I’m getting a pretty good feel for how the publishing industry works by now. Or at least how the process of obtaining an agent works. I’ve learned many important lessons during this journey, number one being that there are no shortcuts (to any place worth going!). I’m not usually a shortcut-taker anyway, but I do have a tendency to be impatient. And let’s just say that impatience and publication do not go hand-in-hand.
With book #1, I thought I just needed to be sorta finished to snag an agent. By book #2, I knew I needed to be all-the-way finished. And with book #3 (Seeking Sara Sterling), I’ve realized there is absolutely no point in querying before you’re 100% ready. If you do, you’re very likely wasting your time (not to mention, the agent’s time).
So I’ve been over this book time and time again. I’ve had numerous beta readers and have taken their feedback into consideration. I revised again. I listened to the book via a text-to-audio app and again made corrections on the little mistakes I found (it’s amazing how many your eyes skip over). I spent hours fine-tuning my query letter and synopsis. I’ve put forth my very best effort.
I’m quite hopeful that this round of querying will prove more successful than the last two times. With each book, I’ve managed to generate more full requests (this is where the agent asks to read the entire book), and I’m really hoping the trend will continue. I began querying Seeking Sara Sterling exactly one week ago, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve already received one full request!
Of course, throughout this entire process, I’ve also become much more cautious with my optimism. A full request is great news, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to get an agent (or get published). It’s just the first big step in a very long process. I’ll save the real celebratory business for when I do actually sign with an agent.
But that said, there really is something exciting about querying a fresh project. It’s like your hopes and dreams are once again renewed. With each query letter you send out, you’re thinking, Could this be the one? Could this be the agent who loves my work enough to sign me?
The good news is that with each book you write and each query letter you send, you are getting closer. At least statistics would say this is the case.
So here’s to hoping the third time is actually the charm for me. And that this isn’t just another hopeful wish.