Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Truly Rejected 99%

Well, I'm just about finished polishing the first draft of my new novel All We Know of Heaven and completely done refurbishing Scout's Honor based on some great feedback by a top agent. I've been reinvigorated this summer by something I heard at the WestConn MFA residency last week, which is not surprising since when I was in the program, all my invigoratory writing came from those few days in Danbury.

One of the agents giving us a little talk on the industry mentioned that he rejects 99% of the queries he receives. 99%. Think about that. Basically, my chances of getting a yes from an agent are the same as an American getting a tax cut from Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. This got me to thinking, though. I had heard so many stories of people going through 20-30 rejections before getting published.

Scout's Honor was at 41. At least.

But with this new number in mind, and some important revisions based on the aforementioned agent's advice, I'm at it again. I've decided to do a query a day until I get to 100 queries. Unless my writing stinks, which I don't think I would have gotten through my MFA program and a scrutinizing mentor like Daniel Asa Rose if it did, I should get a yes from one of the 100. Basic math, right?

Meanwhile, I'm facing revisions on novel three, which I'll give myself until next summer to fully finish. I've got plenty of readers who want a shot at All We Know of Heaven, including former students, former classmates, and a friend from church. Hopefully their feedback will make this one a winner.

Right now it just kind of blows my mind that I've written three full novels. Published or not, that kind of kicks ass. I'm pretty proud of that. And I've had enough people read and love my work to not be discouraged by a lack of publication. What's even more mind blowing is that I think I have a series least a trilogy.

Agents beware! If you don't grab me up soon, you're going to have quite a backlog of work to deal with. Just sayin.'

Oops...what I meant to say...

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