Tuesday, January 25, 2011


They say it pays off in the end.  One of my favorite quotes is "Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up."  Often, that keeps me going, especially when I get one of those polite rejection letters that says "I really liked it, but I can't take it on right now."  The nice ones.  The ones where they aren't just xeroxed form letters that are cold and generic and faceless.  If someone takes the time to write me a personal note, even if its a rejection, they generally stay on my agent list.  I figure the cold, generic letters don't care, aren't even slightly interested.  The handwritten ones - the personal note that shows they've read your proposal - those are the agents worth remembering.

They say an agent should be like interviewing a friend.  You want someone you connect with, someone you feel will represent you well and that "gets" you.  I sent out a new batch of queries last week, and now I play the waiting game.  I'm still waiting for some from my first batch, but I feel I've got a much stronger query letter now.  My first batch was largely email queries, and the second batch is snail mail, and might I say that I'm amazed at how many agents still prefer snail mail!  That being said, one agent that I queried maintains a blog that shows the status of queries to the agency.  Interesting little piece of information, they have over 150 email queries still to sort through and 0 (yes, that's a ZERO) snail mail queries.  Makes you kinda think maybe snail mail wouldn't be so bad for those agents that are taking both.  On the other hand, in the interest of being "green," it's a lot of paper (and some expense) to go the snail mail route, so email is more environmentally friendly.  However, it might not be as agent friendly considering the glut of proposals they have to sort through.

And so, as I've said, I'm back to waiting.  Feeling good about my proposal - better than with the first batch of queries - so hoping for the best.  And while I'm waiting, I think I'll go back and sharpen my proposal for Epitaph.  I didn't do proper shopping for that one because I was so excited about moving ahead with the Legend People, so time to slow things down a bit and do the business end of writing for a while.

I'll keep you posted . . .



  1. Personal is good. So much better than your own query letter returned with "NO!" in big blue letters.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  2. yes, I've gotten those, too. I've also gotten the "go ahead and send me more" hand written on my query letter. Hey, that works for me, as long as they like it :-)

  3. I haven't sent any query letters out in a while, but I do have a stash of rejection letters around here somewhere for each of my books.

    Two were accepted by a small publisher, which since fell on hard times and became another publisher.

    The last one, Killer Career, I self-published as an experiment. It was just starting to catch on then, but now, lots of writers are going the self-publishing route.

    I'm not sure what I'll do with my present manuscript. Right now I'm leaving all options open, but I do hate the idea of sending out query letters and waiting for responses again.

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Mary, I've done the self-pub route myself, and it wasn't all bad - just a LOT of work. Another rejection in the mail today. I'd like to have some power behind this one - I have a lot of confidence in it, so want to exhaust that route first.

    As to my Mad and Sad - blame it on the flu (Influenza - cue the Lion King Music)