Progress At Last!
I read recently that summertime is not the best time for querying agents, as the publishing industry tends to operate on a school-type schedule (i.e., off June through August). This is because many of the smaller presses are run through universities, which more or less shut down for the summer months. I should have guessed this from my years of short story-writing. I would finish a new story only to find that none of the lit mags I wanted to send it to were accepting submissions during summer break, as their staff of students had all gone home.
Also recently, I discovered the amazing Query Shark, who critiques query letters with much gnashing of teeth (as her name suggests). The discovery inspired me to take a shotgun to my old query letter and begin anew. If you are wondering how to write a query, by the way, ignore all other sites and go directly to the Query Shark. She is amazing.
So imagine my surprise when, having decided that both my query and my timing sucked, I received an email from one of the agents I queried (with my old letter), asking for sample pages. Yay! A foot (maybe more of a toe…or a toenail) in the door!
I am well aware that this doesn’t necessarily mean that said agent will want to read more of my novel (although I am of the opinion that she will, seeing as how I have written possibly the greatest work of literature since The Sun Also Rises). I am even better aware of the fact that she won’t necessarily want to represent me. And even if she does, she won’t necessarily be able to sell it, and it won’t necessarily garner me a three-book deal with Random House and a permanent spot on the Times’ Bestseller List and so on and so forth, etc.
But it did make me feel like I’ve got a shot at all of the above, however miniscule. And because of that, I thought I’d share my joy with you lovely strangers.