There is a finite number of agents to query and I'm approaching the limit. After another partial was rejected because the agent thought it was more of a romance than women's fiction, and they don't do romance, I figured I might as well try the agents who rep romance. Who am I to judge what the genre is?
Within hours, I was rejected by Laura Bradford. Either the query is worthless, or my manuscript isn't a romance.
As far as I can tell, I didn't write something that Harlequin would pick up. There's more to the story than fluffy boy meets girl loses girl finds girl standard issue formula plot. The only romantic element is a somewhat happy ending.
Is it the query, then? Can't really judge that any more.
I've run across several agents' blogs that mention the tightness of the market leading to fewer requests for manuscripts. Publishers want the big blockbuster or nothing at all, so they're not looking at the debut author who doesn't have a string of awards and publications. That means an agent won't consider your manuscript if you aren't the editor of a literary journal or a professor in some MFA program.
Write something else while I query every last agent, and then start again. If my body got that much exercise, I'd be a walking skeleton.