I know we're supposed to be patient and wait for the busy, busy literary agents to get to the queries before scrapping the letter and starting over, but it doesn't really take all that long.
Working in small batches, I sent out the first version of the query letter to five agents. They all represent what I write, I found authors on their websites that could be used as a reference point for my manuscript, so off went the e-queries.
Three rejections within ten days, and two others that are as good as a rejection. After a month, it's a good bet that Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown and Lucy Carson at Molly Friedrich's agency are voting with their lack of a response. A very quiet no, unspoken, unwritten has been received.
Obvious to me that the query letter wasn't working from the beginning, so I revised it as soon as the majority of the submissions were rejected. Clearly I wasn't getting the message across if no one asked to see a few chapters.
Four more went out, with a fresh, new letter. Half were quickly rejected, the other half are sitting out there in cyberspace, in the silent vacuum where no life exists. Letter number two, another failure, was scrapped. No eager response from Meredith Hays at FinePrint Literary. No request for pages from Nancy Yost.
Query number three hit five literary agent inboxes on Monday, and in the past week, there's been nothing.
If an agent wants to read a manuscript, they'll ask for it with remarkable speed. The response is fast.
The responses I'm not getting? Slow to the point that I know there's no interest out there.
It's entirely too quiet out there on the east coast. Not an agent is stirring, at least not one that wants to read some contemporary women's fiction with a touch of humor.
So very quiet. I think I'll boost my ego by checking submission status for the short stories I sent out. Under consideration....second reading.....so encouraging. So cruel. It keeps me going, in the face of rejection.