Since finishing my latest round of edits with The Evolution of Janie, I've spent a lot of time focused on the next step of my journey - finding an agent. I've gone through this hell before. writing the query, sending it out, rewriting it, sending it out, and the worst part of all - the waiting. I don't mind rejections. After the first one, I've found it gets easier to slide them off my back. I get a rejection, consider if I need to tweak my query letter and then move on.
So, if I'm taking the rejection well, why call it Query Hell? For me it's the process in its entirety. Summing up the uniqueness of an 80,000 word novel into a 200 word paragraph, researching agents to try and something make each letter individual to each agent (without doing the whole - I read on your blog...), then pressing the send button. It's at that point the true hell starts. You wait and wait. There are those kind-hearted agents who pity you and click auto-reject, within days, sometimes less (my quickest reject was 39 minutes courtesy of Nathan Bransford last year), but the others are the ones that kill me. 4-8 weeks doesn't sound to long when thinking over the course of a life time. But when you're checking your email five times (okay, 50) a day it's an eternity.
Bring on the auto-rejects because at least I know to move on. I'm not sitting at my computer thinking there's still a possibility of getting a request. Which brings me to the worst part of the query process - when agents are known to respond within days, and you sent your's over a week ago and heard nothing. You then enter the land of "should I send it again?" warring with the "Does this mean my query sucked so bad they thought it was a joke and aren't replying?".
This is where I've been the past couple weeks. I sent out one query on July 25th to an agent who typically responds (positive or negative) within 5 days. After hearing nothing, I'd figured she's rejected me and I'd somehow deleted the email. Then yesterday I got a request for the first 50 pages! I refuse to get too excited mainly because I've sent out fulls before and been rejected. But I'm still in hell. I also sent out a query to another agent (know to reply within 2-3 days) and still haven't heard anything. She's an amazing agent and I know she's busy but it just gets me wondering if I screwed up with sending the query, and it somehow didn't get to her.
I've now been stalling with sending out the queries, but I know I need to get my ass in gear. The publishing world moves slowly and I need to move as quickly as I can since I'm ready. So I'm now setting my goal for this moth to send out three queries a week. I'll start tomorrow :)
HAHAHA! Just had a request for a partial from the second agent I was waiting on! Guess I need to be more patient :D
On my iPod:
Breakeven by The Script