I’m Almost There!–If I’m Not, Somebody Please Tell Me.

This is the book. The book that will get me published. At least I think it is, or I hope. It’s my third, and the one that’s garnered the most interest from agents and editors. My query letter is quite effective, and has generated requests for partial and full submissions from the industry’s most respected literary agents. My pitch at writers’ conferences hasn’t yet failed to produce results. I’ve finaled in a couple contests and reached ninety percent scores in some I haven’t.

By and large, the comments I’ve received from agents are positive. Most say the writing is strong. Many like the characters, setting, plot and hook.

I also get feedback like: Though I enjoyed the read, I’m just not passionate enough about this project. Or: You deserved someone who is passionate about your work and I’m certain you will find the right fit. Something along those lines. I always send a quick note of thanks for every rejection because I’m truly grateful for time taken to review and consider my work. And it’s good manners.

But I often wonder what they’re not telling me with those quick rejections–or even the longer ones that don’t say much but are encouraging. What I want to know is: What would it take? How could I make this a successful submission? I’m willing to rip this baby apart and reform it into whatever it needs to be. I can do it–and I WILL. Just give me a little direction even though it isn’t your job. I know at least one agent has thought, If this book only had a little more _____or less_____. That information would be immensely helpful.

I’ve had my “people” go over it, I’ve paid professionals to critique my book. Then, I made many of the suggested changes. I learned a great deal from the process and it’s made me a better writer.

I haven’t submitted to the editors who’ve requested my latest book because I’m waiting to find a new agent first. I know they prefer the material not have been seen by editors when they agree to represent you.

Agents are SWAMPED, as in overloaded and don’t have time to go back and forth with me all day answering my eager questions. But if it’s an almost for them, I want to know how close I came. Otherwise, I have no idea on a one to ten if it’s more like a 9 or 2. Anything above a 5 I can live with because of the subjective nature. But if it’s a 2, then I likely wouldn’t continue my querying until I’ve made significant changes to my ms.

I don’t expect this from anyone, but it’s my silly little fantasy because honestly just a few words could make all the difference in my case.

I feel like I’m close, but continue to have no idea. I’m still awaiting responses from several submissions and queries, so here I sit. Hoping and writing.

Susan Sands

4 thoughts on “I’m Almost There!–If I’m Not, Somebody Please Tell Me.

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