Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Week, Another Query

Monday morning and there's a new sample of St. Martin's Press' latest book in the inbox.

Isn't that inspiration enough to work up a new and improved query letter and bombard the literary agents?

But what does it take to get some attention?

It's being said that the fiction market is particularly tight because of the weak economy. Fewer people are being books in any form, so literary agents are firing off rejections (or just not responding in the modern version of the rejection) because they know the publishers won't be writing up contracts.

Fewer and fewer debut fiction announcements are heard from Publishers Marketplace, and those that are listed aren't really debut-like. An established author of short stories, or a journalist, or someone who's already published non-fiction are the ones getting the contracts these days.

But you can't win if you don't play the game, so the query letter will experience another revision. I've lifted the jacket flap copy from a novel that tells a similar story to the one I've penned, and if it's good enough for a published book, it's good enough for me.

I believe I'll approach the literary agents who accept snail mail, just for the sake of getting something back that closes the loop. The non-response business is irksome, to say the least, and it's nice to get something in the post that isn't a bill.

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