Having received only one response from the seven recipients of queries for my novel, I thought it might be a good idea to make a change or two. I rewrote the query itself and sent it off to ten more agents.
I am now rewriting that revised version of my query and will send the new version out to another ten or so agents. If that doesn’t bring any responses, I’ll move to my next escalation. That will involve shifting from electronic to paper queries.
Some agents accept synopses and even sample chapters with paper queries. Perhaps putting something with three dimensions on the desk of a few agents will bring some responses. Email is much too easy to ignore. Paper can be pitched into the trash, but if someone sends a SASE along with the paperwork, it would almost be sinful for an agent or publisher not to at least put the stuff back in the return envelope and post it. And if you go that far, you might as well stick a little note inside explaining why it’s being returned.
The most important thing is to keep trying. I have never met a literary agent and have never dealt with one. My only contacts with bookish people have been with writers, booksellers, library workers, and a publisher. Agents might as well be from other planets and star systems. I would know and understand extraterrestrials just about as well. But I’ve heard some of them can read English and can act on a writer’s behalf if they are so inclined. I hope to incline a couple of them.
In the meantime, I have a few other projects underway. One is the novel I lost last week. Another is this blog. Yet another is a stab at enhancing some old – and hatching some new – limericks. Here’s one to end this post on:
A young man named Johnson Magee
Found a bright shiny skeleton key.
He thought it quite grand
So took it in hand
And set his skeleton free.