mulling over the industry

I’ve been doing some thinking (evaluating, really) about the publishing industry since the agent i was querying ultimately decided to pass on Throwaways. She wrote me a really kind response, saying, “While your novel has merit, I am forced to give serious consideration to the realities of the marketplace when deciding which writers to represent.”

At first, my eyes sort of glazed over that sentence, but once i went back and reread it, I understood what it meant. While my story might be just as good as anyone else’s, there may not be a place in the market for it right now, at least not on this agent’s list. I’m realizing just how important it is to have a striking plot that readers don’t see every day. When I began drafting my query letters for Throwaways, i had so much trouble summing up the general idea of the novel without going deep into the details. With my newer projects, however, they have immediately striking quirks that (hopefully) will make people want to take a closer look.

I got one of those automated rejections from a second agency today, but i’m not too upset about it. They don’t ask for samples in their submissions, so that tells me that there is a weakness in my query, not my writing. Maybe i’ll re-draft the query before sending more out. Live and learn; that’s what this process is!

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One thought on “mulling over the industry

  1. It is DEFINITELY a learning process. I think that’s been one of the most valuable insights about the publishing industry that I’ve seen through this whole thing. So much goes into it that you never would have dreamed of before immersing yourself in it.

    And queries! I’ve read some people’s comments that say writing the query is harder than writing the whole book, and I can definitely see why they’d say it. I thought summarizing a novel in a few pages for the synopsis was tough, but to do it in a page … yikes. It’s always tough when an agent just asks for that without any sample pages. I understand that they get so many that it would be hard to read excerpts from everyone, but it seems so hard to judge a whole book by a couple paragraphs.

    Hang in there … it’ll happen for you, I know it!

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