Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Coming Off the Query High

Go to fullsize imageAfter Monday's post, and all the wonderful encouragement I received, I was pumped about querying.

Now, I've crashed from my query high. Hard.

I'd forgotten one of my CP's had offered to let her crit group have a go at my query, and I'd said yes. And while they agreed my premise intrigued them and the novel sounded like something they'd like to read, the query itself was torn up, down and sideways (in a very constructive, unoffensive manner, just as an aside).

I panicked instantly, now terrifed that I'd sent out a subpar query this weekend.  Add to that the fact that I received my first rejection within 24 hours of hitting send, and you can see why I'm back in Query Hell.

The rejection was brief, stating that while the agent was happy for my support of her clients (I'd mentioned admiring the work of one in particular), she is only taking "few new clients" and must pass.

Is that really supposed to make me feel better?  "Few" new clients is not "no" new clients. So she's obviously taking on SOME new projects, just not mine. Another nice way of saying, "It's not me, it's you."

Add to that the absolute craziness that is my job right now, my ongoing failure to have a child, and the fact that the day simply isn't long enough to do everything I need to do, and what you get is me apologizing for not having a very uplifting blog post for y'all today.

Guess I needed to vent.  Sorry, all.

But yes, I do plan to muster up the energy from somewhere to make more tweaks to my query. And no, I'm not giving up. Yet.

You tell me, though - how do I know if it really IS me, and not them?


  1. You've already mustered the energy to make the tweaks, you just don't realize it yet. The fact that you're saying it illustrates that.

    BUT I've read that a lot of agents will keep reading through a so-so query letter to get to the sample pages, and your writing is where LBD brings the awesome. No slightly-less-than-fabulous query won't ruin that.

    Still, when it rains it pours, and that sucks. Wish I could buy you a drink right about now. ((HUGS))

  2. Leigh Ann's right. Some agents don't even read the query. They go straight for the sample pages. If that it good, then they'll check out the query.

    Thanks for reminding me why I'm stalling on entering query hell. ;)

  3. I agree with Leigh that it's the sample pages that matter. When I first started querying (for another project, several years ago), I had agents compliment my query letter but refuse on the basis of my sample pages. (20 rejections...HAHAHAH <--I can laugh it off now, since it's been 3 years and in retrospect, that project really WAS horrible.)

    But really, a lot of agents just have really high standards. I've been researching for quite a bit now and lots of them say they only take up a client if they REALLY, REALLY love a project and would totally regret it if they didn't represent it. And in cases like that, it's more of a personal taste thing than anything.

    Good luck with the rest of your querying. But hey, at least you only submitted to 4 before getting the query critiques, right? You can make the query better and submit to other agents if all else fails.

  4. Oh, Gina! I feel so much for you. Didn't know my email send you into a tailspin, and I'm sorry about that.

    Rejections are part of the game. I know that doesn't help all that much, but it's just what it is.

    And another part of the game, as least for me, is I always second guess myself after sending a query. Because there are always things that can be changed and there are always new opinions about the darn thing if you send it out to CPs again.

    Try not to stress too much about it. Edit and send out a few more. And if that doesn't pan out, edit/rewrite and send a few more. It WILL work out for you!

  5. Gina,
    Two weeks ago I queried with what I felt was a solid query letter. Than I participated in Deana Barhart's blogfest and the letter was ripped to shreds. Sound familiar? I redid my query and began submitting with it. Yesterday I received a partial request from a publisher, and which query letter did they like? The first one! The one that others ripped to shreds.
    PLEASE remember querying is subjective. Write the best letter you can, the one that sounds like your characters (and you) and use it. You never know, you may do better without other's feedback.
    Go with your gut! And good luck!

  6. Yes, I am all too familiar with query hell. Add the personal stuff, too, and it seems bleak. But it is not. Don't give up on any of it, Gina. Including having a child. I have been there (with the rejections and with the fertility issues). You can make it all happen! I totally believe that!

  7. I'd just like to say you're all made of awesome. Thank you for your kind words :)

  8. Do you know how many versions of my query I went through before I started getting requests? Seven. SEVEN! I would rename them as I tweaked the query, and it wasn't until "Query Number Seven, Simply Heaven" that I saw some small measure of success.

    "Query Number five, I'm Alive" was the worst, by the way.

  9. Aw, I can tell you while it doesn't get easier to deal with at the moment it comes it, it does get easier to get over faster. Querying is really stressful, but it's also a really good test of your mettle. Publishing is a really tough business. If you can make it through querying, it's a good start. Just imagine what it's like to have your book publish and in the hands of reviewers? So scary. It takes serious guts and drive to keep going.

    So take this rejection as a solid start to a new career. You're in the game. Just keep trucking. Every new hurdle hurdled is another step towards your dream.

  10. I'm sure your letter is fine. Keep in mind that if an agent already has a similar piece they need to sell, they may not be looking to take on another in the same vein yet. That's not a knock against your query, just the business. If your letter is strong and you love the way it flows, keep sending it out. You'll get some bites, it just has to land in the right agent's hand.

    Good luck and happy querying!

  11. Ugh. I hate rejections! And the whole blasted process of writing querries for that matter! You have my sympathies, darlin' ( :