With the completion of revisions and edits to Wucaii, I have been involved in the most dreaded and loathsome task in the writing world: querying agents. Now, I'm not saying agents are dreadful and loathsome, I'm saying the process is. I hate getting my letter ready and then attempting to find an agent. Seriously, last week when I started, I had a small inward panic attack. I looked through the list on agentquery.com probably four or fives times, if not more, before narrowing down the list of agents to send my query to.
Why do I put myself through this? If it causes me so much stress, why do I even bother sending out queries at all? Because it's the next step in my writing career. It's a circular process of self doubt and striving for excellence that I go through to make it to the next level. I think I'm doing all right where I'm at. I have several publishers that are willing to put out my work and a great group of readers who are willing to read it. But I can do better. I want to do better. In my mind, the next step to show that I've made it as a writer is to have an agent and to get published by a big agency.
However, I'm not a fool. I know agencies hand out rejections like candy (sour, awful candy that no one wants, like Bit O' Honey and those black licorice taffies), but nothing is gained if you don't try. Just because I'm a prolific writer doesn't mean I'm a good writer, and that becomes abundantly clear when I send out queries to agents. I spiral into a world where I lose my self-confidence and wonder why I'm writing at all.
This round, though, I've decided to approach the whole process in a different light. To keep from falling too far into depression, I'm limiting the amount of queries I send out. Does that lower my chances at finding an agent? Maybe. But I've played the game before and I know how fierce the competition is. I would love to have an agent, but if it's not in the cards right now, there's nothing I can do. I'll continue to write and publish with small publishers and hope one day I'm cool enough to play with the big authors.
I digress. As I said, I'm limiting the amount of queries I send out. Normally, I'll throw a query at anyone with a pulse, which can wrack up hundreds of rejections. That takes it toll. And it's insane. After a certain amount of "Nos," you can pretty much assume no one wants your book. This time, I've sent out 27. Kind of an odd number, for sure, but a reasonable one. I tried to pick agents who I thought were the best fit for me and my work, and I can handle that amount of rejection. After that, I'll send the manuscript to some of my publishers and hope for the best.
I hope by approaching the process in this way, it will help alleviate some stress and give me a different outlook. I enjoy writing too much to let the process wear me down, and, trust me, it has before. Wish me luck in my endeavors!
Seriously, leave a comment and wish me luck. I'll put you in the drawing to win an autographed copy of Life After the Undead.