Them Query Letter Writin’ Blues

“It’s not you, it’s me,” she said in her letter.

“Good luck finding someone who suits you better.”

I’ve got them query letter writin’ blues.

“It’s not you, it’s me,” she said in her letter.

“Good luck finding someone who suits you better.”

Oh, yes, I got them low down dirty query letter writin’ blues.

Ever felt the same way?

Confident in your novel, you took the next step and wrote an agent or two, maybe a dozen? Only to receive rejection after rejection?

One of my best friends, a screenwriter in Hollywood, tells me it’s part of the game–he went through the very same thing. I get that, but still, it’s frustrating, right? Still I keep plugging along, writing to the next agent, the next agent…

I have written a work of fantasy aimed at a young adult audience. Trouble is, according to my research, those are the two most sought after genres today.

I write this post, in part, to express my struggles and put them out there…Maybe you, as reader, have experienced something of a similar sort. Maybe you still struggle…Maybe you have succeeded in securing literary agent gold.

Here’s what’s happened in my agent seeking. Over a year ago, I received several rejections, then I got a little nibble from the president of a major agency. I only sent him a letter; he requested my first 50 pages. Weeks later, I received a rejection. I took a good long hard look at my work and, seeing some glaring issues with my writing style, decided to rewrite it from page 1. The differences were significant and I can say I am thankful for that rejection. I am much more confident in my writing, my style, and my novel as a whole now.

So here are my most troublesome current struggles:

A) My work is not necessarily what is in vogue when it comes to young adult fantasy and though some of the agents I query have stated they desire something outside the norm, still I get a rejection.

B) There are those agents I have queried who list a number of interest and it seems to me that based on such, my work would be a perfect fit.

C) Most of such agents request only the query and writing samples to follow if there is an interest. Again, I feel quite confident in my work and thanks to a lot of feedback from readers of my blog, such confidence is boosted. (So thank you to those out there.)  So most prospective agents only see my query letters. This is my biggest issue for writing a query letter is tough business. My particular problem is that my work is a multi-character work. I have four protagonists, all (or none) of whom could be considered “the” central character, whose stories are told separately (they haven’t met each other yet) and four antagonists, whose stories are told together.

If you’ve written a query letter, you know they must be kept to 1 page. Based on what my novel consists of, it is damn hard to keep it to a page (which I do). Trouble for me is being able to encapsulate the overall story (since it involves several stories slowly woven together) to a mere paragraph or two. After all, I also need to mention the genre, the audience, the potential interest, as well as introduce myself and what makes me the “person” writing this book in another two paragraphs before I reach page 2.

I tweak with how I introduce the text and every time I think I have something to peak an agent’s interest, inevitable I get the rejection or the no response. Now I now that, as they say, I will find the agent who is right for me, but aaargh! it sure can be frustrating.

So if you’ve experienced anything similar, have any suggestions to myself or others who may read this, or some tips for success with my particular issues or anyone’s who may reply to this post, any feedback would be welcome and received with utmost gratitude.

And for all those out there in a similar situation, good luck on your search.











4 thoughts on “Them Query Letter Writin’ Blues

    1. Thanks Holly; yes indeed my baby and sorry for getting back to you so long after your comment. Don’t know why, but it didn’t show up on my little notification icon.

      Liked by 1 person

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