Here’s an analogy sure to brighten the mood of the unpublished: writing a book is kind of like spending a year creating a lottery ticket. Sunny days, people! Sunny days!
Basically, what I’m trying to emphasize in this post is that the odds are against you. Wait. That also sounds depressing. Um…
A week and a half ago I posted the query points system, in which one needs to score 10 points out of a 30 points system (Professionalism/Book Idea/Credentials) in order to get a manuscript requested. But what Conduit pointed out in the comments section is that the whole “resonance with agent” factor is extremely important and that there’s an undefinable X Factor at play in queries.
This is completely true. And I think people need to take it into account when querying and reacting to rejections.
We agents give tons of advice on how to write a query letter, and you authors spend hours and hours crafting the perfect query letter. But because of that resonance factor, which is hugely important… I might just not get your project. It’s not my fault, it’s not your fault, we can’t control it, it’s just part of the process. I think it kind of drives people nuts to think that there’s so much they can’t control when it comes to queries. So I have a recommendation: try not to think about it.
This is the entire driving force behind the idea that one should query widely. You just never know who your idea is going to resonate with. It might be me, it might be someone else. You just never know (don’t forget to query me first though).
But I did want to end this post on a happy note, which is that you shouldn’t take rejections too hard. Like I say in the blog title, it’s not you, it’s the odds. I can’t take on very many people at all, and when I do take someone on I have to both really love their work (so I can be the right advocate) and think I can sell it (so I can have a job). That translates to a mere handful out the 10,000 people who query me a year become clients. Um. Wait. That wasn’t very reassuring.
RAINBOWS AND PUPPIES.
There. That’s better!