It’s been a while since I last logged in and wrote a blog post. In the past, I have talked about writing my book and revising it, but last month I started my querying journey to try and find someone who will love my not-so-little dragon book as much as I do. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy and while I’ve tried my hardest to manage the stress, it caused me to enter into a big reading slump and I kind of disconnected from my blog for a little bit. Not to mention my revision process took up all my energy as I took on the advice and suggestions of my beta readers.
At the beginning of the month, on the 8th to be precise, I passed the one year anniversary since I got the idea for Beneath the Empty. A book I love with all my heart filled with dragons, magic, family, romance and darker themes about dealing with loss and overcoming prejudices. It’s changed quite a bit in places from that first draft, but the help I have received from my critique partners and beta readers has made it even better. Then it was time to query.
Once I had my query letter written, first few chapters polished and synopsis ready, a bundle of nerves hit me in the stomach. As I prepared myself to press send on the first letter, a hundred thoughts rushed my mind. What if I wasn’t ready? What if my writing isn’t good enough? What if no one likes my story? But if I didn’t take the leap, I would never know if it was good enough or if there is an agent out there who will love it as much as I do.
Since mid-May, I have sent out 20 queries altogether and have received 5 rejections, one of them being a no-reply. The best rejection was from an agent who said my book isn’t something they are currently looking for, but they hope I query them again if I find myself with another book to query. I’m taking that as meaning they liked my style of writing, but the dragon book isn’t right for them. Nearly all the rejections have been form rejections apart from that one, so it’s hard to know what’s gone wrong. Is it truly just not the right book for them? Did they think the query letter was bad, is the first chapter or the first 5-10 pages boring/not good enough? Unless I receive a personal rejection, I’ll never know.
Something I did after I started getting the first few rejections back was to send out my first chapter and query to another writer who helped me tweak it a little. She also assured me that she would want to read more just based on those things. Now that I’ve done that, I’ve recently sent out more queries in the hopes of *maybe* getting a full or partial manuscript request. It’s the most I can hope for.
It’s gotten a little bit easier to send out the queries now, although I still have that small knot in my stomach whenever I press send on an email. It’s hard to put yourself and your work out there. You have to detach yourself from it and realise that rejection of the book doesn’t reflect onto you as a writer. So far I think I am handling it. At least I haven’t cried, so maybe I’m stronger and tougher than I think.
I might write a more in-depth post soon about how I am dealing with being in the query trenches, mainly by working out a lot and starting to write a new book (which I am super excited about and already have 25k words written). As nerve-wracking as querying is, it’s also exciting! I’m quite an optimistic person, often daydreaming about what I would do if I got a request or offer of representation, so that’s what I’m hoping for. Until then, I’m going to keep sending queries out and work on my next book in case this one doesn’t pan out.
Any other writers out there querying their book? Let me know in the comments below.