I’ve taken the plunge and begun sending out query letters to literary agents. I made a goal for myself: “Query 3 Before TV.” I sent my first three letters last night and treated myself to some TV. Today I hope to complete three more. Each agent has their own set of specializations and submittal guidelines so I’ve got to determine which agencies are the best fit to submit, then to which agent in each firm to send the query (they often specialize in different things and an author can only send to one agent within each agency), then which of my stories is the most likely to be of interest to that agent, and then I need to write the query letter and send the story while being sure I follow their guidelines exactly.
It is somewhat tedious and time-consuming, but it’s also interesting and I’m learning quite a bit as I go along. Each is a very, very, long shot. I’ve heard of great award-winning authors that got over 100 rejections in a row, and it appears most authors never get signed no matter how many query letters they send. Even if one is able to sign with an agent, there is no guarantee that they’ll be able to sell an author’s work to a publisher, and even if a publisher buys the book, the mount of money paid to the author might be quite small and paid in portions only if milestones are reached. The book itself could be far from a commercial success. Suffice it to say, I have no plans to quit my day job (which I love as much as writing anyway.)
Still, what the heck? It’s a fun and challenging adventure in which I’m learning more about myself and the world, so that alone makes it well worth the ride.