I will get more sleep, and more time to write. In the meantime, I am sustained by newborn snuggles/head-sniffing, toddler cuddles and preschooler giggles.
Querying update: I wish I could say something amazing like “AAHHH I GOT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION FROM MY DREAM AGENT AND IT ONLY TOOK ONE DAY/WEEK/MONTH!”
Alas, that is not the case for me. I started sending off query letters to literary agents on 11/11/2017 and I’m still waiting for most of them to reply. ‘Tis the season of nerve-wracking waiting…..
…..and more waiting.
As of today, here are my querying stats:
Agents queried: 51
Partial manuscript requests: 1
Full manuscript requests: 2
Full manuscript rejections: 1
Rejections based on query letter and sample pages: 4
Based on that, it looks like my query letter is working, but my first few chapters could do some work. I’ve tightened them up and am ready to send them out into the Vast Unknowable Sea of Agents. As I get more feedback, especially those bittersweet personalised rejection emails, I’ll tweak them some more.
Let it be said: QUERYING IS HARD. It’s hard, opening up my book to rejection. It’s hard, dealing with the self-doubt with every rejection letter. It’s hard, wondering if I should just scrap my whole novel and do a huge edit. And yet, getting multiple rejections is such a normal part of landing a literary agent.
I started writing my book in November 2018 and finished it, tweaked it based on feedback from by beta readers, had it professional edited by @michelesagan, and revised it at least 2-3 times. And I also gave birth in September 2019. I literally gave birth to a my baby boy and a book baby, while caring for two other little humans.
When my inbox checking and fretting gets too much, I tell myself – time to work on my second novel. And then one of my kids wake up/starts fighting with the other one/needs a diaper change etc. lol.
Where are you in your writing and querying journey? What keeps you going?
2 thoughts on “Update from the querying trenches”
I started querying in late 2020. Not sure if that was just bad timing, but I sent over 300 queries for my book before shelving it mid 2021. Not kidding. OVER 300. Each one tweaked, personalized, followed-to-the-letter as per submission guidelines. Not a single request for material. It was soul crushing. From what others have reported, mine was unusually high on the negative side. Starting the query process with my next book now and 10 queries in, zero requests. Really bummed and seriously have a PTSD of sorts.
Querying is truly so incredibly stressful. The industry is so subjective. It’s so hard to keep going, but all it takes is one yes – from the right agent. There’s no bad time to take a breather from this exhausting process. I took mental health breaks in between and focused on improving my query letter and manuscript. Good luck!