Monday, October 18, 2010
I sent out another batch last night so I have a question. Do you hate them as much as I do?
I'd like to say that the entire process feels like a roller coaster ride, but a roller coaster doesn't take a year to ride to the top of the mountain, and there's no flaming heap of rejections at the bottom, or else no one would ride the darn thing.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could send out a query when you had the idea mapped out on paper, but not yet complete, so you could get feedback on whether it's going to be interesting to any agent or not?
Wouldn't it be nice if once you finished the first draft, an agent would take a look and tell you "you need to change this" or "you need to change that"?
Wouldn't it be nice if after finishing the book, and sending out a query, the agent would tell you "I don't represent that type of book, but what's her name does, and why don't I call her for you?"
Of course, and wouldn't it be nice if I could buy one lottery ticket and win 50 million bucks?
First of all, there are way too many books, and not enough publishing slots to hold them all. Secondly, there are way too many bad books that need a lot more work before they are ready to publish. Third, agents do not have the time to babysit every author who wants to get their book published. There are just way too many of us out there.
So what's an author to do?
Write a book that stands out from the crowd. Write the best book that you can possibly write. Don't settle for mediocre on anything you do. Make every word the perfect word. Make every sentence sound as good as it can be. Give your characters life.
Read authors that you like and try to understand what it is that you like about them, and then emulate them.
Yes it would be nice if agents were waiting in line to hand you money, but I'm afraid life doesn't work like that.
I'd like to say that I had the magic idea for how to make things better, but I don't. When there is too much supply and not enough demand, it's the way things work.
What about you? Do you hate queries as much as I do?