Friday, March 18, 2011
What I've Learned About Queries
But here's the thing: sometimes when you get the polite, "Thank you, but it's not the right fit," all they're really saying is, "It's not the right fit."
Now I'm assuming here that you've written a killer query and had it vetted by several people. I'm also assuming that you have written, revised, let it sit, and then rewritten and revised some more. Because if you've only written and revised and you're getting rejections, then by all means, go back and revise again before you send out more queries.
This is for the people who have done that, the people who have done everything in their power to craft the best story they possibly can. I know a LOT of people who are here. I've read their books. I know they're talented writers.
And I'm here to say, truly, sometimes it's not you. It's them.
I don't mean that in an adversarial way. All I'm saying is that there are a whole realm of possibilities out there. The agent you queried may have just signed someone with a similar story. Maybe they're holding out for a particular kind of story that they know a certain editor is looking for. Maybe they think it's a great idea, but not something they want to represent. Or maybe they just weren't feeling it that day.
The point is, this part of the process is out of your control. You can't beat yourself up second guessing the hidden meaning in a rejection. Sometimes it's not you. It's them.
Don't lose hope.
You only need one yes. But you might not get it until after you've heard a hundred nos.
Write the best story you can. Write the best query you can. And above all, keep writing. As long as you believe, one day it will pay off.