Subscribe in a reader

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Querying the Deal

There are many things about the writing life that most people are not aware of. The common assumption would be that the writer writes something, sends it out, and is either accepted or rejected on the merits of the piece.

The truth, however, is slightly different.

Because of the teeming hordes who want to write despite lacking any noticeable talent, certain conventions have established themselves in the publishing world. Over the years, the importance of crafting pitch-perfect query letters has risen steadily, and most judgments made are made on your query (for nonfiction and novels) or cover letter (for short stories).

The thing about this system is this, to me: Since one is always dealing with different individuals who have different ideas and reactions to these letters, it's kind of like having to go to the door of a speakeasy and having to guess the password. And each individual has a different password, so each knock at each door has the same odds of succeeding as the first.

This even goes for acquiring an agent. It's enough to make you crazy sometimes.

So far, I have queried five agents concerning Drayton and have gotten four rejections. I've retooled my query after each rejection in the hope that I might just hit the right note, but you can never tell. Maybe fifth time's the charm.