I sent out a second batch of emails querying literary agents on behalf of my novel. I received one response on May 18. An agent requested that I put the first 5 pages of the novel in an email and send it to her. I did so, and waited patiently for another email from her.
I received that email on May 26. She said that “the pages just didn’t draw me in as much as I had hoped.”
The rest of her comments were very compassionate and thoughtful (though probably generic) and I appreciated them even though the main message was a disappointment. Her response to the first 5 pages of the story makes me wonder what I might do to make the opening scene more interesting. It takes place in a baseball game in a small town in Indiana in 1912. I thought the action was sufficient to make a reader interested enough to read on, but perhaps I’m thinking of certain types of readers (male sports enthusiasts) and the agent is thinking on behalf of other types of readers.
I’m waiting for responses to the rest of my queries, but will send out another batch to different agents in a few days. I’ve thought about including a link in the query emails that would take the readers (literary agents) to one or more of my novel’s chapters. It would provide a shortcut for the agents which would allow them to see my work without having to correspond with me. If they don’t like what they read, no harm done if they never respond. Since I’ve only received one response from the dozen or so queries I’ve sent, I don’t think the link-to-novel process will diminish my returns.
Before I send out the next batch, I think I’ll tweak my opening paragraph or two. I might even post the old vs. revised versions here for feedback.